Mount Desert Island is divided politically into four towns, of which Tremont, in the island’s southwest corner, is the smallest both in size and population. (In 1880, the population of Tremont was 2,011. In 2000, it was 1,563.) The town includes the communities of Seal Cove, Bernard, and Bass Harbor. Its name comes from the ‘three mountains’ within its borders: Beech Mountain, and Bernard and Mansell in the Western Mountains.
The area was separated from the Town of Mount Desert on June 3, 1848, and named Mansell after Mount Mansell, the original 17th-century English name for the island. On August 8th, however, a day before the first scheduled town meeting, the legislature announced that the citizens wanted its name changed to Tremont.
In 1905, the Town of Southwest Harbor was incorporated from the eastern half of Tremont.
Boatbuilding and other marine activities such as fishing (for lobsters, shrimp, and scallops) and clamming provide the major economic activity in this area.
Fun Fact: A description of Tremont published in Boston in 1886 notes that “Dog [St. Sauveur] Mountain has been carefully prospected with spade and pick, for money hidden by Captain Kidd.”