In late October 1947, residents of this small town on the Blue Hill Peninsula watched as ominous gray smoke rose high into the skies over Mount Desert Island. The summer had been bone dry—the state had only received about half its normal precipitation since the end of June—and a single careless spark might ignite a conflagration closer to home.
“The terrible fire that destroyed a greater part of Bar Harbor was visible from many points in Brooklin,” recounts a history of the Brooklin Fire Department, and “made the people here realize that some action should be taken.”
In short order, the townspeople organized nightly fire patrols on key sections of public and private roads. These patrols ultimately led to the formation of the volunteer fire department, which celebrated its 75th anniversary on October 15 with a community barbecue, lobster bake and, perhaps not surprisingly, a cake without candles.