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Collections - MF 085 Archie Stewart Collection

Number of Interviews: 23+
Dates when interviews were conducted: 1920s-1980s
Time period covered: late nineteenth and twentieth centuries
Principal interviewers: Thomas “Archie” Stewart
Finding Aides: various
Access Restrictions: video material restricted: may be viewed here, but requests for duplication or publication must be made through Northeast Historic Films

Description: The Stewart family of Newburgh, New York, had a long association with the Machias, Maine, area where they had a camp. Rob Golding of Perry, Maine, acted as their guide for many years in the first half of the twentieth century. This collection consists of a series of interviews with Golding, a renowned story teller, conducted by Archie Stewart; a manuscript history of the Stewart family; and video copies of Stewart family home movies.

2007 Stewart, Thomas “Archie.” 1961. Interviews with Rob Golding. T1971 – T1986 / CD 726-757

T1971 Rob Golding, interviewed by Archie Stewart, April 21, 1963. 81 page transcript. Stewart begins by reading a letter he wrote to Golding, consoling him for his failing sight and hearing, and telling him of the help and pleasure he gave to others throughout his life as a Maine Guide and storyteller. Then Rob Golding discusses his family history and genealogy; family’s move from Canada to Maine; his great-grandfather’s experience as a trapper in the 1820s; compares to his own use of traps; stories about Trapper Golding (the great-grandfather); grandfather Robert’s farm; Rob’s brothers, Will and Jim, and the things they built, including a cannon and a steam engine; how Will drowned; Rob’s school days in Perry and Louis Cove, Maine; bringing June bugs into church; farmer’s first use of the telephone; sources of hay and fertilizer for nineteenth-century Maine farmers; farmer’s fight with a ram; handling an appendicitis in Washington County before the railroad came; and serving in the army for the Spanish-American war in Maine, Savannah, and Cuba.

T1972 Rob Golding, interviewed by Archie Stewart, April 22 and 24, 1963. 94 page transcript. Golding talks about serving in the army for the Spanish-American war in Savannah and returning to Maine; attending a box social; working in a sign shop in Boston; partnership in a saw mill in Perry, Maine; early settlers around Boyden’s Lake in Maine; various faith healers; stories about men who went to California to prospect for gold in the 1800s and their later lives in Maine; catching a rooster in a trap meant for a skunk; destroying a dam; working in a sardine factory, late 1800s; trapping mink and falling through the ice; and an earthquake during a deer hunt.

T1973 Rob Golding, interviewed by Archie Stewart, April 24 and 25, 1963. 64 page transcript. Golding discusses the adventures of a weir fisherman named Jesse Gleason; dealing with balky horses; smoking and drying moose meat in lumber camps; working the winter in the lumberwoods, getting the job and different types of work done; Christmas and food in the lumber camp; sleeping accommodations in a lumber camp; river driving; falling into the river on log drives; stories about the Civil War, learned from men who had fought in it, 1860-1864; and Captain Hibbard, who ran a sailing vessel out of Calais, Maine, and how he got started on the sea.

T1974 Rob Golding, interviewed by Archie Stewart. 91 page transcript. Golding talks about Arthur Sealy, who was mentally handicapped or mildly retarded, and his difficulties and adventures working and on a hunting trip; fishing and moose and deer hunting stories; stories about using outhouses; guiding out-of-state sports, hunting and canoeing; man with a traveling sawmill; delivering butter by the firkin; antique dealers; outwitting game wardens; trapping for fur and harassment by other trappers; man who chased a bear; a fight between two men; trick played on sport by a guide, and how the sport got back; and automobile accidents.

T1979 Rob Golding, interviewed by Archie Stewart, May 7, 8, and 9, 1961. 68 page transcript. Golding discusses a match-selling scam; encounter with thieves in train station in Boston; automobile-related stories; fire in the woods and in a chimney; inexperienced ship’s cook; Maine fishing boat captain gets shipwrecked in the West Indies and Labrador; and Stewart tells story about a practical joke played on Golding, involving hiring a woods cook to cook for their sporting party. Golding also talks about sardine cannery inspected by Pure Food and Drug Act inspectors; camping in a rainstorm; trying to get three deer home over icy roads after a winter hunting trip; ice skating; ice boating; men who fought in World War One with the Canadians; encounter with a police officer over trucking too heavy a load in a Model T Ford; an inconsiderate wealthy woman and how she treated her secretaries and others who worked for her; and stories about times he got exhausted while deer hunting.

T1984 Rob Golding, interviewed by Archie Stewart, May 18, 1961, July 20, 1961, November 9 and 10, 1962, and January 12. 1963. 51 page transcript. This tape appears to be a compilation of previously recorded material that is not in chronological order. Golding talks about bringing a queen bee to Eastport with a load of apples; mix up with a safe-deposit box; falling into an iced-over lake; story about a man in a barbershop; baby in an oven; making syrup out of different types of trees, instead of sugar maple; making birch beer; and the scarcity of deer. Tape also includes comments recorded during a poker game.

T1985 Rob Golding, interviewed by Archie Stewart, May 20-22, August 25, 1963, September 20, and November 20, 1963, and December 30, 1964. 95 page transcript. This tape appears to be a compilation of previously recorded material that is not in chronological order. Also some repetition. Golding talks about his life and experiences and tells stories. Anecdotes include: cracking pecans in Georgia; veterinary treatment of horses; teacher lets children out of Sunday school to help save hay crop; medicinal whiskey; finding a capstan raft anchor; instances of mistaken speech (using an incorrect word); a man starting a Model T in his best suit; woman’s search for an heir; Armenian man feared by all for his violent tendencies and illegal activities; two incidents when this man fired at others; his connections to law-breaking gangs in Canada; Rob’s brother scaring calves with a firecracker; effects of dandelion wine; joining the masons in torn long underwear; shooting a fox; fish stolen by mink; trapping mink; doctor calls Rob crazy for working so hard; buying land; and borrowing money. Also discussion of Rob’s health and his birthday; different types of fur; making furniture with broad axes; changing prices for furs; changing economics of farm life; and changing work ethics.

T1986 Rob Golding, interviewed by Archie Stewart, December 30, 1964, May 21, 1965, and August 6, 1966. 43 page transcript; only side one transcribed. Golding tells stories about his life and experiences, including railroad man who trusted Rob with his watch and money; buying land in Canada; legal problems over getting paid for cutting wood; Rob’s father’s deathbed, and why he deeded his land to Rob instead of his daughter; fishing for pickerel in the winter, Rob made more money than his father did in the lumber camp; making honey wine (methigulum); chores he was able to do in his 89th year; making brooms; doctors’ evaluations of Rob’s health, esp. the Daytona, Florida, doctor who told him he’d live to 100; dispute about the size of a plot of land; Rob’s time as a fence-viewer in Perry, Maine around 1910; making charcoal; a woman who changes her mind about fawn deer as food; origin of expression “getting the gun down.” Rob also recites poems he wrote about his father and traditional subsistence farming, including hunting and trapping; about the difference between winter in Maine and Florida; about two men in a fishing shack and a sweetheart’s plea to one of them; about himself as an old man. Golding and Stewart then discuss Rob’s birthday, November 25, 1874; Rob’s health; Medicare; and prices and salaries in Maine. Then a copy of recording made much earlier; including stories about smuggling over the Canadian border, including a ship owner and captain who brought illegal Chinese immigrants to Boston; serving as a volunteer coast watcher during World War One and reporting his sighting of a submarine.

2148 Stewart, Thomas “Archie.” Spring 1991. New York: Newburgh. 60 pp. Trans. only. Manuscript deposited by Thomas (Archie) Stewart which chronicles the history of the Stewart family of Newburgh, New York. Manuscript consists of eight books of photocopied material, newspaper clippings, notations and letters. P6861 – P6863

2398 Stewart, Thomas “Archie.” 1920-1980. Maine. 283 pp. Tape: 53 video tapes. Video tape copies of a collection of 175 16mm motion picture films shot in the 1920’s – 1980’s covering various aspects of Stewart’s life. The originals are in the collection of Northeast Historic Film, Bucksport, Maine. A Xeroxed copy of a 147 page handwritten catalog compiled by Stewart is included plus a 134 page description of the contents prepared by NHF. See also NA 2007 and 2148. RESTRICTED: All requests for publication should be made to Northeast Historic Films. V90 – V143


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