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Umbazooksus and Beyond: Katahdin and Ragged Lake

This slideshow contains 42 items
1
Map of Mt. Ktaadn, 1917

Map of Mt. Ktaadn, 1917

Item 17584 info
Maine Historical Society

THE GREATEST MOUNTAIN

Katahdin -- "greatest mountain" to Maine Indians -- at 5,268 feet is the highest peak in Maine and is a symbol of the state and the wilderness challenges it offers.

Native Americans believed that at least three holy deities resided there. One, the Spirit of Katahdin (often referred to by Euro-Americans as Pamola) had extraordinary powers and Indians believed those who ventured into his mountain territory might never return.

Indians, therefore, treated the mountain and its spirits with reverence and caution.


2
Katahdin from Togue Pond, ca. 1932

Katahdin from Togue Pond, ca. 1932

Item 17585 info
Maine Historical Society

Non-Indians, however, wanted to climb Katahdin. The trek to the top became something of a rite of passage for Mainers and other climbing enthusiasts.

Although Percival Baxter gave the Katahdin area to the state in 1931, the tote roads into the park remained unimproved and rather rough for travel by automobile or horse and wagon for many years.

That did not deter visitors, though. In 1932, about 1,200 hikers made it to the top of the Greatest Mountain.


3
Elizabeth Oakes Smith, ca. 1851

Elizabeth Oakes Smith, ca. 1851

Item 17583 info
Maine Historical Society

"...peculiar indeed we were, for women had never before penetrated thus far into this wilderness." Elizabeth Oakes Smith, 1849

Elizabeth Oakes Smith (1806-1893), recognized as the first woman to climb Katahdin, was a well known author and women's right advocate.

Born in Yarmouth, Oakes Smith married publisher Seba Smith and the couple had six sons. While they moved away from Maine, Elizabeth Oakes Smith remained well-known to Mainers as a lecturer and writer.


4
Elizabeth Oakes Smith account of climbing Katahdin, 1849

Elizabeth Oakes Smith account of climbing Katahdin, 1849

Item 18649 info
Maine Historical Society

Because Oakes Smith's account of climbing Katahdin was published in a newspaper, it was not widely known beyond her time.

The account, in four installments, reveals the difficulty of the venture, given the lack of roads and roughness of the terrain.

In it, she also makes the claim that she and an unnamed companion were the first women to climb the mountain.


5
Map of the Conquest of Katahdin

Map of the Conquest of Katahdin

Item 11285 info
Baxter State Park

Oakes Smith wrote in the Portland Daily Advertiser on September 15, 1849:

"We averaged five to eight miles a day, which ought to be a trifle to a healthful woman, properly dressed for the occasion; but this distance, notwithstanding all our comfortable preparations, left us nearly exhausted and never was sleep more ready or more refreshing than we found it at night on our hemlock boughs."


6
Charlotte Millett and Emmie Whitney, 1931

Charlotte Millett and Emmie Whitney, 1931

Item 12870 info
Maine Historical Society

Emmie Bailey Whitney (1880-1943) and her husband, G. Herbert Whitney (1878-1965), of Lewiston, so enjoyed their trips to the Katahdin area that they frequently sent Christmas cards with pictures of the mountain or themselves near the mountain.


7
Katahdin Christmas card

Katahdin Christmas card

Item 17447 info
Maine Historical Society

Herb Whitney, a telephone company employee, was a well-known amateur photographer.

Emmie "Jack" Whitney was editor of the Lewiston Journal Magazine.

Both were fond of hiking, climbing, and other outdoor activities.


8
Whitney Christmas card, ca. 1925

Whitney Christmas card, ca. 1925

Item 17547 info
Maine Historical Society

They sometimes went to the Katahdin area with friends, including Charlotte Millett of Gorham and Electa McLain (later Brown) of Gorham.

Brown, longtime bursar at Gorham Normal School, still lived in Gorham in 2005.


9
Emmie Bailey Whitney, ca. 1930

Emmie Bailey Whitney, ca. 1930

Item 17449 info
Maine Historical Society

Charlotte Millett (1881-1972), a 1905 graduate of Bates College, was a pioneer of the Camp Fire Girls movement.

She worked for years in a family insurance business and was good friends with the Whitneys, whom she accompanied to Katahdin a number of times.


10
New slides, Double Top, September 1932

New slides, Double Top, September 1932

Item 12881 info
Maine Historical Society

Millett kept a scrapbook of photographs and other remembrances of her trips with the Whitneys.

Included in the scrapbook are several newspaper articles Emmie Bailey Whitney wrote about Katahdin, including one about the new slides following a storm in 1932.


11
Enjoying the view, Double Top, 1931

Enjoying the view, Double Top, 1931

Item 17543 info
Maine Historical Society

Following are several excerpts of a story Emmie Whitney wrote for the Lewiston Journal October 1, 1932 edition about a large storm.

"Greenville, Sept. 20 -- Monday, Sept. 12, we went in to Twin Pine Camps on Daicey Pond at the foot of Katahdin with the intention of climbing to the top of the mountain.

"Just a week from that day we came out, by dint of wading numerous streams and clambering over debris to the 'end of the road,' where the road in from Ripogenus Dam meets the nine-mile tote road over which hunters, fishermen and mountain-climbers are taken in to Twin Pine and Kidney Pond camps. Only on this morning, Sept. 19, nobody was taken in or out."


12
Walking in to Daicy Pond, 1931

Walking in to Daicy Pond, 1931

Item 12873 info
Maine Historical Society

"We did not reach the summit of Katahdin during our stay, but we saw the whole face of the Katahdin range, Katahdin proper excepted, change; we saw new ravines and waterfalls formed; new slides; the course of brooks diverted; acres of earth and gravel brought down from the sides of the mountain and spread out where the week before had been trees and grassy openings. We saw topography made before our very eyes.

"A great storm had passed over and left havoc in its wake."


13
Relaxing, Daicy Pond, ca. 1931

Relaxing, Daicy Pond, ca. 1931

Item 17542 info
Maine Historical Society

"Many times during the night [of the storm] we were awakened by the wind which blew a gale and roarings and rumblings which we took to be thunder, as it lightened a good part of the night.

"On our wooded point we were sheltered but some of the occupants of the higher camps arose and dressed, fearing their roofs would blow off at any moment.

"The whole camp turned out with glasses and cameras and established itself at various vantage points, on the boulders back of the camps and on the highest porches."


14
At a flooded Katahdin area, September 19,1932

At a flooded Katahdin area, September 19,1932

Item 12882 info
Maine Historical Society

"One got a new kind of thrill as the clouds parted and lifted to expose new slides on the mountain sides, until seven had been revealed. Old Katahdin alone had weathered the storm without a scratch.

"Kidney pond was completely cut off from the tote road and its canoes had gone out. The men made further exploration along the road, every rod revealing fresh disaster."


15
Twin Pine Camps, Daicy Pond, ca. 1931

Twin Pine Camps, Daicy Pond, ca. 1931

Item 17544 info
Maine Historical Society

"The Sourdnahunk had risen ten feet. It was no longer a stream. It was a roaring river.

"We were congratulating ourselves that we were seeing the river as the river drivers saw it in the days of their famous exploits, but the Yorks [operators of Twin Pine Camps] assured us that it had never been like that. That it had not been so swollen or so much fast water."


16
At the campsite, 1935

At the campsite, 1935

Item 12883 info
Maine Historical Society

"To get out to the 'end of the road,' where is York's garage and roadhouse, Sunday, was impossible.

"We determined to carry out our original purpose of climbing the Katahdin, and were the first persons to attempt the climb after the slide.

"But we did not get to the top."


17
John and Alice Dunn, Moosehead Lake region, 1904

John and Alice Dunn, Moosehead Lake region, 1904

Item 5879 info
Maine Historical Society

HUNTING, FISHING, AND PHOTOGRAPHY

John Warner Grigg Dunn (1869-1941) loved hunting, fishing, camping, and photography.

A native of Philadelphia, Dunn started going to the Ragged Lake area in about 1890, often traveling with his father, Charles Bullard Dunn, brothers, cousins, and friends. He usually spent about a month at a time in Maine.


18
John Dunn's Moosehead Lake 1889 diary

John Dunn's Moosehead Lake 1889 diary

Item 5657 info
Maine Historical Society

Regardless of how many sports went on the trips, the Dunns always engaged guides who set up the campsite, helped to move gear and supplies in and out of the camp, and cooked meals.


19
Map of Ragged Lake and Roach Pond, ca. 1893

Map of Ragged Lake and Roach Pond, ca. 1893

Item 17586 info
Maine Historical Society

Dunn, who suffered from fragile health as a young man, hoped his outdoor activities would improve his physical health.

But he loved the outdoors for other reasons -- the manly pursuits, gentility removed from the city to the woods, the beauty of the natural world.

These he chronicled in his photographs.


20
Teams at Grant Farm, 1894

Teams at Grant Farm, 1894

Item 17587 info
Maine Historical Society

Dunn was an accomplished amateur photographer.

He carried a large, cumbersome Graflex with a heavy wooden tripod along with his guns and fishing rods when he visited Maine.

His log books are sparse; his photographs are rich in detail.


21
Norway Point, Ragged Lake, ca. 1895

Norway Point, Ragged Lake, ca. 1895

Item 17548 info
Maine Historical Society

Every year, Dunn created an artistic and sentimentalized photo album from his woods trip.

He also kept accounts of his daily activities while in Maine, recording the weather, hunting and fishing locales, and a chart of the total numbers of fish, deer, and birds he and his companions saw, killed, or caught.


22
Table Rock and Kineo Mountain, 1888

Table Rock and Kineo Mountain, 1888

Item 1022 info
Maine Historical Society

In addition, John Dunn contributed articles to Shooting and Fishing magazine for several years.

In the late 1880s, the Dunn family moved to St. Paul, Minnesota. However, they continued yearly trips to Maine until at least 1904.

In the early 1900s, the family built a summer home in the Moosehead area, which they called Camp Margaret. After it was built, women accompanied the men on the yearly trips.


23
Logging Camp, Upper Falls of Socatean River,  1888

Logging Camp, Upper Falls of Socatean River, 1888

Item 1018 info
Maine Historical Society

Excerpts follow from John Dunn's diary, "Ragged Lake (and Roach Pond) 1894." "C.B.D." in the log is Charles Dunn, father of John.

"August and September, 1894
Chas. B. Dunn, }
E.H. Frishmuth Jr., } "Sports"
John W.G. Dunn }
Ben and Grouse [hunting dogs]

Henry & Fred Tremblay,}
Charlie Davis } Guides
and Walter Meservey " }"


24
Ragged Lake, 1887

Ragged Lake, 1887

Item 1019 info
Maine Historical Society

"Monday. Aug. 20.

"Wash day in morning. In P.M. went down to Old Camp Spring and got 3 small fish, coming back saw 2 deer.

"Tuesday. Aug. 21.
Went across lake & started in on wood road & took 2 hours to get to Bear Pond, saw 5 deer there, & 3 at head of lake before going in."


25
Ragged Lake, 1887

Ragged Lake, 1887

Item 1024 info
Maine Historical Society

"Wednesday. Aug. 29.

"In A.M. went with Henry down to Bear Brook & got mail. Got 2 fish in Ragged Stream. 1 lb.

"In P.M. went after sheldrakes & got one. Saw 3 deer. C.B.D. went up to head of lake & saw two deer & got one.

"Cloudy & cold."


26
Ragged Lake, 1887

Ragged Lake, 1887

Item 1029 info
Maine Historical Society

"Saturday. Sept. 1.

"In P.M. took walk to Blackberry Pond. Rest of party went to set bear trap.

"Sunday. Sept. 2.

"Left head of lake for Pine Pond at eleven and walked in & built boat, had it finished at 2:30. Went up pond to old camp & got boards for seats."


27
Camp Slapjack, Roach Pond, 1887

Camp Slapjack, Roach Pond, 1887

Item 1032 info
Maine Historical Society

"Tuesday. Sept. 4.

"Fished at head of pond got one fish, then in middle among lily pads got 4 nice ones. Put back 4, & had 2 for lunch.

"Afterwards got 3 large ones & put back 2. Killed 8 fish wt. = 10 1/2 lbs.

"C.B.D. went about lake all day & saw 3 deer.

"Clear and warm. Very smoky."


28
Fishing catch from Ragged Lake, ca. 1887

Fishing catch from Ragged Lake, ca. 1887

Item 1016 info
Maine Historical Society

"Friday. Sept. 7.

"In morning took photos. about Island & up to narrows. Fished in spring & saw one big fish. Took short walk up road by spring.

"In P.M. paddled up to Bear Pond road & walked up 1 1/2 miles, put up a cock grouse & got it. On lake saw one deer. Fished below Island off Sandy Pt. but got nothing.

"Cloudy in early A.M. Cleared off cool at 10. Clear all rest of day."


29
Guides fixing dinner, Roach Pond, 1894

Guides fixing dinner, Roach Pond, 1894

Item 17588 info
Maine Historical Society

"Friday. Sept. 21.

"In morning staid about camp all day packing & at 2 left camp for Grant Place. Before supper went down to Dam & back put up one grouse & got it. Spent night at Grant Farm.

"Saturday. Sept. 22.

"Left Grant Farm at 9 a.m. with 3 teams & a saddle horse. Between there & Lazy Tom road put up 20 grouse, got 14, missed 2. Mr. F. also got 2. Made the trip to Roach River in 4 1/2 hours."


30
Fish net, ca 1942

Fish net, ca 1942

Item 17589 info
L.L.Bean Corporate Archives

"Tuesday. Sept. 25.

"In morning all fished in Roach River. Mr. F. got one = 3 1/4 lb. About 12 o'clock went up meadow to get birch bark & put up 2 grouse & got both.

"Left for Lily Bay after dinner."



31
Fishing creel, ca. 1940s

Fishing creel, ca. 1940s

Item 17592 info
L.L.Bean Corporate Archives

"Wednesday. Sept. 26th

"Left house at 8 A.M. & walked on road to Greenville until 10.15 Put up 2 white rabbits & got both, 3 deer, missed one. and 4 grouse & got 2 (cock spruce), saw a flock of ducks.

"Coming back put up 2 more grouse & had 2 shots, got one.

"Home at 12.

"Clear & Cool all day. 38 at 7 A.M."

Friday. Sept. 27th left for home.


32
Fishing lure, ca. 1950

Fishing lure, ca. 1950

Item 17593 info
L.L.Bean Corporate Archives

"Game record.
Derr Seen.

C. B. Dunn. = 60 4
E.H. Frishmuth Jr. = 9 (176)
J.W.G. Dunn = 95 1
Guides = 12 1"


33
Shimmer fly, ca. 1950

Shimmer fly, ca. 1950

Item 17594 info
L.L.Bean Corporate Archives

"Grouse killed

C. B. Dunn. = 4
E.H. Frishmuth = 2
J.W.G. Dunn = 59 (2 spruce)
2 ducks & 2 great northern hares. (71)
Guides = 6"


34
Fishing lure, ca. 1960

Fishing lure, ca. 1960

Item 17595 info
L.L.Bean Corporate Archives

"Trout.

C. B. Dunn = 75 trout. Largest = 2 1/2.
also 2 lakers.


E.H,. Frishmuth Jr. = 39 trout
3 lakers. Largest brook trout = 3 1/4 lbs."


35
Fishing lure, ca. 1960

Fishing lure, ca. 1960

Item 17596 info
L.L.Bean Corporate Archives

"J.W.G. Dunn = 62 trout largest
= 4 1/4 lbs.

(176)"


36
Attacked by Midges, 1882

Attacked by Midges, 1882

Item 17599 info
Maine Historical Society

BUZZING, BITING INSECTS

Ceratopogonidae. Simuliidae. Culicidae.

Visitors to the Maine woods, as well as those who worked and lived in the woods, never failed to mention their encounters with biting insects.


37
T & K Sportsman's Friend, ca. 1900

T & K Sportsman's Friend, ca. 1900

Item 17598 info
Maine State Museum

Ceratopogonidae (no-see-ums or midges) are, as their nickname suggests, barely visible, but can drive a tough woods visitor nearly crazy. They are especially common along the shores of rivers and lakes.

Simuliidae (black flies), also very small, have been renowned for many years for their viciousness. They like running water as a habitat.

Culicidae (mosquitoes), and their buzzing sound, are well known to anyone who steps outside at certain times of the day and year. While there are some 2,000 species of mosquitoes, only 40 of them inhabit Maine, and not all of those bite humans.


38
Zippo for the Mosquito, ca. 1900

Zippo for the Mosquito, ca. 1900

Item 17597 info
Maine State Museum

Sports tried various remedies, including commercial chemical bug dope, citronella - an oil derived from dried grasses, wet handkerchiefs on the face and head, a potion made of tree sap, smoke from campfires - and many other remedies.

But as most accounts of woods trips suggest, the solutions were only marginally effective.


39
Donald D. Dodge, Perry, 1935

Donald D. Dodge, Perry, 1935

Item 17545 info
Maine Historical Society

REMEMBERING THE MAINE WOODS

Maine woods memories are not limited to the trips featured in "Umbazooksus and Beyond: The Maine Woods Remembered."

Other equally compelling remembrances are tucked away in drawers and attics in private homes, in published accounts, and in other non-public locations.


40
Boots, ca. 1925

Boots, ca. 1925

Item 17591 info
Maine Historical Society

The hikes, climbs, paddles, and hunting and fishing expeditions live in the lore of many families and help to mold ideas about Maine wilderness, the adventures it offers, and the challenges it presents to visitors.

That lore then translates into more visitors -- and the creation of new stories and new ways of looking at the wilderness and of defining Maine.


41
Camp Marguerite, 1910

Camp Marguerite, 1910

Item 17600 info
Maine Historical Society

The care with which many scrapbooks and accounts, serious and humorous, along with other types of remembrances have been created is testimony to the importance of the Maine woods in many people's lives and the importance of the woods to the way people think about the State of Maine.


42
Lumbermen, Blanchard, ca. 1915

Lumbermen, Blanchard, ca. 1915

Item 17538 info
Maine Historical Society

LOGGING AND TOURISM

The relationship between the economics of logging and the economics of recreation has not always been a comfortable one.

The woods provide an important part of Maine's economy - for timber harvesting and tourism. The dual, and often conflicting, value of the woods has been in evidence since Maine became a state in 1820. It was about the same time that hunters, fishermen, and hikers began exploring Maine's wilderness regions.

The romance of the wilderness remains as an image of Maine. The strains and tensions underlying that romance are many.



This slideshow contains 42 items