In 1903 a Maine state law was passed allowing the voters in each town to ban cars. The summer people on Mount Desert Island once voted 527 to 27 against them; in 1909 they took the fight back to the state legislature, and got autos banned from all Maine island roads.
During this time, two locals drove into Bar Harbor to challenge the ban. One, when arrested, claimed that he hadn’t driven on an island road, since he had hitched up his horse to his car, and then coasted downhill into town. Another man claimed that, since his car was built out of boat parts and engine, it was actually a boat that ran on land.
George B. Dorr, first superintendent and “Father of Acadia National Park,” worked a compromise whereby tourists could come onto the island to Hulls Cove, around by Kebo Mountain and up Ledgelawn Avenue, then switch to horses while in town. Also at that time, Bar Harbor was experiencing a 10% drop in its resident population, so when Southwest Harbor voted to allow cars in 1911, the first island community to do so, Bar Harbor followed suit in the spring of 1913.