June 21, 2005
(Names and other words that could not be transcribed are in italics. Unknown voices are referred to as ďmanĒ or ďwoman.Ē Comments, explanations, and additional names are in parentheses.)
John Foley: This is John Foley and this is June 21st 2005. Ok, this is John Foley doing the interview and this is an interview with John Dudley and weíre at his place on the Pokey Road in Alexander and this is June 21st, 2005. So, John, you can tell us a little bit about your background and how you came to be here in Alexander and, you know, what the connection - there is between you and the place.
John Dudley: Well, thereís two questions - the connection between me and Alexander - to go backwards to - to Sam Brown, who was the first settler - Iím a descendant of him. But, - but thatís not the reason Iím here. The reason Iím here is because my Grandfather Dudley - thatís Herb Dudley - built - or had built a hunting camp - a moose hunting camp down here on Pocomoonshine Lake. And, it was - that camp is still in the family, and it was to that camp that - that I went when I was a few days or a few weeks old and the last few years looked after it. Itís now - Herb Dudleyís great, great grandchildren - four of them - go down there. They were down there a week ago. Some of them out in the canoe - some just sitting. Theyíre all little - little babies between a few weeks and two years old. So thatís - thatís the connection I have - I have with Alexander. The real connection because my father liked that place and he eventually acquired where we are - this land where we are and Marie and I decided to build a house up here in Alexander instead - instead of in Rumford. Iíll get back to Rumford in a minute, but I wanted the house on the other side of the road up in the pine trees there over looking the brook but Marie wanted it down looking over the deer. So, we built this house - started in 1980 and have been living here full time since Ď86 - June Ď86. Now, what I was doing in Rumford. I went to - I started at the University of Maine at Machias. It was called Washington State College when I first went there and then became Washington State Teachers College. No, the other way around. And, my father gave me 54 - 57 acres of land across the road as a graduation present. I think that was in 1961 or Ď62. See, he wanted me to go to college. I was working in the mill - good money in there, and he encouraged me, rather forced me to go to college, which I did. From college, I - I took junior high education which was one of the two courses they offered in those days - elementary education or junior high education. When I got almost ready to graduate - the day before - Mack Sennet, who was the president, called me in. And, he said, ďJohn, weíve got a problem.Ē Well, I wasnít quite sure. Iíd attended summer school and Iíd taken extra courses all the way along. I had 136 credits. I only needed 128. Iíd kept on the honor roll which was kind of different from my high school days. So, I said, ďWhat is it?Ē He said, we can only give out two types of diplomas. One is for elementary ed and the other is for sec ed, junior high ed.Ē He said, ďYou know, weíre supposed to have 36 hours in one of those two areas of study, and you only have 27. But, if we could give a degree in history, youíd get it so weíll just pretend that you have 36 education and 27 history. So, I went on and taught. I really wanted to teach high school history. So many people want to teach high school history, but those jobs were hard to find and are now hard to find, so - so I left there and went down to - to Rumford and taught junior high science and moved around some and - and eventually ended - I was teaching in Rumford for quite a long time mostly fifth grade and I could teach history there as well as I could teach how to write, how to read, all those things. So, it was in 1950 - 1986 - in June when - when we left Rumford and came up here. I taught a couple of years at the Township and I had worked for Immigration summers from 1967, was it? Or Ď68?
Marie Dudley: Ď68.
John Dudley: Ď68. And through - through - after I stopped teaching at the Township, in Ď88, I went to work on a more full time basis for Immigration, but - but not full time.
John Foley: This was just during the summer or - - -
John Dudley: Well, no. After I finished teaching I worked on a year round basis.
John Foley: Year round. Ok.
John Dudley: Most of those - most of those years - ten years, I worked 48 hours every two weeks. It could be five days one week and one the next or any combination thereof. So, I indeed think that takes care of those first two questions - how - what I - what I did before I got here and - - -
John Foley: Well, you - you must have quite a- I donít know - a contrast of memories of when you were a kid here. What the town was like and what the community seemed like to you and what it seems like today. I donít know. Maybe not, but what do you remember about it from your childhood? What was different, if anything?
John Dudley: Well, Iíll tell you a story. My father came out here all the time if he could and I remember coming up Route 1. It was a tar road from Calais to Woodland. Coming up to the Airline - starting up the Airline. We came out there about a mile to - to Ross and Neva Sadler lived there in that big green farmhouse. The road was tarred, and I said to my father, I said, ďMy land, the road is tarred. Pretty soon it will be tarred clear to the camp.Ē He assured me that it would not be. I going to guess this was in Ď48 - around that time. He assured me it would not be because Baileyville was a mill town and it had lots and lots and lots of tax money. And, by this time we were getting to where the Alexander town line was and he pointed out that Alexander was a town made up of - of farmers, which was true at the time - the very end of the farming era - and people who worked in the woods and things like that and nobody had very much money and there wasnít very many taxes collected and taxes charged. And so, weíd never get the road tarred out here. Obviously that didnít hold true. But, you know, when -when I was a kid - now, you lived on - there was that big field and - and when I was a kid I would take a bicycle - balloon tired bicycle and ride from the camp from the camp down there two point two miles up hill to the Airline. Sometimes Iíd push. Sometimes Iíd ride, and Iíd ride west on Route Nine, a dirt road, to where your place is and go back in that field and there was an apple tree that had really good apples. Now, they must have been early apples because this had to have been in the summertime, late summer.
John Foley: And, they were ripe, already, huh?
John Dudley: They were ripe. Oh they were wonderful apples. Now, there was a crab apple tree next to it and that belonged to - that field belonged to Edgar Perkins, who was - he bought that from - - -
John Foley: Alberta, his daughter.
John Dudley: Alberta, his daughter, right. When I was up there about this time in the late Ď40s. Well, it would have been between probably Ď48 and Ď54. In that time I was buying - turned 15. I saw this - this bird fly across that field. Never seen it before. And, when my father got home out here that night - he was a lawyer and a judge and worked in Calais mostly - I described that bird to him and he was real excited and he got the bird book out and showed me a picture of it. It was a pileated woodpecker and they were rare in those days.
John Foley: No kidding. Yes, yes. Well theyíre still around out there. Theyíre more common now.
John Dudley: Theyíre very common, now. Yes. As I was saying, when my grandfather built that camp down there in 1910, it was a moose hunting camp. By the 1940s when I first, you know, remember going down the river and out around the lake, etc., when you saw a moose, it was a big thing. It was -was really unusual.
John Foley: Rare, huh? Oh yes.
John Dudley: Today we see moose - - -
John Foley: Moose are fairly common.
John Dudley: - - - all the time. Marie saw one yesterday on Route 9 that was hit by a tractor trailer truck. Didnít see any deer. The moose was dead.
John Foley: Do you remember anything, I donít know, interaction with the community, you know? Like, your father basically he- he vacationed here. Is that what he did?
John Dudley: Yes, yes. Came out weekends. And he and my grandfather were both lawyers and they had - they did legal business for a lot of the local people. And, I - in those days prior to Ď54 - I mean after - but primarily during that time, prior to Ď54, you knew everybody and they knew you. I can start here and I can go from here to Baileyville or from here to Cooper or from here to Crawford or even across South Princeton Road. There wasnít - wasnít anybody living on that then except for Mel Hammond up here. I can name the families in each house and - and well, by 1970, you know the census said we only had 169 people here. That wasnít very many more than that in 1960 and 1950 and 1940. It has dropped off slowly. But the people - for example, the next place up where that little log cabin is this side of Marian Cousins, there was a farm house there, two barns, two American barns. The people who were there when I was a little kid were Charles and Elvie Cousins, and Elvie died and the family went through pow wows and they decided that the oldest daughter, Linnie, and her husband, Ralph, would move home and look after Charles. And so - I can just barely remember Charles being there and a few - few situations with him, but then Ralph and Linnie lived there. Thatís where we got our milk and eggs. They, like so many more here in town, took produce to Woodland once a week. Now, I never - when - when I was up here, nobody used a horse to go to Woodland or to Calais. That stopped sometime in the Ď30s probably. But, Ralph had a - a Buick car - still sitting up there and once a week they would load stuff in to take to Woodland. They took it to certain houses and certain stores - eggs, milk, butter, and stuff from - from the garden and apples.
John Foley: And so, was that their main - main income or was that just part of what other - - -
John Dudley: That was their only - - -
John Foley: Only income.
John Dudley: That was true. Now, at that same time, there were some farmers here who had a lot of cows. And, Lyston Frost was one - lived across from the Grange Hall. Mind will go blank here on me. Varnums had a lot of cows. Nelson Flood, over near the Cooper - Cooper line had a lot of cows and there were others, but they would - the milk they produced was sold in several places. One was the Hancock County Creamery which came around a collected. It would be raw milk or maybe skimmed. Maybe they skimmed the cream off for the creamery. There was a dairy in Calais for a short time. And then Bert Varnum put in a pasteurization plant and - and so quite a number of people during that time and weíre going through to the - probably to the late Ď50s, early Ď60s and then when Bert sold that operation to Grantís there in Bangor, they shut it down. The - the promise was that they would take all the milk, but it - it wasnít - - -
John Foley: It didnít happen that way.
John Dudley: It didnít happen. And, so that - that was the end of farming other than for blueberries - blueberries in this town. Horses - you know the gardens down there - down below by the camp - the two gardens there - Harold Cousins would plow those. Sometimes Ralph McArthur, who lived up here, would plow them with a horse. And (indistinct words) imagine for - for whatever - five dollars, theyíd come all the way down there with a horse - with a harrow on a wagon - a plow and a harrow - spring toothed harrow, and - and theyíd plow it and then theyíd switch over and theyíd harrow it and theyíd load this plow back on and go up the road and - to the next place.
John Foley: That must have been almost a dayís work, or a half a dayís or something.
John Dudley: Probably a half a day. Of course five dollars was a lot of money in those days especially out here. And as - as I say, a lot of them lived pretty fugally.
John Foley: Well, the Grange Hall must have been in operation pretty much then. (Indistinct words) Pike Seavey mentioned that when I was talking with him. He said that was quite a big center of community activity.
John Dudley: Well, it was. And that - that - you know about the stone under the front door was built in 1908. The Grange at that time was almost 20 years old in time.
John Foley: But, did they have another meeting place before that, that you know of?
John Dudley: Yes, they - and I - I canít tell you for sure if the Grange - where the Grange met, but I do know that there was a church where the Grange Hall is now and they would have meetings there - church meetings there. They may have had Grange meetings.
John Foley: Oh, I see. Ok.
John Dudley: They were in 1950 - Ď50 there was the Four Corners School up here near where Foster Carlow lives this side of the road - used to be a store.
John Foley: Village Store, yes.
John Dudley: Village Store. There was Hale School where the old fire station was and now is Rogersí - - -
John Foley: Rogersí house, yes.
John Dudley: There was Cedar School up at the top of Gooch Hill where Donna and Norman Brown live. So those three schools, public buildings, were open - were available and they could have met there. So, meeting places werenít really hard to come by. But, you know, they met there in the Ď50s. They had the Fourth of July celebration out front and that went until - well, then they changed it to Alexander Day because they couldnít compete with Eastport and Pembroke. So, that has taken away a lot of the - - -
John Foley: Cohesion, yes, yes. You can spread things around a lot easier.
John Dudley: And, so - yes, and the Grange was - you know, the - the people in the Grange were the farmers and - and Pliney kept a - a - quite a record of the Grange which the historical society has now, and how everybody was a farmer and a lot of those farmers were Grange members. There were some who werenít for - for whatever reason. Some were afraid of quote ďriding the goat.Ē You see, it was a secret society.
John Foley: Oh, really?
John Dudley: They had things that - - -
John Foley: Ceremonies and things.
John Dudley: Ceremonies, and - and Iíve heard this in many small towns, that they kept a goat in the attic. The people had to ride a goat, and there were some people, and Iíve been told this here in Alexander that ďThe Grange might be nice but Iíd never want to belong because I wouldnít want to ride that goat.Ē
John Foley: Well, I guess it was like an initiation or something like that.
John Dudley: Right
John Foley: Ok. Yes, yes.
John Dudley: Whether - whether it happened or not.
John Foley: Well, have you noticed recently - you know, - you know, you said - said everybody knew each other. I guess you mean by now itís probably quite a different situation in town - in Alexander.
John Dudley: Back then there were - we were beginning to get - or I should say going back to 1909 when Louie Adams came down here to Pokey Lake from away in 1910, 19 - my grandfather came down here - he was from away. I mean, he lived in Calais and he was born in Pembroke. Pembroke was almost as far away as Massachusetts in those days. But, it wasnít until into the Ď50s that we started to see a -a fair change here and that was - it wasnít really a change in family names. That was when the people from Alexander whose parents of - of people from Woodland whose parents and grandparents had come from Alexander to work in the mill in Woodland. Then they began to have enough money and the idea of having a place on the lake became kind of popular and so we started to have the settlement around Pleasant Lake building up. And, there was one settlement here on Pokey Lake, McLellan Compound, because (indistinct words) started not too long after that, maybe late Ď50s, early Ď60s. Those people from South Princeton, but they worked in the mill. They commuted to the mill. Elbridge McArthur was one of the first to commute to the mill from Alexander after the - after the second war. Now, you come back from the war. Youíve been - youíve been either overseas or elsewhere in this country. Youíve seen more of the world and the idea of - of staying on a - on a rocky farm and trying to make a living with five cows and a couple pigs and a pair of horses and working in the woods all winter and seeing that your father, this past year made $400 and you could go to Woodland and make that - well in 1955, I worked there for over $3.00 an hour, $3.05 an hour, so no - - -
John Foley: No comparison.
John Dudley: $400 in a month there, easily, compared to $400 for a year up here. So they - they started - others moved in there but they came back out here - a lot of them to - to build camps. And - but, they were the same families. But, then we have the influx starting in - oh, 1970. The people come back to the land - coming in and who wanted to live like the guy from California up on the Robb Hill Road - wants to live in the woods.
John Foley: Yes, yes, and there was a big - well land was for sale, too. There was available land in Alexander at that time.
John Dudley: Yes. Carleton, Merle Knowles, Edgar Perkinsí children - there were a number of them that had sold off then. That didnít happen in Crawford. Itís - itís just different. The people that owned the land down there tended not to sell it. So we have - we have people here - those that go to the town meetings - I managed to - to know most of them, but thereís - looking at the court news in the paper, thereís constantly people Iíve never heard of.
John Foley: Yes, sure. A lot of new names.
John Dudley: I knew the address so theyíre not moving into new places.
John Foley: I was going to say, are they renting? Are there a lot of rental places in Alexander?
John Dudley: No.
John Foley: I donít think there is. To me - I never heard of many, but you know - the story.
John Dudley: Itís a societal thing today that - that somebody has a place and theyíll take in a sister and a brother-in-law and their kids. So - so you may know one person that lives there but you may not know the rest of the family. Looking at the yearbook from the school the other day and Marie and I both commented almost all the children from grade four down - didnít have a clue. Did not - - -
John Foley: New names, huh?
John Dudley: Did not recognize the family names.
John Foley: Oh yes. Gee, thatís amazing. Well, that just shows you that thereís quite a change in the makeup of the population.
John Dudley: And, then another difference between the Ď50s and now is that there are people who - who come and stay for a year - two, three, four years and go. Back then, the people who were here in 1950, most of them died here or died in Woodland.
John Foley: Yes, there was a stable population. Whatever their connection to Woodland or to here. Yes. Well, you know, itís quite a scenic area. What do you think about the - I donít know, the beauty of the place or the - the lake itself - Pocomoonshine - you seem to have quite a connection to Pocomoonshine. What do you think about that?
John Dudley: Well, Iím an old fashioned person. I think that - that the Down East Lakes Land Trust is going to be able to acquire the development rights for - for - oh half of Pokey. Right now there are seven camps out there. The rest of the camps are on this shore accessed from this Pokey Road or the South Princeton area. Thatís all right. I think people should have - have an opportunity to have a place on a lake or go to a lake for - for a visit. I think - I really feel those who do should - should consider the neighborhood theyíre moving into. Some of the - even in town here some of the places are like - almost as big as skyscrapers.
John Foley: Yes, right. They donít fit with the decor - the traditions or things like that.
John Dudley: They bring in other ideas, but I like the lake front. Iím concerned about it in the long run. Iíve been - my father started with the - the lake monitoring program started the D.E.P. - is charged - that - that lake belongs to we the people - the State of Maine. And the D.E.P. is charged with making sure that all the public waters are kept good, clean, pure. And they donít have many people to do that so they have a volunteer program. My father did it from the mid Ď70s until he died in- he died in Ď88 so he stopped in Ď87 doing that and I picked it up ever since. The - the lake water hasnít changed - the quality. Boat traffic has increased some. It increased an awful lot after the new landing in South Princeton opened. And, then I have headed up the loon count for a number of years now and thatís been a kind of a sad tale. But, that doesnít have much to do with the people on the lake, it has to do with - with the amount of rain weíve had and the weather conditions and - and also the dam. I like to say the dam people. The dam people - the dam down at the foot of Crawford Lake. Itís called Pokey Dam and it holds water for both lakes. It was a log driving dam and then about the early part of the 1900s Bangor Hydro acquired the water rights and they built a real high dam for water storage and they had a - like a generation plant at East Machias. And then the people at Crawford - some of them - discovered that Bangor Hydro had a lot of money and they did bring electricity to Crawford so one way they could get something from Bangor Hydro was to have things go wrong with the dam. And so, things would happen with the dam and they would hire local people to fix them and eventually around 1934 the dam burned right to the water line and Bangor Hydro chose not to fix it. And, so my father and I think Conrad Woodruff, Billy Woodruff and four or five local people mostly from Crawford bought the dam rights from - from Bangor Hydro and they built a rolling dam which is just a fixed dam and they did have a fish way in it. And, that lasted until in the Ď50s and my father got - at that time he had - he went to Fish and Wildlife - they pledged that and that lasted until the mid - until 1980 give or take. That - and then several - well, they formed this Crawford-Pocomoonshine Association of which Iím a member of and - and somewhat active in. And, they built - they rebuilt the dam and had to do some work a couple of years later, but itís - itís a good rugged dam. Itís cement. I think itís about three inches higher.
John Foley: Ok, so itís stabilizing the lake?
John Dudley: Itís stabilizes it - a little bit higher. And, itís tighter so it doesnít leak around it like the old wooden dams did. So, the water level of the lake is higher which - which causes problems for the loons. Thatís the long story (indistinct word)
John Foley: Oh, I see. Ok, so that was connected to the loons. Yes, I was wondering about that, yes.
John Dudley: Yes. They like to nest about the middle of May - between the middle and - and Memorial Day in May and then they hatch out around the first of July. If they hatch out by the - around the first of July then the adults - the chicks are big enough to fly before ice comes. If not, the chicks canít fly, why they freeze in.
John Foley: Oh, my gosh.
John Dudley: So, they become eagle food or fox food or whatever.
John Foley: Ok, ok. I see itís pretty important.
John Dudley: Thereís not too much time there for them and so they - this year the water was high and Iíd be willing to bet on the 16th of July we wonít find a single chick.
John Foley: Oh, is that right? Yes? Is that - gee! Thatís devastating.
John Dudley: (Indistinct words) They live for 25 years.
John Foley: Yes. Yes.
John Dudley: But, - - -
John Foley: You donít need too many seasons like that to really knock the population down. Almost every time Iíve been out on the lake, Iíve found loons out there - paddling my kayak or something.
John Dudley: I know a lot of the summer people will say ďOh-h itís great. I saw five loons today.Ē I say, ďThatís terrible.Ē Iím talking in July. You should be seeing - you should be seeing a pair of loons with a pair - with a pair of chicks or one chick. Thatís what you should be seeing.
John Foley: Iíve never seen chicks. Of course, Iím not out there that often either, you know.
John Dudley: In September and October and - and in - and in July you have the bachelor - bachelor and bachelorette loons, those that didnít nest. They - they bunch around - theyíre - theyíre in flocks anywhere from five to a dozen. And theyíll go from lake to lake. But, theyíre not - theyíre not yet in the production state.
TAPE TURNED OVER. SOME CONVERSATION LOST
John Foley: (Indistinct words) weíve touched down on your connection. Anything else you think is, I donít know, remarkable or interesting about the history of Alexander and your connection to it. Is this place unique from your perspective? Iíve asked that of a number of people. Most people that came back have been away and stuff like that and I - I say why did you come back. Is it just your family or is it the place? Does the place have some qualities in it?
John Dudley: Well, uniqueness is in the mind of the perceiver. And, I think Alexander is - is unique. And it goes - and it goes back to its name. Alexander named after Alexander Baring. And that - the Baring brothers (indistinct word). Thereís a huge history there. Alexander, it derived itís - whatever - - -
John Foley: Essence?
John Dudley: Essence, yes. Originally from that road that was called Blackís Road and Alexander Baringís agent was in - in Maine - was John Black and John Black, and before him David Cobb - that was Johnís father-in-law. They - they wanted this road from the Penobscot to the Schoodic or St. Croix River, and it was for settling. David Cobb, who was William Binghamís agent, felt that this land could be turned into money by selling it to farmers. John Black, when he came along a few years later and - and worked for Cobb, and then - and then replaced Cobb in 1820. Cobb retired -retired, and in essence Black had done most of the work for maybe six or eight years before that. Black recognized that the land wasnít going to be very good farm land and that the value on the land was the timber that was growing and he became very wealthy from timber, himself, and he sold a lot of land to - to timber people. Here in Alexander chunks of land were sold to East Machias people primarily because this river - Pocomoonshine goes down to the East Machias River - so does Barrows Lake. Some of the logs went across - went down from Pleasant Lake - down Sixteenth Stream and down Meddybemps through Dennysville to the Dennys River. However there was a mill on Sixteenth Stream in Alexander and so John (indistinct name) was not in favor of sending logs down, so the logs that were cut around Pleasant Lake usually ended up there and they were sawed for local trade. Those cut around Meddybemps Lake went down to Dennysville. So, you can say well other towns have the - well, all these towns, if you get the big map out of - of Washington and Hancock County, youíll see thereís a whole lot of townships without - without a name and nobody living there.
John Foley: Without a population. Alexander had a size - reasonably sizeable population.
John Dudley: Because of that road and because there was a waterway to mills - mills particularly in East Machias. There were other towns in - in - in Eastern Maine and in Maine - other areas, that didnít have rivers - didnít have rivers that were driveable.
John Foley: Yes, yes. Prob - I donít know, probably everybody had trees to some extent, but the -the wood here must have been remarkable. It must have been exceptional, I think, because certainly the land isnít exceptional. Itís exceptionally difficult and thin and - and almost impossible to - to farm it much but it shows the character of the people that they tried and did clear as much as they did.
John Dudley: Well, there - John Black and David Cobb, I think were benevolent proprietors for agents. I - I - one letter that Black wrote to his subagent down here - lived in Baring, and the subagent apparently before had reported that a man here in Alexander had died. Blackís response was for the subagent to go to the family to make sure they had enough to do them the winter. This was in October or November. And, to make a judgement concerning the oldest boy whether he would be able to take up the bond that his father had - take up the agreement to buy this land that his father had. Unfortunately to date, Iíve never found one of those agreements. Iíve found references to them in deeds, etc. but Iíd expect that the bonds or the agreements said that you will clear so much land, you will build a house and you will work on the road. Maybe other things. And then that you will pay so much - - -
John Foley: Yes, there would be some kind of payment.
John Dudley: - - - some cash. Some payment. Because some of them were over 30 years from the time they landed here according to the deed - to the census until they purchased the land - got the deeds.
John Foley: Yes. Ok. Yes, well most of them didnít have money to start with.
John Dudley: Right. Right. Yes.
John Foley: In fact, probably - that probably would be unusual for somebody to come and buy outright. (Indistinct words)
John Dudley: Exactly. For one, James Morrison. Well, ever since I was a kid, thereís a Morrisonís Corner on Pokomoonshine Lake. Itís an island now because of the dams. Back then it was a point. And, you know, place names, where do they come from?
John Foley: Yes. Right. There was somebody here by the name of Morrison at some point.
John Dudley: Well, in my research for - for - this lot which is Lot 18 and the one across the road which is Lot 19, I eventually get back to a quit claim deed in the late 1840s from James Morrison to Henry Payson Whitney. He gave - he sold to Whitney the two lots of land which would be 320 acres of land except that youíve got to realize a lot of it is in the water and the buildings and improvements. He was here - James Morrison was here in 1840 according to the census. My assumption would be that he would not be moving from place to place in a few years time. But, he apparently had an agreement and it does - in that deed it mentions this agreement with - with John Black. And that - he couldnít - he didnít own the land. He owned this agreement and the improvements heíd done to the land and thatís what he gave a quit claim deed to. But, you know, I think with James - I donít know - there are one, two, three, four, five, six house sites on - on this - this land,
John Foley: That many, huh?
John Dudley: That many on this side of the road. Where he lived, I donít know. I think he may have lived in a completely different place and he may have just had a - a mud - mudsill building (indistinct word) and never dug a cellar. But, he - he lived in one of these - on - on these - this place. So, I think of him - he moved here, he had three quarters of a mile of frontage on the lake. The value of that to him was not selling it as camp lots but cutting those pines and having them drop into the lake.
John Foley: Into the water.
John Dudley: Onto the ice, and then, you know, being - - -
John Foley: Beats sledding them out or getting them around.
John Dudley: Right. Yes, yes. Then he moved to Woodland.
John Foley: Oh, yes. Well, thereís Morrisons in Woodland, there. Thereís quite a family there.
John Dudley: I - I wouldnít be surprised. They might tie in.
John Foley: Thereís - in fact, thereís Frankie Morrison just graduated a few years ago and their father or grandfather, I think, had something to do with those headstones that were marked. There was a Morrison - I donít know what connection they - I think of the granite headstones and there was a grandfather. I donít remember his name. He worked in the mill - a great big guy and - I canít think of his first name, but he was the grandfather of a bunch of those kids.
John Dudley: Iíll tell you something unique. Weíre going up on Breakneck Mountain later on, arenít we. On Breakneck Mountain in 1852 three men died in a well. And, that of course made the press. It made the local press. But, four or five years ago - maybe ten years ago, I had a - a letter from or a telephone call from a girl in Seattle, Washington. She had been home visiting her parents in Pownal, Maine and they had been redoing their house. They had taken up the floor and underneath the old floor there were newspapers and being a studious type, she had picked up the newspapers and was reading them and she came across this article describing or telling that three men had died in a well on Breakneck Mountain, Alexander, Maine. So, she called me. She wanted the story.
John Foley: Well, how did she know to call you?
John Dudley: Well, I donít know. Maybe she called the (indistinct words - both men talking at the same time).
John Foley: (Indistinct words - both men talking at the same time) called several people and they said to call (indistinct words - both men talking at the same time).
John Dudley: I donít know, but she got through to me. And so I told her the story. Essentially one man - man had cleaned the well out - a skunk had fallen down there or - or what, you know. But, he had gone down there. Heíd baled it out. Heíd cleaned it all out and then he put straw down the well and burned it to purify the air. And, then he went down to retrieve the straw. And, his wife looked down and he was slumped over and she sent the kids next door to get help. Help came almost immediately and the next fellow went down in the well and poof - slumped over. Third fellow arrived and goes down in the well and he senses somethingís wrong and he comes back up and the fourth one comes and goes down and died. I think, that itís pretty well put together that he burned the oxygen out of the well and they died of asphyxiation. She came clear from - she came back to visit her parents at home one summer and came down here and stayed with - stayed - stayed with us for three or four days. Middle of June. We did the loon count. She and I went up - in July, we went out and did the loon count. Marieís understanding. She stayed home and we took this young woman who sings opera.
John Foley: Oh really? Oh, thatís interesting.
John Dudley: She sings opera. Sheís probably 30 years old. She sings opera. Took her out and we did the loon count. But, we went up on Breakneck and Norman Davis was up there and he showed us some things and - and I told her - Iím going to - when we go up this afternoon, Iíll - Iíll take some of my notes because I donít always have them - Reuben Fenlason was one of the names. But, all the names arenít - arenít necessarily in my head, I think properly and I prefer not to - if Iím going to tell a lie, itís going to be a big one.
John Foley: Yes, right, not just get the wrong name (Indistinct words) victims.
John Dudley: We touched - it should be almost time to shut off, but one of - one of the lies that I probably should tell you is something that very few - few people know and that is the last - the last battle of the Civil War was fought within a quarter mile of here.
John Foley: Really? What battle was that?
John Dudley: Well, it doesnít have a name but thereís a whole story and itís been pretty well documented of this - this remnants - of - of the army - die hard remnants of the - of the Confederate Army. They - they had to escape their country - their country had been defeated and they couldnít - they couldnít go to Mexico, they had to go to Canada and this - this whole - this whole thing all the way up through and it was not until they - they came over the hill in - in Beddington - Shoppee Hill where - where in 1858 Jefferson Davis had been.
John Foley: Oh, really? Heíd been there?
John Dudley: Yes, thatís - thatís another story. Thatís not (indistinct words). But, those people there, because of their relationship with Jefferson Davis, knew about the Civil War and recognized these people going through late at night and so they sent the message ahead at night through - this was before the stage - through to here and in Crawford there was a band they - they set up a band of them in Crawford - of locals - a barricade across the road and they drove them off into the woods and down until they hit the East Machias River and they started working their way up through and the people from (indistinct words) came down here and met - right down here and thatís where the last battle was fought. That - that is an excellent story that - that is based on good imagination.
John Foley: Based on someone - someoneís notions, Iím sure. Well, do you have anything else to add or do you think thatís enough for one day?
John Dudley: Thatís enough. Iíll show you - Iíll show you the bayonet that came from down there, but thatís enough.
John Foley: All right.
END OF TAPE