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Collections - MF 016 Deering Lumber Company Interviews

MF 016 Deering Lumber Company Project

Number of accessions: 14
Dates when interviews were conducted: most in 1980, also 1987 & 1989
Time period covered: 20th century
Principal interviewers: Michael P. Chaney
Finding aides: catalogs
Access restrictions: none
Description: Project undertaken by Michael Chaney in the summer of 1980 which led to the publication of White Pine on the Saco: An Oral History of River Driving in Southern Maine (Northeast Folklore XXIX: 1990). Collection consists of fourteen interviews with employees of the Deering Lumber Company.
1401 Clyde Smith, interviewed by Michael Chaney, summer 1980, Hollis Center, Maine. 27 pp. Tape: 1 hr. w/ cat. Smith talks about local history; Indian lore of the Saco River Valley; 1947 fire; family history. Deering Lumber Project. Text: catalog. Recordings: T 1540 1 hour.

1402 Joseph G. Deering, interviewed by Michael Chaney, fall 1980, Biddeford Pool, Maine. 56 pp. Tape: 2 hrs. w/ cat. Deering talks about the river drives on the Saco River; the Deering Lumber Company. Text: catalog. Recording: T 1541 – T 1542 2 hours. Photos: P 4873 – P 4877, P 5026.

1403 Ken Blaney, interviewed by Michael Chaney, fall 1980, Cornish, Maine. 35 pp. Tape: 1 hr. w/ cat. Blaney talks about his work for the Joseph Deering Lumber Company as a scaler. Text: catalog. Recording: T 1543 1 hour. Photos: P 4875 – P 4876, P 4879, P 5026, P 5029.

1404 Leo Bell, interviewed by Michael Chaney, fall 1980, Fryeburg, Maine. 43 pp. Tape: 2 hrs. w/ cats. Bell talks about his work in the woods and on the Saco River for the Deering Lumber Company. Text: catalog. Recording: T 1544, T 1552 2 hours. Photos: P 4874 – P 4878, P 4882, P 4885 – P 4886, P 4890.

1405 Ed Burrill, interviewed by Michael Chaney, fall 1980, Cornish, Maine. 45 pp. Tape: 2 hrs. w/ cats. Burrill talks about his life on the Saco River as a river driver for the Deering Lumber Company. Text: catalog. Recording: T 1545, T 1556 2 hours. Photos: P 4874 – P 4878, P 4880 – P 4881, P 4885 – P 4886, P 5024 – P 5026.

1406 Clarence Brown, interviewed by Michael Chaney, fall 1980, West Buxton, Maine. 27 pp. Tape: 1 hr. w/ cat. Brown talks about river drives on the Saco River; his father, Frank Brown, who was a boss for the Deering Lumber Company. Text: catalog. Recording: T 1546 1 hour. Photos: P 4877, P 4887.

1407 Charlie Foran, interviewed by Michael Chaney, fall 1980, Saco, Maine. 83 pp. Tape: 2 hrs. w/ cats. Foran talks about working for the Deering Lumber company as yard and mill foreman. Text: catalog. Recording: T 1547, T 1558 2 hours.

1423 Ralston Bennett, interviewed by Michael Chaney, November 17, 1980, Lovell, Maine. Tape: 1/2 hr. w/ cat. Mrs. Bennett was also present. Bennett talks about working as a trucker for the Deering Lumber Company; starting to haul logs for Deering in November 1940; landing the logs on the river bank for the drive; working to haul sawn lumber from portable mills in the woods to Biddeford; finished working for Deering in 1956. Text: 12 pp. catalog. Recording: T 1551 1/2 hour.

1424 Roy Smith, interviewed by Michael Chaney, November 18, 1980, Lovell Town Dump, Lovell, Maine. Tape: 1 hr. w/ cat. Smith talks about his work on the river as a river driver and in the woods as a cutter for Jos. G. Deering & Sons; working for A.C. Cunningham; driving on the last river drive in 1943. Text: 22 pp. detailed catalog. Recording: T 1553 1 hour. Photos: P 4873, P 4875, P 4877 – P 4878, P 4880 – P 4881, P 4884 – P 4885, P 4887, P 5029 – P 5030.

1425 Robert Littlefield, interviewed by Michael Chaney, November 18, 1980, his home, Lovell, Maine. Tape: 1 hr. w/ cat. Littlefield talks about his work as a river driver on the Saco River: working on the drive 1920 – 1925 and in 1934; men he worked with; places on the river; details about drive and sluicing; boarding houses; tally of lumber in various mills, including Diamond and Brown; working for Deering Lumber Company on the river; two artifacts he has: a Saco River Rule and a spruce gumbook made in 1877 by Mrs. Littlefield’s grandfather. Text: 24 pp. detailed catalog. Recording: T 1554 / CD 0828 1 hour.

1426 Chester “Chet” Leonard, interviewed by Michael Chaney, November 18, 1980, Fryeburg, Maine. Tape: 1 hr. w/ cat. Also present: Mrs. Leonard. Leonard talks about his work as a sawyer and portable mill foreman for the Diamond, Deering Lumber Company, and Clark mills; his father, who was a sawyer; beginning work in a mill in New Hampshire in 1933, where he worked for Ellery Clark for 10 years; working at the Clark Mill in Hollis Center, run by nephews of Clark; the fires in the area that put the mill out of business; taking a job in the early 1950s as a portable mill foreman for a Deering portable mill in Lovell for six months; portable mills; job at the Diamond finishing mill in Fryeburg. Text: 17 pp. detailed catalog. Recording: T 1555 1 hour.

1427 By Michael Chaney, fall 1980, Saco, Maine. 29 pp. Collection of 43 photographs, news clippings, and other written material pertaining to Joseph G. Deering & Son Lumber Manufacturers and the Saco River Driving Company. Photos: P 4873 – P 4908, P 5024 – P 5026, P 5029 – P 5032.

2010 Ralph Morin, interviewed by Michael P. Chaney, 1987, Sanbornville, New Hampshire. 86 pp. Tape: 1 1/2 hr. approx. w/cat. Morin talks about his work in the sawmill at the Deering Lumber Co., Biddeford, Maine, his work as a salesman for the company in the 1950s – 1960s; his work in the 1970s in the retail department. Other material includes letter to Edward D. “Sandy” Ives, list of interviewees with additional info, maps of layout of plant, 43 photocopied photos on file at NAFOH. See NA 1401-1407, 1423-1426. Text: catalog. Recording: C 0497 1 1/2 hours approximately. Photos: P 4873 – P 4908.

2194 Phyllis F. Deschambeault, interviewed by Michael Chaney, fall 1989, Saco, Maine. 5 pp. Tape: 30 minutes with catalog. Deschambeault talks about her work for J. G. Deering & Son and Deering Lumber Company since the 1940s. Text: catalog. Recording: C 0745 30 minutes. Photos: P 4873 – 4908, P 5024 – 5026, P 5029 – 5032.

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Maine Folklife Center
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Phone: (207) 581-1891 | Fax: (207) 581-1823E-mail: folklife@maine.edu
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