17 years of bridge hooked rugs provide years of support to Friends of Acadia

Photo courtesy of Rosemary Levin

This hooked rug depiction of Acadia National Park’s Chasm Bridge, designed and created by Rosemary Levin of Corea, will be among the items up for bid at the Friends of Acadia 23rd annual benefit set for Saturday, Aug. 11, under the big tent at Asticou Inn at Northeast Harbor.

COREA, Maine — Rug hooking artist Rosemary Levin of Corea has made a 17-year commitment to hook the bridges of Acadia National Park.

It all began in 2004, when she was looking for a way to support the Friends of Acadia, which preserves, protects and promotes stewardship of the park’s resources. She decided she would hook each of the 17 stone bridges, in the order they were built, that are part of the park’s carriage road system, which was financed and directed by John D. Rockefeller Jr. Each year she would donate a bridge rug to the Friend’s annual benefit auction.

That meant she had to visit each of the bridges, photograph and make drawings of them, then create an original design interpretation of each bridge.

Levin’s first trek, accompanied by her husband, Gary, in January 2005, took her to Cobblestone Bridge, constructed in 1917. She completed the hooked rug based on the the bridge that spring.

“Hooking Cobblestone Bridge was the perfect way to start the project,” Levin said. “Creating the sense of cobblestones without being too literal was an artistic challenge.”

That left 16 more bridges to convert to hooked rug designs: Little Harbor Brook, Jordan Pond, Deer Brook, Hemlock, Waterfall, Hadlock, Eagle Lake, Chasm, Bubble Pond, Amphitheatre, Dick Brook, West Branch, Jordan Pond Road, Cliffside, Stanley Brook and Day Mountain, all constructed in Acadia Park from 1919 to 1941.

So far, she has hooked Little Harbor Brook in 2006, Jordan Pond Dam in 2007, Hemlock in 2008, Waterfall in 2009, Deer Brook in 2010, Hadlock Brook in 2011 and Chasm this year. Eight down, nine to go. To keep her bridges in sequence, she follows the order set out in the book “Acadia’s Carriage Roads: A Passage into the Heart of the National Park” by Robert A. Thayer.

By the time all 17 rugs are completed, it will be 2021 and Levin will be 64 years old.

“People, including my rug hooking students, love the rugs and it gets them thinking,” Levin said. “It inspires them to hook a series of rugs or do other art projects to bring attention to and raise funds for their own causes. Sometimes it inspires them to do something for Acadia. They like creating something that is not just for themselves, but for others.”

Levin estimates that her 17-years-of-rugs-plan is worth approximately $9,000 to Friends of Acadia. She said she also has the satisfaction of knowing that at a past auction a member of the Rockefeller family came up with the winning bid for one of the bridge rugs.

The Chasm Bridge rug will go up for bid at the Friends of Acadia 23rd annual benefit set for Saturday, Aug. 11, under the big tent at Asticou Inn at Northeast Harbor. Cocktails and a silent auction commence at 6 p.m., dinner and a live auction at 8 p.m. and dancing at 9 p.m.

Eight live auction items, including a boat built in 1987; a Richard Estes commissioned painting; a 1936 Ford sedan; and “Trail Workers,” a painting Judy Taylor; and 75 silent auction items, including Levin’s rug, in the categories of art, travel and adventure, home, jewelry and accessories also will be up for bid.

For ticket information, call Lisa Horsch Clark at 288-3340 or email lisahorsch@friendsofacadia.org. Those unable to attend the event may obtain an absentee bid form at friendofacadia.org or by calling Clark.


Ruth Mare is looking for the quilt pattern “Coast O’ Maine.” If readers have information about the pattern or know where it can be obtained, email Mare at Ruth.Mare@maine.gov.

Call Ardeana Hamlin at 990-8153, or email ahamlin@bangordailynews.com. Don’t forget to visit her blog at byhand.bangordailynews.com.