MF 009 Rum Running/Bootlegging Collection
Number of accessions: 36
Dates when interviews were conducted: various
Time period covered: early 20th century
Principal interviewers: various
Finding aides: some catalogs and transcripts
Access restrictions: NA 0655, 0700, 0769, 1793, 2487
Description: This collection was originally just NA 2487 (Cavallini Rum Running Collection), but was expanded to include other accessions that dealt with rum-running, bootlegging, and illegal alcohol during Prohibition.
0655 By Joel Cutler for FO 2, summer 1971, Bangor, Old Town, and Hancock Point, Maine. Paper deals with stories of rum-running in Maine. Text: 12 pp. paper.
0700 Lloyd Burke, Kingdom Burke, Kenneth Burke, Hauk Anderson, and anonymous man, interviewed by Frederick Pratson, July 20, 1972, East Dover, Nova Scotia. The group of inshore fisherman discuss their early 20th century experiences in and around East Dover; how they began fishing; how television spoiled social evenings; shoveling the road; being at sea during bad weather; working in a munitions factory during WWI; shipwrecks; impact of pollution; ghost stories; getting lost on the water; dangers of whales; running rum; pensions; working at the mercy of the weather; near-deaths at sea; sharks and the dangers of catching them; tales of pirate treasure; Halifax Explosion of 1917, sighting German submarines during WWII; and why inshore fishing was no longer economically advisable in 1972. RESTRICTED. Text: 115 pp. transcript with some gaps. Recording: T 0417 – T 0420 4 ½ hours.
0769 Sidney N. Sprague, interviewed by David Taylor, July 5 and 12, 1973, at Sprague’s home in Rockland, Maine. July 5, 1973: Sprague discusses lobster pounds owned by the McLoon Lobster Co., duties and privileges of pound keepers; lobster fishing rights and territories at Metinic Island, Matinicus Island, North Haven, Vinalhaven, Monhegan Island, Green Island, Camden, Rockland, Rockport, Spruce Head; lobster tagging; trap wars; harassment of outsiders and newcomers; clamming territories; building and maintaining lobster pounds; keeping lobsters alive in the pounds, lobster disease “Red Tail.” July 12, 1973: Sprague talks about lobster fisherman Gooden Grant; Isle Au Haut fishermen, fishing areas; sites of lobster pounds around Penobscot Bay; pound operator Ladd Simmons; building and financing pounds; Oliver Perry knowledgeable pound constructor; maintenance of pounds and lobsters; defines chicken lobster; barrel making; sizes of barrel for shipping lobsters; McLoon ice houses and packing lobsters; use and building of scows; marketing of lobsters; fish flakes; rum running. Text: 6 page index, 30 page transcript. Recordings: T 0625 – 0627, CD 0874 – 0875 2 hours. Photo: P 0450.
0773 Gooden Grant, interviewed by David Taylor, July 11, and August 10, 1973, Stonington, Maine. July 11, 1973: Grant discusses catching lobsters with hoop nets and traps; Isle au Haut lobster factory; selling to lobster smacks; mackerel seineing; culling board and sizes of marketable lobsters; pogey fishing with father; steam trawlers in pogey fishery; running lobster smacks for McLoon Lobster Co.; Friendship sloops; farms on Isle au Haut; dory factory at Bucksport; Tom Nickerson; fishing the Grand Banks; gear and techniques for trawling from a dory; salting fish on board schooner; power boats; liquor and drinking; going to the West Indies in square riggers. Grant was in Havana harbor for the sinking of the battleship Maine, which began the Spanish-American war. August 10, 1973: Grant discusses camp meetings; life on Isle au Haut including father’s store, lobster factory, shipyard, and rusticators; Friendship sloops; early lobster traps; cooperation among Isle au Haut fishermen; winter fishing; lobster bottoms; singing and dancing aboard ship; and rum running. Text: 18 pp. index. Recordings: T 0637 (1 hour), T 0638 (1 hour), T 0639 (1 hour), T 0640 (30 minutes), CD 0884 – CD 0886, CD 2051 3.5 hours. Photos: P 0410 – P 0411.
0858 Peter Kelly and Captain John Kelly, interviewed by John Kelly Jr. (nephew/son), August 11, 14, 21, and 24, 1974, Quincy, Massachusetts. P. Kelly talks about “Uncle” Tom Kelly and rum running in Quincy, MA. Captain Kelly talks about his experiences as a fisherman; fishing during the Depression. Also included: there a few notes from John Kelly to Edward D. “Sandy” Ives. Text: 29 pp. brief catalogs for each. Recording: T 0809 – T 0814 3 hours.
0878 Augusta Christie, interviewed by Harriet Tilley, March 11, 1975, Presque Isle, Maine. Christie discusses her life in northern Maine and decades of campaigning against alcohol; childhood on a farm in Ashland, Maine, in the late nineteenth to early twentieth centuries; her education and boarding during the week to attend high school; why women’s suffrage was unimportant to her but she never missed a vote; marriage at the age of forty; household chores; the Maine Christian Women’s Temperance Movement, its members, goals, and methods; serving in the state Legislature during the 1950s and 60s in order to further the temperance cause; bills she introduced and supported; experience as a woman in the Legislature; her father’s unpopularity for arresting people on alcohol charges during Prohibition; and her thoughts on issues facing women in 1975. Text: 39 pp. transcript. Recording: T 0846 – T 0847 1 hour.
1037 Clarence Grover, interviewed by Jack Beard and Joan Brooks, April 10, 1976, Eddington, Maine. Grover talks about knowing the people who drove the stage along the Airline (now route 9); getting married in 1930; how the Airline used to go over Chick Hill; poaching; working in his father’s mill; the first automobile; working to build the road around Chick Hill; working in a lumber camp; songs sung in the camp and at home; the Grange Hall in Amherst; his father; people who owned stills during Prohibition; fishing; working horses and driving horses; water-dowsing or water-witching; Jim Cranie, a healer, specifically a blood stopper; the farmers’ almanac; working with oxen; barn raising; what Christmas was like; knitting with his mother; and river driving. Text: 32 page transcript. Recording: T 1050 1 hour.
1093 Rev. Arthur C. Woodward, interviewed by Sarah Jane Miller, November 1, 1976, South Brewer, Maine. Woodward talks about his life and historical events that influenced it; his childhood in Gouldsboro, ME, in the 1920s and 1930s, including chores, education, and recreation; attending vocation school at Quoddy, where he met Eleanor Roosevelt and officials from her husband’s administration; lack of racial difficulties with the African-American students; students traveling to Canada to fight in WWII before US involvement; his inability to enlist because of his civilian work at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard; why men his age wanted to enlist; bootlegging and rum-running commonplace during Prohibition; the Great Depression; his father’s career for Maine’s Department of Sea and Shore Fisheries; Roosevelt’s initiatives; unity of purpose during WWII; psychological conditioning of soldiers; radio programs of his youth; his perception of the lack of morality in the 1970s. Text: 40 pp. incomplete transcript, plus 10 pp. catalog. Recording: T 1115 1 ¼ hours.
1094 Clifford Chandler, interviewed by Susan “Sue” DeRose, November 17 – 22, 1976 Orono, Maine. Chandler discusses his childhood in Jonesport, Maine, including discipline, chores, and games; military service at a naval repair base in San Diego; his grandfather’s work as a rum-chaser enforcing Prohibition, competition among fishermen; seine fishing; working in a factory that canned seafood; similarities and differences in dating over the years; and his views on the Vietnam War as the father of a Vietnam veteran. Text: 30 pp. incomplete transcript, plus 9 pp. catalog. Recording: T 1116 – T 1117 1 ½ hours.
1140 Charles “Dunk” Jordan, interviewed by Ann Pierter for AY 125, fall 1977. 19 pp. Tape: 3 hrs. w/ brief cat. Jordan talks about Veazie history; Aunt Hat; schools; community sliding and skating; town divisions; work and travel in Merchant Marine; Indians; gardens; home brew; Prohibition; Pig’s Ear; Doutyvilles. Text: brief catalog. Recording: T 1202 – T 1203 3 hours.
1202 Don Mitchell, interviewed by Roger Mitchell, his son, in 1976. Series of interviews about Mitchell senior’s life and work as a woodsman and farmer formed the basis of Northeast Folklore XIX: “I’m a Man That Works.” See also: NA 2008. Recording: C 0001 – C 0019 19 hours, CD 0341 – CD 0373, CD 0386. Text: 1240 pp. transcript. Photos: P 5822 – P 5837, P 5858 – P 5873. C 0001 Side 1: Topics covered include a log jam breaking loose; winter shoveling while working at the Hunt Company; working at Rockabema; crossing the border and name changing; mishaps on river drives; getting alcohol while in the woods; bootlegging; WWI stories; naval service during WWI; potato work and harvesting; farming stories; family history; stories of friends; acquisition of property; snow plowing with horses.
1321 By Sharon Weiss for AY 122, spring 1980, Islesboro, Maine. 37 pp. ms. Paper deals with stories collected on Islesboro about shipwrecks; Ryder’s Light; ghost lights; rum-running; forerunners and ghost stories. Also included: news clipping. Text: 37 pp. paper, news clipping.
1431 Billy Edwards, interviewed by Judy Laster for AY 13 (Bowdoin College), fall 1980, Brunswick, Maine. 20 pp. ms. Edwards talks about the history of Brunswick during Prohibition; rum-running; police chief Edwards; and how he dealt with the problem. Text: 20 pp. paper.
1453 By Carolyn Richins for AY 13 (Bowdoin College), fall 1980, Warwick, Rhode Island. 19 pp. ms. Paper on “Rum-running in Warwick, RI.” Text: 19 pp. paper.
1793 Malcolm Graves (also known as Joe Green), interviewed by Pamela Dean, spring 1984, Northeast Harbor, Maine. 2 pp. Tape: 1/2 hr. No cat, or trans. Copy of Northeast Harbor Library interview (Tape C-17) with Graves in 1977 about his rum running activities during the Prohibition years on Mount Desert Island. RESTRICTED. Text: no catalog or transcription. Recording: T 1880 1/2 hour.
2207 Albert Jackson, interviewed by Jeffrey “Smokey” McKeen, December 2, 1991, Morrill, Maine. Jackson talks about the federal government purchase of Frye Mountain land during the Great Depression; story of his grandfather’s (illegal) still; grandfather’s business as an auctioneer; making and selling bootleg alcohol during Prohibition; community knowledge of the bootlegging; and his grandfather’s experience letting 500 hogs loose on the mountain. Text: 18 pp. transcript. Recording: C 0847 45 minutes.
2276 Alton Gerrish, interviewed by Anne Hopper for AY 425, fall 1992, Winter Harbor, Maine. 69 pp. Tape: 2 interviews, 2 hours with transcript. Gerrish talks about the Prohibition Era in the Winter Harbor area: as a resident of Winter Harbor and as a member of the U. S. Coast Guard on patrol. Also included is a copy of the Bangor Daily News article (January 22, 1931) “Hi-jackers strew shore with high-grade booze” and the interviewer’s journal. Text: transcript. Recording: C 1052 – C 1053 2 hours.
2431 Rosalie “Rose” Bosse Flanagan and Flora Bosse, interviewed by Adeline “Connie” St. Louis, Yvonne Ouellette, and Betty Maderos, November 22, 1993, Old Town, Maine. For the “Islands and Bridges” project. The two sisters talk about growing up on French Island in Old Town; family history; emigration from Canada; neighbors; swimming; ball games; food shopping on the Island; ice and milk delivery; parents’ work; Great Depression; changes on the Island; vegetable gardens; keeping pigs and chickens; Christmas celebrations; French food; St. Joseph School; speaking French at home and school; buying and making clothes; funeral customs and wakes; bootlegging and homebrew; tobacco use; present-day use of French, and extent to which their children’s generation speak French. Restriction expired January 1, 2000. Text: 34 pp. transcript. Recording: C 1481. See also Nos Histoires de I’lle: History and memories of French Island, Old Town, Maine (1999); www.old-town.lib.me.us/nos.
2450 Brian and Anna MacLeod, interviewed by Shawna Chesto for AY 425, fall 1996, Brewer, Maine. 25 pp. Tape: 1 w/ transcript. The MacLeods talk about making alcohol during prohibition and their relationship with the Curran family. Text: transcript. Recording: C 1531.
2487 William Cavallini, interviewed by Pauleena MacDougall, May 16, 1997, in Harwich, Massachusetts. Cavallini discusses his experiences rum-running on the coast of Maine, Massachusetts, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia during Prohibition; operating the radio on rum-running boats beginning 1930; packaging of liquor; unloading at night; locations where liquor was unloaded; recollections of Meteghan, Nova Scotia; boat specifications; pay; killing of rumrunners; pastimes when not running rum; names of rum-running boats; evading the Coast Guard; changes to rum-running after Prohibition ended; operating radios on shore; hiding liquor; and individuals involved in the rum-running business. RESTRICTED. Text: 59 pp. transcript, plus 41 pp. memoir. Recording: C 1562 – C 1564. Photos: P 8094 – 8145.
2607 Accession consists of two sets of interviews and papers by Nancy P. Alexander. 1) Aldiverd Norton and Dorothy Norton, interviewed by Alexander for ANT 425, October 23, 1998. Paper titled “Interview with Aldiverd Norton and Dorothy Norton.” The Nortons talk about their home on 700 Acre Island in the town of Islesboro; A. Norton’s ownership of the boatyard; their two children; WWII; A. Norton’s health problems; Norton’s Island. Also included: follow-up note; map of 700 acre island. 2) Jack Leach, Ralph Gray, and others, interviewed/collected by Alexander for ANT 597, spring 1988. Paper titled “A Law Which Was Meant to be Broken: Rum-running in Islesboro During Prohibition, based on oral histories and stories. Leach and Gray talk about rum-running during the Prohibition; Ralph Leach. Text: 1) 19 pp. paper, 1 pp. note; 2) 35 pp. paper, 2 pp. notes, 2 pp. transcript excerpt. Recording: C 1858 – C 1860.
2761 Benoit Bouchard, Bernard “Bing” Bouchard, Albert “Bert” Morin, Walter Nadeau, and Beatrice Morin, interviewed by Amy Bouchard Morin, February 18, 1994, at Albert and Amy Morin’s home in Old Town, Maine, for the “Islands and Bridges” project. The group reminisces about life on French Island: family relationships; where specific families lived; stores; carpenter work; Great Depression; prices; homebrew, bootlegging, and Prohibition; nicknames; music and dances; cutting and storing ice from the river; coal and grain from the railroad; cellar flooding; property ownership and land use on the island; drainage and sewers; food packaging, barrels and boxes of pickles, crackers, molasses, etc.; buying gasoline; driving in the 1920s; stretching candy; smoking; buying houses in the 1940s and 1950s; fishing; delivering mail; nosy neighbors; funerals; helpful neighbors; college students. Text: 45 pp. transcript. Recording: C 1485 – C 1486. See also Nos Histoires de I’lle: History and memories of French Island, Old Town, Maine (1999); www.old-town.lib.me.us/nos.
2765 Eva Collins, interviewed by Carol Nichols and Adeline “Connie” St. Louis, November 22, 1993, in Old Town, Maine. For the “Islands and Bridges” project. Collins discusses moving to French Island after her marriage; LaBree’s bakery; other stores and businesses; speaking French; neighbors; adult’s and children’s entertainment; holidays; blood sausages (boudin); boxing; Great Depression; Prohibition and homebrew; changes on the Island. Text: 15 pp. transcript. Recording: C 1491. See also Nos Histoires de I’lle: History and memories of French Island, Old Town, Maine (1999); www.old-town.lib.me.us/nos.
2767 Yvonne Shorette Currier, interviewed by Carol Nichols and Adeline “Connie” St. Louis, November 22, 1993, at her home in Old Town, Maine. For the “Islands and Bridges” project. Currier, born on French Island in 1908, discusses St. Joseph’s school and the Island school; friends and family; children’s games; French at home and English at school; parent’s work; traditional foods; Silver Slipper dance hall; changes on the Island; Christmas; family names of French Islanders; movie theaters; peddlers, including the ice man; nicknames; homebrew and bootlegging. Text: 25 pp. transcript. Recording: C 1494. See also Nos Histoires de I’lle: History and memories of French Island, Old Town, Maine (1999); www.old-town.lib.me.us/nos.
2770 Patrick (Leo) Lagasse, interviewed by Carol Nichols, June 4 or 6, 1993, at his home in Westbrook, Maine. For the “Islands and Bridges” project. Lagasse talks about his memories of French Island in Old Town; nicknames; French and the French Island school; factory and mill work; Great Depression; dairy farming and milk as part of the daily diet; cutting ice from the Penobscot River; lumberyard on Hildreth Street; polio; Benoit Bouchard and Herbert Gray School; children’s and adult’s entertainment; grocery stores; Great Depression and WPA work; Old Town airport; Monday wash day; boxing matches; plumbing and the first bathtub on French Island; automobiles; Prohibition, homebrew, and bootleggers; shining shoes at the University of Maine; and WWII. Text: 15 pp. partial transcript. Recording: C 1498 – C 1499. See also Nos Histoires de I’lle: History and Memories of French Island, Old Town, Maine (1999); www.old-town.lib.me.us/nos.
2771 Albert Michaud and Rita England Michaud, interviewed by Carol Nichols, July 27, 1993, at their home in Old Town, Maine. For the “Islands and Bridges” project. The Michauds discuss early memories of French Island; children’s entertainment and games; why French Island was once called Skin Island; city dump; Shuffle Inn; softball; boxers; schools; meals; gardens; Mardi Gras and Lent; community and neighboring; Great Depression; 1936 flood; bootlegging; hunting, raising, selling, and eating rabbits and deer; and stores on the Island. Text: 18 pp. transcript. Recording: C 1500. See also Nos Histoires de I’lle: History and memories of French Island, Old Town, Maine (1999); www.old-town.lib.me.us/nos.
2775 Gloria Thornton and Doris Nadeau, interviewed by Albert Michaud, November 1993, at the Thornton’s home in Milford, Maine. For the “Islands and Bridges” project.The two sisters reminisce with their younger brother, Albert Michaud, about growing up on French Island in Old Town: schools; swimming and boating on the Penobscot river; bathing suits; Fourth of July; river drives of logs and pulpwood; New Year’s celebration; businesses on the Island; Prohibition and bootlegging; nicknames; prejudice against the French; ice skating and sledding; Lent and saying the rosary; sewing circles; taking in boarders; neighborhood relationships; changing French names to English; and the Shuffle Inn. Text: 18 pp. transcript. Recording: C 1504. See also Nos Histoires de I’lle: History and memories of French Island, Old Town, Maine (1999); www.old-town.lib.me.us/nos.
2779 Cecile Pietrowski, interviewed by Carol Nichols and Adeline “Connie” St. Louis, August 14, 1993, in Old Town, Maine. For the “Islands and Bridges” project. Pietrowski talks about her experiences living on French Island in Old Town: short cuts; building patterns; bootlegging and home brew; Great Depression and food; women’s baseball; boxing; nicknames; children’s entertainment; holidays and traditional food; changes on the Island; women working outside the home; Shuffle Inn; why it was once called Skin Island; LaBree’s bakery; churches and schools; father’s work as a policeman. Text: 16 pp. partial transcript. Recording: C 1508. See also Nos Histoires de I’lle: History and memories of French Island, Old Town, Maine (1999); www.old-town.lib.me.us/nos.
2834 Fedime Morin, interviewed by Helen K. Atchison, circa 1971-1972. Conducted in French. Brief index. Morin, of Madawaska, talks about being a law enforcement officer; early law enforcement history; prohibition and early jails; anecdotes of his long career; and advances in equipment. There is no side 2. Text: brief index. Recording: C 0047, CD 0229 French.
2863 Joseph Theriault and Mr. Clukey, interviewed by Helen K. Atchison, circa 1971-1972. Brief index. Theriault and Clukey, of Ashland, discuss the history of the Sheridan Mills settlement; the establishment of the mill community of Sheridan; bootlegging; wages at the mill; shipping lumber; the livery stable; railroad-tie making; building up the Ashland branch of the Bangor and Aroostook railroad; Russians and “Pollacks” (Polish) as laborers; Walter Brenan – a woodsman at Oxbow Flats; guiding; and a blacksmith shop. Text: 1 pp. brief index. Recording: C 0074, CD 0453.
2963 Bert Frost, interviewed by C. Richard K. Lunt, March 20, 1970, Jonesport, Maine. 49 page transcript. Frost talks about his boyhood in Nova Scotia and his father’s lifetime there, including boat characteristics, singing; transition from sail to motorized boats; characteristics of a Nova Scotia type lobster boat (Novie boats); move to Beals Island in 1912; history of boat designs in Beals Island area; characteristics of these changing boat designs; return to Nova Scotia during World War One; return to Jonesport after the war; first square-stern boat, 1924; rum-running boats; Jonesport lobster boat races; how to use fiberglass; canoes; converting a sail yacht to a dragger during WWII; design characteristics lobstermen want in their boats, Jonesport vs. New Jersey; sources for lumber and hardware; and boat buyers from out of state; Frost and a visitor debate design choices in boats; performance and durability of various materials, different wood; and seaworthiness of various designs. Text: 49 pp. transcript. Recording: T 0319 / CD 2126.
2969 John Carroll, interviewed by C. Richard K. Lunt, September 28, 1963. One page index. Carroll tells stories told by and about Jones Tracy, including the bung hole story; a story about being chased by a bear; and a story about Jones Tracy and Frank Thompson getting liquor from a doctor in Bar Harbor during Prohibition. One of a series of interviews conducted by Richard Lunt in 1963 and 1964 which served as the basis for Lunt’s University of Maine M.A. thesis. Some material was also published as “Jones Tracy: Tall Tale Teller from Mount Desert Island” (Northeast Folklore, Vol. X). Text: 1 pp. index. Recording: T 0236 (side two) / CD 0852.
2974 Clark Manring, interviewed by C. Richard K. Lunt, January 1, 1964, Northeast Harbor, Maine. 3 page index. Manring talks about Jones Tracy, his birth, his hunting philosophy; Bible knowledge; his health and his mother’s folk medicine; sources for his stories; “regular” vs. joke stories; origin of Jones’ name; schooling; others who listened to Jones’ stories; other storytellers on Mount Desert Island; also tells stories told by and about Jones Tracy, including: rain storm stories; Frank Thompson and gun kicking; deer shot around mountain; fog shingling; patting bullets along; 3 deer at one shot; getting liquor from a doctor during Prohibition; fishing on a bicycle; hat in road story; catching deer with finger; bung hole story; bear turned inside out; Steve Sargent and Jones story; and throwing fish over hackmatack tree. One of a series of interviews conducted by Richard Lunt in 1963 and 1964 which served as the basis for Lunt’s UMaine M.A. thesis. Some material was also published as “Jones Tracy: Tall Tale Teller from Mount Desert Island” (Northeast Folklore, Vol. X). Text: 3 pp. index. Recording: T 0238 (side two) – T 0239 (side one) / CD 0835 (T 0239, side 1).