acadia Obamas Ready For New England Vacation

Acadia National Park In Maine

Mount Desert Island — Mount Desert Island adds to its long list of visiting dignitaries next weekend, as the 44th President of the United State and his family are planning a visit.

President Barack Obama, his wife, Michelle, and their daughters, Malia and Sasha, are expected to arrive July 16 at an undisclosed location.

In announcing the visit, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree said this is a personal vacation for the Obamas, with no official appearances scheduled. Details of the trip are limited. Pingree said she expects the Obamas will enjoy the woods, coast and people of MDI.

Almost 100 years ago to the day, July 21, 1910, President William Howard Taft sailed to Mount Desert Island, where the presidential yacht, The Mayflower, landed at the Reading Room slip near the town pier and he received an official welcome from town officials.

Taft ultimately spoke on the Village Green. Initially, before Taft arrived, no public appearance on the island had been scheduled, but the year-round citizenry of 5,000 was not happy with that news, according to reports. First Selectman J. E. Bunker sent a telegram to the president’s yacht, then harbored in Eastport, voicing the town’s displeasure. Taft then changed his mind.

Taft was a guest at the Kebo Valley Club. At one point he road a buckboard to Jordan Pond House for a tea.

During Taft’s three-day visit, according to news reports at the time, two Native Americans paddled out in their canoe to get a glimpse of the president’s yacht. The canoe overturned, and the yacht was instrumental in plucking them from Frenchman Bay.

Since the island became a vacation spot, beginning in the late 1800s, myriad political dignitaries, ambassadors and royalty have spent time in the cottages that dot the scenic area. More recently, among other notable island residents, have been former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, who kept a home in Somesville, and former Sen. George Mitchell, who has a home in Seal Harbor.


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