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Collections - MF 003 Argyle Boom Collection

MF 003 Argyle Boom Collection

Number of Accessions: 31
Dates when interviews were conducted: 1973, 1975
Time period covered: 1900-1930
Principal interviewers: Susan Tibbetts, Ralph Cook, Mary Beth O’Connor, Dusty Carr, Mark LaFond, Kenneth Whitney, Edward D. “Sandy” Ives, Lucinda Lamb, Elizabeth Warner, Jack Beard, Ann Pierter, Bessie Dam
Finding Aides: brief indexes and full transcripts
Access Restrictions: none
Description: The Argyle Boom Collection consists of approximately seventy-five hours of tape-recorded interviews in twenty-nine accessions, most of which reflect interviews conducted by students in classes taught by Edward D. “Sandy” Ives at the University of Maine in 1973 and 1975. Argyle Boom was one of several locations at which logs that had been 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. These interviews, along with associated photographs, maps, and diagrams, were the basis for Argyle Boom , Northeast Folklore, XVII (1976). Under Ives’ direction, the students consulted existing manuscript sources, sought out potential informants who had worked on the boom, conducted interviews, and wrote essays on various aspects of boom construction and operation and the daily lives of the workers. Ives then edited and rewrote these essays for publication. For more information see Argyle Boom.

 

0780 Leon Bussell, interviewed by Ralph Cook for FO 107, October and November 1973; by Susan Tibbetts for AY 125, October and November of 1975, 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. Text: 171 pp. transcript with brief catalog. Recording: T 0655 – T 0661 / CD 0166 – CD 0171 4 hours. Photos: P 0416 – P 0419, P 0425, P 0461, P 0490, P 0495, P 0508 – P 0510, P 0524, P 0566.

0781 Alfonse Martin and David Seymour, interviewed by Mary Beth O’Conner for FO 107, 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. Also included: diagram of boom; notes on boat trip to location of Argyle Boom. Text: 198 pp. transcript with brief tape catalog. Recording: T 0662 – T 0665 / CD 0172 – CD 0175 3 hours. Photograph: P 0425.

0782 Victor Shorette, interviewed by Leslie “Dusty” Carr for FO 107, 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. Text: 25 pp. transcript with brief catalog. Recording: T 0666 / CD 0176 1 hour. Photograph: P 0425.

0783 Felix Cote, interviewed by Mark LaFond for FO 107, 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. Also included: two diagrams. Text: 29 pp. transcript with brief catalog. Recording: T 0667 / CD 0177 1 hour. Photos: P 0425, P 0619.

0784 David S. Brown, interviewed by Kenneth Whitney for FO 107 , October, 1973; by Susan Tibbetts for AY 125, 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. Also included: 1 map; 1 sketch. Text: 69 pp. transcript and brief catalog. Recording: T 0668 – T 0670 / CD 0178 – CD 0180 3 hours. Photos: P 0425.

0786 Ernest Kennedy, interviewed by Ken Whitney for FO 107, October and November, 1973; by Susan Tibbetts for AY 125, November, 1975; by Elizabeth Warner and Cindy Lamb for AY 125, 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 Squaw Island boom house; pay; sleeping quarters; Indian and Irish workers; leisure activities such as gambling, music, dances, log rolling contests. Text: 135 pp. transcript. Recording: T 0673 – T 0677 / CD 0181 – 0186 3 hours. Photos: P 0416, P 0425, P 0537.

0787 J. Kenneth LaFlamme, interviewed by Ralph Cook for FO 107, 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. Text: 66 pp. transcript with brief catalog. Recording: T 0678 / CD 0217 1 hour.

0788 Emile Leavitt, interviewed by Mark LaFond for FO 107, 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. Text: 46 pp. transcript with brief catalog. Recording: T 0679 – T 0680 / CD 0216 1 hour. Photo: P 0425.

0789 Stephen R. “Rex” Buzzell, interviewed by Edward D. “Sandy” Ives for FO 107, 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. Text: 70 pp. transcript with brief catalog. Recording: T 0681 – 0682 / CD 0339 – 0340 1 1/2 hours. Photos: P 0425, P 0489, P 0491, P 0492, P 0511, P 0515, P 0518, P 0522, P 0534.

0790 Harry Twitchell, interviewed by Leslie “Dusty” Carr for FO 107, October 26, 29, November 27, 1973; by Lucinda Lamb and Elizabeth Warner for AY 125, 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. Text: 101 pp. partial transcript with brief catalog. Recording: T 0683 – 0686 / CD 0187 – 0190 4 hours. Photo: P 0425.

0792 Leon Bussell, Emile Leavitt, Ernest Kennedy, Stephen “Rex” Buzzell, interviewed by class of FO 107, 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. Text: 236 pp. brief catalog and transcript. Recording: T 0693 – T0698 / CD 0191 – CD 0196 3 1/2 hours. Photograph: P 0425.

0793 Harry Kennedy, interviewed by Mark LaFond for FO 107, 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. Text: 36 pp. total brief catalog and transcript. Recording: T 0699 2 hours. Photo: P 0425.

0796 Alex Rouleau, interviewed by Mary Beth O’Conner for FO 107, 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. Text: 59 pp. brief catalog and transcript. Recording: T 0709 – T 0710 2 hours. Photo: P 0425.

0804 Wallace “Del” Soule, interviewed by Mark LaFond for FO 198, March 8, 1974, April 17, 1974; by Lucinda Lamb for AY 125, 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. Also included: maps and diagrams. Text: 80 pp. brief catalog and partial transcript. Recording: T 0728 – T 0731 / CD 0197 – CD 0199. Photo: P 0580.

0836 John Costigan, interviewed by Mark LaFond for FO 198, 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. Also included: two diagrams. Text: 13 pp. brief catalog and summary essay. Recording: T 0757 / CD 0200 1/2 hour.

1001 William McLaughlin, interviewed by Elizabeth “Betsy” Warner for AY 125, November 22, 1975, Old Town, Maine. 11 pp. Tape: 3/4 hr. w/ brief cat. 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 Squaw Island; friends Darky Willet, Harvy Cutliff, Dave Seymore, Cody Martin, Harry Cutliff; living conditions and meals; construction of piers; use of steam boats; mills. Text: brief catalog. Recording: T 1013 / CD 0201 3/4 hour. Photo: P 0692.

1002 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. Index: 8 pp. Recording:T 1014, CD 0202 3/4 hour.

1014 Emile Leavitt, interviewed by Mark LaFond for FO 198, March 27, 1974, Old Town, Maine. 5 pp. Tape: 3/4 hr. w/ brief cat. Leavitt talks about log sorting booms on the Penobscot River. Topics covered include shoring, mill drives, scaling, and the boom in general. Argyle Boom Collection. Text: brief catalog. Recording: T 1025, CD 0203 3/4 hour.

1022 Wallace “Del” Soule, interviewed by Lucinda Lamb for AY 198, spring 1976, Costigan, Maine. 17 pp. Tape: 1 1/2 hrs. w/ brief cat. Soule talks about the Nebraska and Argyle log-sorting booms on the Penobscot River; running; rafting; shoring; hanging and taking in booms; the work of bateaux crews and steamboats. Text: brief catalog. Recording: T 1033 / CD 0204 – CD 0205 1 1/2 hours.

1024 Alphonse Martin, interviewed by Ann Pierter for AY 198, March 13, 1976, Old Town, Maine. 11 pp. Tape: 1 hr. w/ brief cat. Martin talks about the Argyle log-sorting boom on the Penobscot River; the structure and operation of the sorting gap; scaling; log marks; wintering over; bosses Gene Mann, Billy Mann, Walter Drake, Harry Bowlee; diagrams of the gap. Text: brief catalog. Recording: T 1036, PM 0447, CD 0206 1 hour.

1025 John Costigan, interviewed by Jack Beard for AY 198, April 14, 1976, Costigan, Maine. 15 pp. Tape: 1/2 hr. w/ brief cat. Costigan talks about the log-sorting booms on the Penobscot River; rafting; sacking; tools, especially sacking dogs; use of horses to sack or twitch logs; marks; the last drive on Sunkhaze Stream; operations around Chamberlain and Telos Lakes; diagrams of sacking dogs. Text: brief catalog. Recording: T 1037 / CD 0207 1/2 hour.

1026 Leon Bussell, interviewed by Jack Beard for AY 198, April 14, 1976, Costigan, Maine. 8 pp. Tape: 1/2 hr. w/ brief cat. Bussell talks about the log-sorting booms on the Penobscot River; building endways or hedgehog rafts; use of scull oar to propel rafts. Text: brief catalog. Recording: T 1038 / CD 0208 1/2 hour.

1031 Alphonse Martin, interviewed by Elizabeth Warner and Jack Beard for AY 198, May 5, 1976, Old Town, Maine. 8 pp. Tape: 1/2 hr. w/ brief cat. Martin talks about the backway drive, which was for logs going to the International and Dan Cassidy mills in Orono, and Grey Canoe Shop mill in Stillwater; contractor Frank Davis; bosses Gene Mann, Billy Mann, and Walter Drake; sluices at Gilman Falls; use of wedges for rafting; shoring; endways or hedgehog rafting; cookhouse at Pea Cove; leisure activities. Text: brief catalog. Recording: T 1044, PM 0450, CD 0209 1/2 hour.

1032 Ernest Kennedy, interviewed by Elizabeth Warner & Jack Beard for AY 198, May 5, 1976, Argyle, Maine. 8 pp. Tape: 1/4 hr. w/ brief cat. Kennedy talks about the log-sorting booms on the Penobscot River; lumber company marks; sorting and rafting; prize logs; sheer boom at Sunkhaze; trips at Sunkhaze; crib work and building endways rafts; mentions Barker and Jordan lumber companies, Pea Cove, Argyle, White Squaw Island Hoyt Brook, Hemlock Stream. Text: brief catalog. Recording: T 1045 / CD 0210 1/4 hour.

1033 Stephen “Rex” Buzzell, interviewed by Jack Beard & Elizabeth Warner for AY 198, May 5, 1976, Old Town, Maine. 14 pp. Tape: 1 hr. w/ brief cat. Buzzell focuses on the log-sorting booms on the Penobscot River. Topics covered include wangan and living conditions; his father business and crews; cook John Duplessis. Text: brief catalog. Recording: T 1046 / CD 0211 1 hour.

1049 Ernest Kennedy, interviewed by Edward D. “Sandy” Ives and Susan Tibbetts, May 10, 1976, Argyle, Maine. 9 pp. Tape: 1 hr. w/ brief cat. Kennedy talks about the log-sorting booms on the Penobscot River. Topics covered include layout of boom related buildings on White Squaw Island; Costigan landing; the duties of the rear crew; points of origin of the drives; horse piers; fin booms; dropping off; swings; beats; and joints. Text: brief catalog. Recording: T 1055 / CD 0212 1 hour.

1050 William McLaughlin, interviewed by Edward D. “Sandy” Ives & Susan Tibbetts, April 26, 1976, Old Town, Maine. 9 pp. Tape: 1 hr. w/ brief cat. McLaughlin talks about log-sorting booms on the Penobscot River. Topics covered include dropping off; rafting; sorting gap; Greenbush trip; Pea Cove; fin booms. Text: brief catalog. Recording: T 1056, CD 0213 1 hour.

1051 Stephen “Rex” Buzzell, interviewed by Ann Pierter & Susan Tibbetts for AY 198, May 11, 1976, Old Town, Maine. 10 pp. Tape: 1 hr. w/ brief cat. Buzzell talks about the log-sorting booms on the Penobscot River. Topics covered include marking and scaling logs; Argyle, Pea Cove, and Sheepshank (Greenbush) booms; wintering methods, diagrams. Text: brief catalog. Recording: T 1057, CD 0214 1 hour.

1056 Ernest Kennedy, interviewed by Ann Pierter & Bessie Dam for AY 198, May 4, 1976, Argyle, Maine. 15 pp. Tape: 1 1/4 hrs. w/ brief cat. Kennedy talks about on the log-sorting booms on the Penobscot River. Topics covered include checking, prize logs, the stray raft, boom stick, scaling and marking logs, wintering logs, shingling logs, jail booms, the “high mark,” Pea Cove Boom, rafting logs, Mexico Boom. Text: brief catalog. Recording: T 1066, CD 0215 1 1/4 hours.

1114 Ernest Kennedy (b. 1889) interviewed by Edward D. “Sandy” Ives, summer, 1977, at Kennedy’s home in Argyle, Maine. Kennedy, 88, talks about his life working in the woods, on river drives, and on the Argyle Boom. Kennedy was the principle informant for “Argyle Boom,” Northeast Folklore, XVII (1976) which explained the workings of the sorting boom on the Penobscot River where the logs from the river drives were sorted for delivery to the various saw mills. In this series of interviews he expands on the information he gave for that project and explains various models he made of the boom and other structures and equipment. He also discusses photos of logging camps and river drives. Also included are newspaper clippings and a 32 page summary of the Bible by Kennedy. (See NA 0579, 0786, 0792, 1032, 1056, 1143 for other Kennedy interviews.) Text: 331 pp. transcripts. Recording: T 1138 – T 1160 34 hours. Photos: P 1786 – P 1808. T 1138 River-driving; cutting timber; peeling hemlock; family and siblings; tannery; switching from chopping to sawing trees down; schooling; Aunt Hat (brothel madam); family background; mother cooked for woods camp; rafting logs; father ran hotel for weavers. T 1139 EK cooked; father ran hotels and boarding houses for woodsmen; working as a teamster in woods; building camp; skidding and yarding timber; cribbing and rafting; hewing boards from logs; rafting camp; woods-work techniques. T 1140 Putting in telephone line; breaking in landings; dynamiting jams; booms; jobbing; road conditions; farm animals; daily transport; Argyle schools; social events; haunted places. T 1141 Explains the Argyle Boom model; gardening; butchering meat; hunting game; smoke-pot for mosquitos; smoking meat; jacking deer; families that lived in Argyle. T 1142 Types of hunting guns; hunting and camping; getting lost in the woods; exploring and estimating land; families that lived in Argyle; how he met his wife-to be; his portable mill; his children. T 1143 Recalls seeing the first car; Kittyhawk and the Zeppelin; story of a plane; playing baseball; explains the bateau model; greenhorns. T 1144 Discussion of Northeast Archives photos of bateau being used; socializing and helping neighbors; barn raisings; country doctors and midwives; typhoid fever; herbal medicine; EK explains his camp model. T 1145 A tour through EK’s home in Argyle; recalls getting modern conveniences; family reunion preparations; discussion of material concerning Pentecostal faith. T 1146 Spring log drive; EK describes footwear that was used; the types and ages of the woodsmen he knew; other loggers. T 1147 EK demonstrates the scoot sled model; discusses types of binds and hooks; types of tobacco used; reviews how he began his logging career; demonstrates a parbuckle model; shows a dam model. T 1148 Recalls cutting logs for I. M. Pierce; explains using a rule and scale; recalls celebrating Christmas as a child; learning French; dancing; another discussion of Pentecostal material; remembers owning several mills; trapping and raising muskrats; Hoyt Brook Dam; gap and crib; fishing for pickerel. T 1149 EK recalls childhood activities in the Winter; skating and sledding; swimming in the Summer; bike riding; children in the family; types of log jams; running on logs; more family history; working with horses and oxen. T 1150 Born in 1889 in Kingman, Maine; EK recounts the places he has lived and more about his life as a lumberman; sired 13 children; joined Pentecostal Church in 1926; had a stroke around 1939; he retired from active lumbering when he was 78. T 1151 More about lumbering; EK is still cutting his own wood and tending his large garden; EK recalls canning; selling Christmas trees; naming his children; 4th of July celebrations; price of salmon; bears; dealing with insects. T 1152 Recalls game wardens he knew; dogging deer; poaching deer; gives more information about families in Argyle; Dingbat Prouty; Aunt Hat and prostitution; Veazie ‘Lemons.’ T 1153 Argyle families; bateau oars; more deer stories; people getting shot and shot at; EK had a Maine Guide license; camp entertainment; swampers; father’s boarding house. T 1154 EK looks at some photos and describes the people and places in them; recalls relatives; dance hall fights; brawling in general and boxing. T 1155 EK recounts how death was dealt with in his day; shenikers; funerals; ‘whiskey bears’; his friend Dudley Smith who drowned; vandalism at cemeteries; and illegal activities in general. T 1156 Family information; “Fox and Geese” board game; his Pentecostal life and interpretations of his beliefs. T 1157 Halloween; bird-hunting; more about log drives; stargazing; quotes and his interpretations from the Bible. T 1158 Continuation of EK’s interpretations of the Bible. T 1159 EK recalls town meetings in Argyle; political affiliation; effects of the Depression in 1939; woods work and different ways of cutting timber. T 1160 Recalls what winter was like; spring thaw and floods; transportation during those seasons; EK demonstrates the parbuckle model he has made; recalls dealing with house and buildings fires in town of Argyle; more information on running logs in the river; EK ends the interview with more scripture and interpretation.

1143 Ernest Kennedy, interviewed by Lynn Franklin, fall 1977, Argyle, Maine. 50 pp. w/ trans. Kennedy, prime informant for “Argyle Boom,” talks about his life as river driver; gospel worker; semiprofessional sparring partner; camp cook. See NF XVII: “Argyle Boom.” Text: transcript. Recording: T 1206.


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