MF 001 Airline Road / Airline Community Project

Northeast Archives of Folklore and Oral History: MF 001 Airline Road & Airline Community Project

Number of Accessions: 6
Dates when interviews were conducted: 1976
Time period covered: late 19th century and first half of the 20th
Principal interviewers: Joan Brooks; Jack Beard
Finding Aides: brief indexes and full transcripts
Access Restrictions: none
Description: The collection consists of six interviews done by Joan Brooks and Jack Beard for an oral history fieldwork course taught by Edward D. “Sandy” Ives at the University of Maine in 1976. The interviews focus on the history of the Airline Road (Rt. 9 from Bangor to Calais, ME) and the Airline community ca. 1900.

NA1034 Adelbert “Del” Clewley, interviewed by Jack Beard and Joan Brooks, April 10, 1976, Eddington, Maine. Also present: Mrs. Clewley, his wife. Clewley talks about being from Eddington; using a pung as transport; going to school in Eddington Village; hunting for deer and the two deer maximum; how his family stored food through the winter; hauling ice from Eddington Pond; the first car in the area; the local mills; the baseball team; dances held around the area; skating and sledding; taxes; homemade clothes; not being affected by the Depression; playing cards; local stages; working days in fall, winter, spring, and summer; what he ate for meals throughout the day; his family; children’s jobs on the farm; ways to predict the weather; the local socials; village medicine; blacksmith’s shops; orphans; poor farms; pulling contests; moose meat; newspapers; chivarees; peddling turnips in Bangor; and snow shoeing. Text: 7 pp. catalog, interviewer’s notes, interview summary, 58 pp. transcript (74 pp. total). Recording: T 1047 103 minutes. Photos: P0678 – P0682.

NA1035 Verna (Mrs. Roscoe) Higgins, interviewed by Jack Beard and Joan Brooks, April 10, 1976, Eddington, Maine. Higgins discusses entertainment in the early 1900s; the Young Ladies Sociable; the Grange Hall; attending the local school in Eddington; how her family preserved meat; women’s jobs in the early 1900s; Bangor, the region’s central marketplace; Thursday, market day; food that was made for social events; how the Depression affected the area; Grange Hall meetings; the size of most farms in her day; local doctors; Sunday dinner; courtship rules; musicians in the area; summer plays; town meetings; when electricity came to Eddington; and mail delivery. Text: 20 page transcript (28 pp. total). Recording: T 1048 46 minutes.

NA1036 Gracie Strang, interviewed by Jack Beard and Joan Brooks, April 10, 1976, East Eddington, Maine. Strang talks about growing up in Eddington in the early 1900s; her father’s and then her work as an agent for the telephone company out of their house; being a teacher at the local school house; the owner of the first automobile in the area; self-sufficiency; holding dances in Eddington Grange hall; sledding or “sliding” for fun in the winter; ice skating; making her own clothes; celebrating Christmas; mayflowering; snow shoeing; peddlers; the local fortune teller; going into Bangor; summer theater; The Young Ladies Sociable; Fourth of July celebrations; mortuary practices; local remedies; Halloween; listening to the phonograph; listening to the radio; and berrying in the summer. Text: 28 page transcript (35 pages total). Recording: T 1049 64 minutes.

NA1037 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 (43 pp. total). Recording: T 1050 60 minutes.

NA1038 J. Herbert Comins, interviewed by Jack Beard and Joan Brooks, April 25, 1976, Eddington, Maine. Comins talks about living in the same house he was born in; being a tree farmer; owning a dairy farm; his family history; serving three terms in the Sate Legislature; attending the school in East Eddington; driving the school team while in high school; how much of the food he ate was raised by his family; Thursday, market day; hunting; how they kept the meat; The Young Ladies Sociable; putting on plays; sewing circles; the local newspapers; getting and keeping ice; types of wagons his family owned; epidemics; mortuary practices; his wedding; town meetings; forecasting the weather; river travel; living through the Depression; and what Christmas was like in the early 1900s. Text: 31 page transcript (42 pp. total). Recording: T 1051 70 minutes total.

NA1039 George Knox, interviewed by Joan Brooks, May 7, 1976, Holden, Maine. Knox talks about moving to Eddington, Maine, in 1902; raising their own meat; Frank Davis, a local market hunter; the route the old Airline road took; peddling in Bangor; trapping; poaching; Cal Graves; moose meat; going to dances; card games; what weddings were like; Halloween pranks; dowsing; weather lore; working in the woods; camp songs; men who made up songs in the area; working as a river driver; working for Great Northern; the other George Knox; and how he met his wife. Text: 24 pp. partial transcript (34 pp. total). Recording: T 1052 121 minutes.