Thuya Garden & Lodge History
The 140-acre preserve that includes the Thuya Garden, Thuya Lodge, Asticou Terraces and Asticou Landing was given in trust to the residents of Mount Desert by Joseph Henry Curtis, a Boston landscape architect who summered in Northeast Harbor from 1880 until his death in 1928.
He designed the Terrace Trail with its scenic lookouts to traverse up the hillside from the eastern shore of Northeast Harbor to his rustic home, Thuya Lodge. The Lodge was named for the area’s abundant stands of northern white cedar, Thuya occidentalis.
Upon Mr. Curtis' death, Charles K. Savage, a life-long resident of Northeast Harbor and gifted landscape designer, was appointed trustee, a post he held for 37 years. Mr. Savage’s vision for the property was expansive, and during his tenure, Thuya Lodge was renovated to accommodate a growing collection of botanical and horticultural books and the orchard adjacent to the Lodge was transformed into Thuya Garden.
Mr. Savage designed Thuya Garden to be a semi-formal herbaceous garden in the style of England's famous designer and author, Gertrude Jekyll, as interpreted for coastal Maine by Beatrix Farrand. Many of the original plants in the garden were purchased from Beatrix Farrand’s collection at Reef Point in Bar Harbor when the estate was dismantled in 1956.
Due to Mr. Curtis' generous bequest and the ongoing support of many loyal friends, the property will be preserved in perpetuity for the enjoyment of the residents and guests of Mount Desert Island.