Document Type



Bill Geller


Mountain Explorations Publishing Company

Rights and Access Note

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission from the author/copyright holder, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

Publication Date


Publisher location

Farmington, Maine

Abstract/ Summary

This Maine history book is the only one dedicated to logging and recreational activity in the river drainages of the Main, South and North branches of the West Branch of the Penobscot River; an area covering 32 townships of some of northwest Maine’s remotest timberlands. Geographically the area is literally west of Chesuncook and north of Moosehead lakes; it does not include the logging history on either lake.

The first chapter provides a context for the subsequent chapters: the area’s early history, routes to the area, and a summary of the evolution of the West Branch drive.

Chapter two includes the townships from the mouth of the Main Branch at Chesuncook Lake west to the Fork, the junction of the South and North Branches. The content is organized under the following headers: place names, survey records, land owner transactions, entry points, farms, dams and river improvements, rail lines, log driving and lumbering operations.

The third chapter focuses on the supply routes to and within the North and South branches: road network evolution, shanties and farms, storehouses, and an integration of toting, hauling, and driving.

Chapters four, the South Branch, and five, the North Branch, reflect a topical organization similar to chapter two plus an integrated chronology of cutting, river improvements, dam building, and driving. Chapter 5 also has the St. John operations: 1934-1955.

Chapter six includes sugar camps, sporting camps (private and commercial), and other abodes (game wardens, fire wardens, and others).

The emphasis in the sources of information section is on the location of the resources cited.


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In Copyright