In 1789, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts enacted the Corporation for the Town of Mount Desert, including the islands called Cranberry Island, Bartlett’s Island, Robertson’s Island, and Beech Island. Realizing the difficulties in travel between the islands, rapid population growth, and local demands caused the residents to decide to form additional townships on Mount Desert Island.
By 1796, the eastern side of the island was incorporated into the Town of Bar Harbor, 1830 saw the creation of the Town of Cranberry Islands, and in 1848 the western third of the island was spun off into the Town of Mansel, later called Tremont.
Today, the Town of Mount Desert consists in area of the middle third of the island and is the governing body for the distinct villages of Otter Creek, Seal Harbor, Northeast Harbor, Somesville, Hall Quarry, and Pretty Marsh. The year-round population is at this time approximately 2,100 people. Long recognized for its spectacular beauty with a combination of mountains and rugged coastlines, the summer population is greatly increased not only with seasonal residents but masses of visitors to the renowned Acadia National Park. Each village is unique in its anchorages and attractions.