“Sunday, August 6, 1899, is a date that for many years will be held in memory as signalizing the most dreadful accident that has ever occurred within the boundaries of the state of Maine.”
Bangor Daily Commercial, August 7, 1899
In an era when the only means of travel to the new, glamorous, and growing resort of Bar Harbor was through a small, isolated, rural-yet-elegant point of land on the mainland in the small town of Hancock, Disaster at Mount Desert Ferry tells the true story of what was, at the time, Maine’s deadliest disaster. The heartbreaking tale starts with the arrival of a train overcrowded with passengers anxious to be among the first to cross the bay and their rush for a ferry with too few seats, turning a casual summer Sunday outing into a scene of chaos, tragedy, death and heroism, occurring as quickly as the break of a wooden gangplank. Disaster at Mount Desert Ferry tells not only the complete story of the people and the events of that day, but of a time and way of life long gone by and nearly forgotten.
A Navy veteran of the first Gulf War and former reporter for The Bar Harbor Times,Mac Smith lives in Stockton Springs, Maine, in the village of Sandy Point. He is also the author of Mainers on the Titanic and Peyton Place Comes Home to Maine.