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An assembled series of accessions created in May 2002 to bring together interviews that focus on lumbering, woods work, and river drives that are not associated with specific projects. Many were previously assigned to the Maine/Maritime Folklore Collection, the General Collection, or those of individual interviewees or collectors.

NA0545 Charles W. Joy, Martha Davis, Maude Goggins, Frieda Hillgrove, Edward Murphy, and William Silsby, interviewed by Joy, fall 1969, Ellsworth and Veazie, Maine. Joy, Davis, Goggins, Hillgrove, Murphy, Silsby talks about “key figures”: Roderick MacDonald, Joe Tosh, Dan Donovan, and Freeman Archer; shipping in Ellsworth; picnic as a child; origins of Cork Hill in Ellsworth; rivalry between Bar Harbor and Ellsworth; salmon in Union River; Larry Gorman; mills, wages; Protestant and Catholics; dining at lumber camps; poplar trees not used to build lumber camps because Christ was crucified on a poplar cross; Edgar “Dingbat” Prouty; Prouty family tree.

NA0552 Mrs. James Shea, interviewed by David Currier, March 14, 1970, Bangor, Maine. Shea talks about going to her father’s lumber camp in Oxbow, Maine, as a little girl; riding in a pung to the camp; the wangan; ghost stories told by men in the camp; buying and selling spruce gum; the cook and cookee in the camp; lumbercamp songs; meeting up with her father’s river drive; superstitions; strange phenomena; and the poem or song, “The Preacher and the Bear.”

NA0561 Grover Cleveland Field, Clyde Willard, Lester Cole, and Raymond Olmstead, interviewed by Dorothy Bodwell, spring 1970. The accession is a paper dealing with anecdotes about Maine lumber camps. Field discusses working with his dad near Caribou, Maine; women in lumber camps; his first woods job in 1912; and snub warps. Willard, talks about a day in the life of a lumberman; sleeping conditions; the American Thread camp; scalers; Clarence Arno, a man who died on the job; Polish saunas; mealtimes. Cole discusses being a river driver in the early 1900s; accidents; song lyrics for “Jam on Gerry’s Rock” and “Peter Amberly”; lice infestations. Olmsted talks about his father, Wendell Olmsted (b.1877), stories Wendell told about lumber camps; widow makers; Native Americans who worked in the camps; use of dynamite. Also included: photocopy of measurements of the Upper St. John Log Driving Co.’s limits from mouth of Allagash to listed place.

NA0568 Harry Harold Dyer, interviewed by Jeanne Milton, April 1, 1970, Caribou, Maine. Dyer, retired lumberman, his life as recorded and written by his granddaughter, discusses woods work in the early twentieth century; working for the Fraser Lumber Company; description of a lumber camp; walking to work; progression of the cutting; ice carts to ice roads; his responsibilities at age 14; hauling yards; labor-saving techniques; making a gum book; salt pork for lunch; sings “Johnny Doyle” and “The Bloody Waterloo;” and plays harmonica and trots the feet, “Devil’s Dream,” “Money Musk,” “Casey Jones,” and “Yankee Doodle.”

NA0571 Volney Roberts and Lee Roberts, interviewed by Linda Hubbard, March 31-April 14, 1970, Greenville, Maine.

V. Roberts discusses lumbering in the Moosehead Lake area in the early 1900s; how he got involved in lumbering in 1904; driving a six-oxen team; various jobs he had in the early 1900s; lumber camp food; a day’s schedule at a lumber camp in Soldier Town; camp furnishings; entertainment in the form of singing and pranks; getting to the site in Soldier Town and the path the logs took down river; purchasing food in bulk; his grandmother’s traditional medicines; process of moving felled trees; tools used in the woods; eating lunch in the woods; estimating how much timber a lot would produce; bringing supplies into camp in the winter; caulk shoes for river driving; his case of blood poisoning and the long trip to visit a doctor; a log-hauling tractor c. 1920; making roads with a tractor; Cooper Brook trestle; comparative hygiene of Polish and Frenchmen; and the mechanization of logging with steam haulers and telephones to coordinate.

L. Roberts discusses logging on Prong Pond Mountain beginning in 1935; use of par-buckles; setup of the camp; ethnic variety of workers; advantages of not shaving; lumber camp food; driving the tote-wagon; sleeping arrangements in the camp; lice and measures to avoid them; observations on Polish dealings with lice; responsibilities of a sled-tender; skidded yards versus piled logs; a fatal accident with a skidded yard; use of a snub-warp on steep roads; ram-downs and an accident on one; a day’s schedule; taking care of his horses; blacksmith work; pay; pranks; swinging a yard; icing roads; kinds of sleds – swing-dingles, tote-sleds, and woods pungs; britchen harnesses and belly-lifters for his horses; never touching another man’s equipment; troublemakers visiting camp; his horses falling through the ice; salted codfish; the old logging method as conserving and not wasteful; the new method of logging as wasteful and destructive; and his concern for the future of northern Maine.

NA0575 Asa Flagg, interviewed by Rhoda Mitchell, October & November 1970, Carthage, Maine. Accession includes a cassette tape with the three interviews, a paper describing the fieldwork, and transcripts of the interviews. Flagg, a retired woodsman (b. 1898), talks about lumber camps; Sunday pastimes; cooks and cookees; getting hired; oxen and horses; singing and music; log jams; sorting; yarding; skidding; sluicing; meals; ax handles; Christmas; card playing and other entertainment; weather and frostbite; outhouses; the dingle; getting paid; camp facilities; hunting; nicknames; fighting; transportation; tools; the wangan; teams and teamsters; sleds and harnesses; swampers; marking logs; scalers and scaling; blacksmiths; scraping roads; conditions; fiddling; dancing; and sings “Guy Reed,” “Floyd Collins” and “Lumberman’s Alphabet.”

NA0577 Carroll C. Noyes, interviewed by Lynn MacFarland, October and November, 1970, Dixfield, Maine. Noyes, a retired woodsman (b. 1890), talks about cooks and cookees; food; clothing; lumber camps; parbuckling; sorting logs with a sorting gap; gum books; wages; skidding; river camps; river driving; games; booms; road monkeys; sleds; the wangan; log marks; horses; and other topics. Also included are recipes for gingerbread and carrot cake, photos of the “True Corliss” engine in Stratton, words to a song “Charming Sally Anne,” a drawing and diagram of a lumber camp, a clipping about Mr. and Mrs. Noyes, and words and music notation for an untitled song about “the dirty old cook and the lousy cookee....”

NA0578 Dan Murray, interviewed by Susan McVetty, spring 1970. Murray, an old woodsman, talks about folk hero anecdotes; Dan’s life style; old woodsmen’s operations.

NA0579 Ernest Kennedy, interviewed by Lillian Shirley, fall 1970, Argyle, Maine. Kennedy, a retired woodsman, talks about his life.

NA0580 Arnold Hall, interviewed by William Bonsall, October-December of 1970, Bangor, Maine. Hall, a retired lumberman, talks about his life; work as a lumberman; the camp social life; the Depression. RESTRICTED.

NA0581 Harry Dyer, interviewed by Jeanne Milton, October and November 1970, Caribou, Maine. Dyer, a retired lumberman, talks about his life.

NA0593 Clyde Dickinson, mailed to Jeanne Milton, March 1971, Woodstock, New Brunswick. Paper titled: "Life in a Lumbercamp, 1880-1881," and was sent to Milton by Dickinson in response to a request for information about lumbercamp life.

NA0621 John Sharpe, interviewed by Lillian Shirley, fall 1970, Old Town, Maine. Sharpe, a retired woodsman, talks about setting up camp; icing roads; meals; recreation; home remedies; river driving; wood carving; ghost stories.

NA0626 Roland Snowman and Russell Nutting, interviewed by Lynn MacFarland, spring of 1971, Weld and Farmington, Maine. Accession consists of two interviews with Snowman and one interview with Nutting. Snowman, a retired river driver, talks about his life. Nutting, a retired teamster, talks about his life.

NA0639 Paul Gauvin, summer, 1971, Greenville, Maine. Paper deals with stories about boarding houses around Moosehead and the woodsmen who lived in them.

NA0697 Andrew Chase, interviewed by Linda Edgerly, October and December 1971, Orono, Maine. Interviews with Andrew Chase about his life as a woodsman.

NA0698 Frank Carey, interviewed by Rita Swidrowski, fall 1971, Milford, Maine. Carey, 85, talks about his experiences as a woodsman.

NA0702 Frederick Burke, interviewed by Norma Coates, fall 1971, Bangor, Maine. Burke talks about his experiences as a woodsman.

NA0704 Harold Tague and Kenneth Packard, interviewed by Jill Allen, fall 1971, Stratton and Carrabassett, Maine. Tague, 85, and Packard, 60, talk about their experiences as woodsmen.

NA0706 Harold Stuart, interviewed by Florence Ireland July 15, 1972, Machias, Maine. Stuart talks about working in the woods around 1900-1910 in the Ellsworth and Machias area.

NA0707 William Hudson, interviewed by Florence Ireland, July 15, 1972, Machias, Maine. Hudson talks about the lumber industry in Maine during the early twentieth century; organization of labor, housing and regulations/restrictions of laborers; who (race, nationality, gender, etc.) was employed in the industry; and personal experiences of Hudson while employed in Maine.

NA0716 Alfred Bernard, Sr., interviewed by Jayne Lello, Howland, Maine. Series of interviews with Bernard, Sr. about woodswork.

NA0717 Bean, Wayne, Fall 1972. Maine: Topsfield. Series of interviews with Ralph Thornton, 87, about local history of Topsfield, woods work and river work, songs, stories; brief biographical sketch of Thornton. See NF XIV: Me and Fannie : the oral autobiography of Ralph Thornton of Topsfield, Me. / edited by Wayne Reuel Bean.

NA0718 Emile Leavitt, interviewed by Sarah Burbank, fall and winter 1972, Old Town, Maine. Series of interviews with Leavitt, 80, about his work in the woods.

NA0719 Victor Bushey, interviewed by Sue Dauphinee, October to December 1972, Bangor, Maine. Series of interviews with Bushey about work in the woods.

NA0720 Benjamin Cole, interviewed by Larry Gallant, October and November 1972, Glenburn, Maine. Series of interviews with Cole about work in the woods.

NA0721 John Colbath, interviewed by Beth Hartman, winter 1972, Bangor, Maine. Series of interviews with Colbath about work in the woods.

NA0722 Guy Kershner, interviewed by Scott MacDonald, fall 1972, Farmington, Maine. Series of interviews with Kershner about work in the woods.

NA0723 William Briggs, interviewed by Lynn Ohlhorst, October 19 and 28, 1972, Howland, Maine. Series of interviews with Briggs, 79, about his work in the woods.

NA0724 Dan McCrae and Ed Oliver, interviewed by John Peck, October and November 1972, Bangor, Maine. Oliver and McCrae talk about work in the woods.

NA0738 Grover Swett, interviewed by Florence Ireland, August 21, 1970, Bangor, Maine. Swett talks about the early Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and woods work in Maine.

NA0791 Walter Scott, interviewed by Ralph Cook, November 5, 1973, Winn, Maine. Scott talks about the North Lincoln sorting gap.

NA0797 Lester Twist, interviewed by Ralph Cook, December 7, 1973, Medway, Maine. Twist talks about log driving around 1903. Also included: personal correspondence.

NA0800 Leo Poirier, interviewed by Bobbie Violette, February 20 and 23, 1974, Madawaska, Maine. Poirier talks about about family; life history; scaling in the woods. Recording in French.

NA0801 Willard Jalbert, interviewed by Peggy Madore, February 19 and 21, 1974, Van Buren, Maine. Jalbert talks about lumbering in the early 20th century; biography. Recording in French.

NA0803 Maxine Michaud, interviewed by Maxine Michaud (Maxine Michaud interviews his grandfather by the same name), St. Agatha, Maine. Michaud talks about his life as a lumberman. Also included: personal correspondence.

NA0837 Armand Dumond, interviewed by Peggy Madore, September 2, 1974, Van Buren, Maine. Dumond, a lumberman, talks about woods work. Recorded in French.

NA0838 Leon St. Jean, interviewed by Bobbie Violette, September 1, 1974, Van Buren, Maine. St. Jean talks about his experiences as a lumberman. Recorded in French.

NA1077 George Bagley, interviewed by Ronald Bean, July 15, 21, and 22, 1976, at the home of Earl Grass.

July 15, 1976 Bagley talks about jobs he held when he was young; his first job working in the woods; learning how to drive horses; the horses he owned throughout his life; where horses could be sold when they became too old; where horses were purchased; horse medicine; and hauling logs as a teamster.

July 21, 1976 Bagley talks about local ghost stories; Oat Taylor, owner of the general store; bootleggers; hunting; transportation before the advent of automobiles; Sam Rubin, the local peddler; music and dances of his era; his family; what school was like when

July 22, 1976 Bagley talks about Amos Noyes and his singing ability; Noyes’ friend, Matt Noble; and going to the motion picture theaters.

NA1083 Thomas Hurd, interviewed by Bessie Dam, April 27, 1975, Burlington, Maine. Hurd talks about getting hired to do woods work by Rufe Page; having to walk to his first job; lugging huge lunches out into the woods for the men on the job; how lunch was served; the only woman in the camp; how often he was paid at those early jobs; the wangan; smoking tobacco; becoming a foreman subcontractor; having to fire workers for not cutting enough; what kind of men he looked for in hiring; tools Hurd used for woodcutting; river-driving; pick-poles; cant-dogs; yarding; using dynamite to break up log jams; and sleeping arrangements on the river-drive.

NA1102 Vernon Annis, interviewed by Marilyn Maffucci, fall 1976, Lucerne, Maine. Annis talks about lumber camp life in a camp near Princeton, Maine: 1921-1924.

NA1104 Walter Scott, interviewed by Christine Gordon, August 12, 1976, at Scott’s home in Winn, Maine. Scott, age 84, talks about river driving on the Mattawamkeag and Penobscot Rivers beginning around 1908; booming operations; anecdotes of woods work and lumber camp life; reference to gum books; “rips” (rough water and rocks) called the “Slewgundy Heaters;” Skaterrack Boom; Molunkus Brook; “sleepers” (sunken cedar logs used for railroad ties?); a suicide; river driver grave sites; the Rice Farm; French singers; Russell Stream; riding logs; Fay and Ascha Gordon (stole a violin from a burned schoolhouse); Penobscot County boundary dispute; Sunken Bridge; camp dogs; camp food; wages; Indian stories; Indian burials of disease (Diphtheria) victims; bean hole beans; a woman camp cook, etc.

NA1108 McKenna, Peter. April 1975. Maine: Weld. Interview with Thomas Skolfield about working on the log drives on the Swift River and Webb River at the turn of the century.

NA1110 By John Lynn, 1976. Accession includes a copy of an article by Lynn, "Reconstructing a Maine Lumbercamp of 1900: The Diorama as a Historical Medium," Forest History, 20 (October, 1976), 191-202; slides of lumbercamp diorama he constructed.

NA1177 Brooks, Joan. Spring 1978. Maine: Aurora / Amherst. Comments on woods operation run by John D. Faulkner, lunch conversation with crew, work sounds.

NA1384 Richard, Stephen. Summer 1980. Maine: Rangeley. Series of interviews with Erroll "John" Haley about early logging; booming logs on Rangeley Lake; working for Brown Co.; recollections of the Kempton Lumber Co.; camp life; cooking and foodways.

NA1387 Richard, Stephen. Summer 1980. Maine: Phillips. Interview with William Richard about his work in the woods; early years in Canada; Henry Meilleux stories.

NA1388 Richard, Stephen. Summer 1980. Maine: Rangeley. Interview with Rodney Richard, Sr. about his work in the woods and logging from 1940’s to the present.

NA1971 Trefethen, Christina. Spring 1987. Maine: Chester. Interview with Tina and Ivan Daigle regarding Tina's daily living experiences while her husband worked in the woods during the winter, and what it was like for women living in woods camps that consisted primarily of men. Includes several photocopied photographs.

NA1972 Trefethen, Christina. Spring 1987. Maine: Chester. Interview with Gladys Morrison reguarding her experiences as a wife and mother, married to a woods working man. Also, she describes what it was like being a woman living in woods camps.

NA1987 Coleman, Joseph. Spring 1987. Maine: Augusta. Paper based on an interview with Louis Coleman about his life as a logger, hunter and all around woodsman.

NA2141 Sarna, Red. Fall 1979. Maine: Augusta. Morris Wings talks in 1979 before the American Pulpwood Association staff meeting in which he talks about working on drives as a clerk for the Augusta Lumber Company, typical camp life, recreation, first use of chain saws to cut wood for the A.L.C., etc.

NA2142 Svedberg, Roger W. Fall 1989. A model of a river pier made by Arthur A. York of Howland, who had been employed as a river driver.

NA2195 Chaney, Michael. Summer 1990. Maine: Old Orchard Beach. Interview with Alan Coker about his work as a manager for the Biddeford Diamond Match Company lumber yard and retail store, beginning the mid-1950’s. See NA 2194.

NA2225 Black, Joseph. Spring 1988. Nova Scotia: Victoria County. Paper entitled, “Pulpwood Operations at Murray, Victoria County, Cape Breton” which documents the history of the North River Lumber Company at Murray.

Publication Date



Lumbering, Loggers, Lumber camps, Log Driving, Draft horses


Folklore | Oral History

Size of Collection

54 items

Dates of Collection


Manuscript Number


MF012 Lumberman's Life Series