NEMA Museums New England

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Museum Profile

Seal Cove Auto Museum

PO Box 106, 1414 Tremont Road, Seal Cove, ME 04674
(207) 244-9242

The Seal Cove Auto Museum tells the story of innovation and ingenuity in New England and America through the earlydevelopment of the automobile. It features over 50 automobiles and motorcycles from the Brass Era (1895-1917).

The current choose-you-own-adventure style exhibit, Auto Wars: Then & Now, allows visitors to follow either the pro- or anti-auto factions to explore the impact of community decisions on the landscape.

In 1900 cars were just starting to appear on Mount Desert Island, and just as quickly, people were arguing about whether cars were an important invention that could make life easier, or a noisy nuisance that would ruin the beauty of the Island. So began the Auto Wars, a battle lasting 16 years that pitted locals against wealthy summer residents, with the ultimate decision of 1916 forever changing the nature of MDI.

The historic story is presented through the personalities involved in the debate a century ago, as well as the humorous publicity stunts carried out by some of these characters. Touch screens and digital storytelling juxtapose the modern story, revealing the pleasures and trials of getting around on the Island today. Visitors become part of the story by sharing their own ideas about the past, present, and future of cars on MDI.