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The Argyle Boom was one of several locations at which logs that were cut upriver and floated or “driven” down the Penobscot River were sorted before being sent on to the lumber mills in Old Town, Orono, Veazie, Bangor, and Brewer, Maine, from approximately 1900 to 1930. See also: Argyle Boom , Northeast Folklore, XVII (1976) and SpC MS 0398 Penobscot Lumbering Association, 1854-1953.
NA0780 Leon Bussell, interviewed by Ralph Cook, October and November 1973; by Susan Tibbetts, October and November of 1975, at UM Lambda Chi Alpha house, Orono, Maine. Bussell talks about log-sorting booms on the Penobscot River, especially Argyle Boom; hanging and taking in the booms; his own work along the shore; making rafts of the logs; kinds of rafts; dropping off; equipment and clothing; Captain Kidd’s buried treasure; steamboats and their use in river drives; rescues and drownings; work of boom scalers; Pea Cove and other booms; and boom-related buildings on White Squaw Island.
NA0781 Alfonse Martin and David Seymour, interviewed by Mary Beth O’Conner, October 1 and 8 and November 7, 1973, Old Town, Maine. Martin and Seymour talk about log-sorting booms on the Penobscot River, especially Argyle Boom; river drives; Penobscot Lumber Association (PLA); logging company marks used for sorting logs at the boom; construction and operation of boom; various jobs related to sorting and rafting the logs; tool and equipment used; living conditions for workers; other booms such as Mexico, Pea Cove, and Nebraska.
NA0782 Victor Shorette, interviewed by Leslie “Dusty” Carr, October 2, 1973, Bradley, Maine. Shorette talks about log-sorting booms on the Penobscot River; logging companies; sorting long logs from pulp and spruce from hemlock and poplar, etc.; hanging and taking in booms.
NA0783 Felix Cote, interviewed by Mark LaFond, October 6, 1973. Cote talks about log-sorting booms on the Penobscot Rive; the Pea Cove and Argyle booms; marks logging companies put on their logs; prize or unmarked logs; the sorting operation; rafting logs; working conditions; Penobscot Lumber Association (PLA); living conditions and recreation; origins of boom names.
NA0784 David S. Brown, interviewed by Kenneth Whitney, October, 1973; by Susan Tibbetts, November, 1975, Tenant’s Harbor, Maine. Brown talks about the Pea Cove log-sorting boom on the Penobscot River; his work on the boom in the summers of 1902-04 when he was 12 to 14 years old; the jobs of rafters, sorters, and runners; use of wedges to build rafts; meals; bosses; his marriage and work at Mt. Kineo; breaking up jams; daily pay; construction of boom and crib-work piers; buildings at Pea Cove; guiding; moose hunting; WWI enlistment and service.
NA0786 Ernest Kennedy, interviewed by Ken Whitney, October and November, 1973; by Susan Tibbetts, November, 1975; by Elizabeth Warner and Cindy Lamb, October, 1975. Kennedy talks about the Argyle log-sorting boom on the Penobscot Rive; jobs such as checkers, runners; tools such as hookaroons, jiggers; method of tying joints to buoy; marks and prize (unmarked)logs; spring floods and jams; bosses Isaac Mann, Alonzo Mann, Wallace Drake, Walter Buzzell, Stephen Buzzell, and others; PLA; function of sorting gap, beats, joints, check line, swings, shear boom, buoys, dropping off; steamboats such as Toscah; cooks, cookees, and chambermaids; meals; description of kitchen and cooking methods; White Island boom house; pay; sleeping quarters; Indian and Irish workers; leisure activities such as gambling, music, dances, log rolling contests.
NA0787 J. Kenneth LaFlamme, interviewed by Ralph Cook, October 10, 1973, Hancock, Maine. LaFlamme talks about the Argyle log-sorting boom on the Penobscot River; his work at age 12 and 13 on the boom rafting logs; PLA; bosses; pay; lice and wet clothes; cook house and bunk house; music. Accession also includes correspondence and handwritten notes from LaFlamme.
NA0788 Emile Leavitt, interviewed by Mark LaFond, October 25, 1973, Old Town, Maine. Leavitt talks about the Argyle log-sorting boom on the Penobscot River; construction of boom piers; checking, rafting, dropping off and other aspects of boom operation; use of wedges in assembling rafts; use of pickeroon; swings; the back way drive; meals and living conditions; Pea Cove and Nebraska booms; his work building dams for Great Northern Paper Co.
NA0789 Stephen R. “Rex” Buzzell, interviewed by Edward D. “Sandy” Ives, October 23, 1973, Old Town, Maine. Buzzell talks about the Argyle log-sorting boom on the Penobscot River; the spring flood and resulting log jam of 1923; construction of jam piers; Sunkhaze, Nebraska and Pea Cove booms; use of shear boom; buildings on White Squaw Island; living conditions and recreation; structure and operation of boom, gap, beats, jigger, marks, swings, stray raft, dropping off; tools.
NA0790 Harry Twitchell, interviewed by Leslie “Dusty” Carr, October 26, 29, November 27, 1973; by Lucinda Lamb and Elizabeth Warner, November 14, 1975, Greenbush, Maine. Twitchell talks about the Argyle log-sorting boom on the Penobscot River; tools and techniques for rafting, checking, and sorting logs; dropping off; swings; Sunkhaze Rips; Pea Cove; Nebraska boom; Cow Island; White Squaw Island; Birch Island; building piers; hanging the boom; the boom house, meals and living conditions; bosses Gene Mann, Billy Mann, and Walter Drake; pickeroons, hookeroons; rear crew’s duties; jams.
NA0792 Leon Bussell, Emile Leavitt, Ernest Kennedy, Stephen “Rex” Buzzell, interviewed by class, November 8, 1973, November 15, 1973, November 20, 1973, and November 27, 1973 (respectively) Room B South Stevens Hall, UMaine, Orono, Maine. During the interviews, there was a model of Argyle Boom on the table, tools of the trade, maps, aerial photographs, and a number of Archives photographs available for the respondents to comment on. Bussell, Leavitt, Kennedy, and Buzzell talk about the Argyle log-sorting boom on the Penobscot River; the construction and operation of piers, gaps, and headworks; tools and techniques for sorting, rafting, and dropping off logs; wedges and mallets; stray pen; prize logs; beats; joints; swings; jigger and trapeze line; endways rafts; backway drive; jail boom; jobbers marks; living conditions and meals; Pea Cove, Nebraska, and Cuba booms; Black Island; Freese Island; Foster Island; Sunkhaze; Old Town; Gene Mann and Billy Mann.
NA0793 Harry Kennedy, interviewed by Mark LaFond, November 12, 1973, Pea Cove, Maine. Kennedy talks about the Argyle log-sorting boom on the Penobscot River; rafting and dropping off logs; stray rafts; jillpoking; checking; Pea Cove and Nebraska booms; Gene Mann and Billy Mann; Walter Buzzell; Irish workers; Greenville; endway rafts; the trip.
NA0796 Alex Rouleau, interviewed by Mary Beth O’Conner, November 30, 1973, Old Town, Maine. Rouleau talks about the Argyle log-sorting boom on the Penobscot River; living conditions; leisure activities (gathering spruce gum, fishing, swimming, games); meals; stray logs; wages; Nebraska and Pea Cove booms; log jams; tools; rigging; beats; jobber’s marks; Rex Buzzell; Walter Buzzell; Gene Mann; Billy Mann.
NA0804 Wallace “Del” Soule, interviewed by Mark LaFond, March 8, 1974, April 17, 1974; by Lucinda Lamb, October 25, 1975, Costigan, Maine. Soule talks about the Argyle log-sorting boom on the Penobscot River; the use of steam boats and bateaus in moving the rafts and swings that had been made up at the boom to the logging company’s designated stretch of shore or mill.
NA0836 John Costigan, interviewed by Mark LaFond, April 22, 1974, Costigan, Maine. Costigan talks about the techniques of shoring logs after they had been sorted at the booms on the Penobscot Rive; the use of steam boats and bateaux to haul the rafts of logs to the appropriate spot on the shore; diagrams.
NA1001 William McLaughlin, interviewed by Elizabeth “Betsy” Warner, November 22, 1975, Old Town, Maine. McLaughlin talks about the Argyle log-sorting boom on the Penobscot River; dropping off and running crews; marks; sorting logs; rafting logs; Nebraska and Pea Cove booms; White Island; friends Darky Willet, Harvy Cutliff, Dave Seymore, Cody Martin, Harry Cutliff; living conditions and meals; construction of piers; use of steam boats; mills.
NA1002 Nick Ranco, interviewed by Lucinda Lamb, November 21, 1975 for a class project. The interview focuses on the Argyle log-sorting boom on the Penobscot River. Topics covered include construction and operation of the booms; French, Bangor and Indian crews worked different sections; living conditions; meals; jams; rafts; salvaging rafting poles and rope to sell; leisure activities.
NA1014 Emile Leavitt, interviewed by Mark LaFond, March 27, 1974, Old Town, Maine. Leavitt talks about log sorting booms on the Penobscot River. Topics covered include shoring, mill drives, scaling, and the boom in general.
Lumbering, Lumber camps, Log driving, Loggers, Lumber trade
Folklore | Oral History
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Dates of Collection
Special Collections, Raymond H. Fogler Library, University of Maine, "MF003 Argyle Boom Collection" (2020). Northeast Archives of Folklore and Oral History Finding Aids. Number 2.