JOHN M. DUDLEY

LAKES IN ALEXANDER and CRAWFORD

May 19, 1991
 

(Names and other words that could not be transcribed exactly are in italics. Unknown voices are referred to as ďmanĒ or ďwoman.Ē Comments, explanations, and additional names are in parentheses.)

John M. Dudley: Up until a few years ago, Barrows Lake was inaccessible as far as automobiles were concerned. Barrows Lake has now - you can reach it with an automobile and it has been developed somewhat. There is one island in Barrows Lake. Gullyís Lake has no islands. First Mud, Second Mud, (indistinct name) none of them have islands. Barrows Lake does and Barrows Lake flows into Love Lake. Now, the next to the last lake - as far as I know thereís never been a mill on Barrows Lake. There was just the one on Dwellyís Lake and they also had a shingle mill there when Della (indistinct words) in charge of (indistinct word) I can remember she had a shingle mill there that she bought from Vic Chase. I can remember I did the legal work. And, Everett Dwelly set it up for her. That was back in the days - that was back in the days, I think, before they had electricity over there. She just ran by water power - probably came from the old mills here - shingle machine came from the old Chase mill there in Baring. Now, the only other lake that I have on here for Alexander is Meddybemps Lake. I couldnít describe Meddybemps because I am not too familiar with it. Iíve been on it some. Meddybemps Lake is a huge lake, much, much larger than this lake, very large lake and probably about five percent of it, no, more than that, is in Alexander. The rest of it is in Baileyville, Baring and the town of Meddybemps. It has many, many islands.
 

Woman: I used to (indistinct words)

John M. Dudley: (indistinct words) and Meddybemps, as far as all these lakes are concerned, is the lake which has been developed much longer than any of these others. Back - well at least a hundred years people have been coming from away and building camps on Meddybemps Lake and fishing there. These other lakes have developed quite recently. And that, Meddybemps, as I said before, if the headwaters in that - in that area of the Dennys River which has a sizable of Atlantic - fresh run salmon fishing. Meddybemps is one of the big lakes (indistinct word) and the other one is Cathance Lake. Thatís over in Cooper - 14 - that goes down into the Dennys River. Now, Meddybemps Lake - Iím not sure of the mills there, but to my knowledge there was a small saw mill and a grist mill at the foot of the lake. At a later date they cut it - now across from Meddybemps, it crosses the road right by the church and goes into the river just a short distance below the outlet. Now, theyíre probably what 20 feet wide, 30 feet wide. And, thereís a shingle mill set up on that town. Those are the only mills that I know of there. There was never any big saw mills or anything there. It was just like Pocomoonshine - this area here. There was logging going on but the logs went down river. Over there they went down to Edmunds on the Dennys River where they were sawed. And, of course all the stuff that was cut up here in this country on Pocomoonshine and the Mud Lakes and what not - Crawford Lake - went down the East Machias River and went down to the saw mills down in Jacksonville and East Machias. We get back to Crawford. Crawford Lake is a long narrow lake. It lies almost wholly within the Town of Crawford but the very upper end of it - what we call Huntley Cove - one section of it is in Plantation Number Twenty One. Crawford Lake - the water in Crawford Lake is much darker than it is up here. Matter of fact, by just going down there, you can see the difference where Allen Stream comes in. Allen Stream has water that looks just like tea. (Indistinct word) perfectly good. Itís all right to drink. But it looks just like tea. Above Allen Stream up this way, the water is clear. When you get in there going down, you get in that Allen Stream water it colors it. The rocks down there in Crawford Lake are all dark and you hit them before you see them. If they were nice bright granite why you probably could see them but the water is so dark and the rocks are so dark that - - - The lake is probably six miles long and oh about a half a mile wide. One stretch down there is narrow (indistinct words) close together and goes down. The outlet of course flows into a decent sized river. To the best of my knowledge, on the western side of the lake there are no camps. Up until recently there were very few on the eastern side. There were a couple there and then Emerson bought Johnny Waterhouse point and he built a big (indistinct words) by the well and then somebody else and now is it Greensward?

First Woman: Preston.

John M. Dudley: Huh?

First Woman: Preston.

(Laughter and several people talking at the same time - canít be transcribed.)

John M. Dudley: Then a number of years ago there was a road put in to a landing down below there, right below the narrows and thereís a public landing there now and there are several camps right there. I do not know how many. The town - used to be part of the - ministerial and school lots I think lays on both sides of the lake originally. Back in the - oh, late Ď20s probably, the Diamond Match Company had an operation over on the western shore of the lake and I assume it was on the ministerial land they cut on. They cut pine and the pine was hauled out to the shore and put into the lake and it was boomed and they used capstan rafts and towed those logs across to the other side and they set up a portable mill there and sawed those pine up into planks. They later became match sticks. That is the only mill Iíve ever known to be right on the shore of Crawford Lake. Do you know of any others.
 

Second Woman: I donít know if they had a mill on the east shore or not. Thereís a place down there they call the mill pond.

John M. Dudley: I think there was a mill down just beyond the church. Thereís a little brook. And, I know John and I was digging around down in there and thereís evidence down there now. Down below thereís a - thereís a mill pond. I think probably on that brook they had a - and just above the brook - Airline Road (indistinct words)

Second Woman: I did know who had that mill on the mill pond. Now Iíve forgotten.

John M. Dudley: And, just shortly below the road - - -

Second Woman: Itíll come to me.

John M. Dudley: - - - on the brook there are some old timbers there - - -

Second Woman: Diamond Match, wasnít it?

John M. Dudley: - - - apparently there was a foundation there that was part of a mill. Apparently they saved up enough water to have a sluice of some kind and they brought it down and they ran the mill from under the water line and then they (indistinct words).

Second Woman: They also used to drag the logs down through to Crawford Lake.

John M. Dudley: All the logs from this whole country here went down - that is down the river, down into Crawford and from there down to East Machias and Jacksonville. The last log drive that went out of Crawford Lake was in 1919. They had a river - they had a river driving jam there at that time, and they had logs and they hoisted the gates and they didnít have enough water and the drive hung up. A lot of them going to Talbotís, the mill down in Jacksonville. They got a hold of Harvey Hayward and Harvey took over and he closed the dam in and says ďI think I can get Ďem down,Ē and, that was one of those years when the first of June came and it rained and rained and rained and he got a good head of water and he got every log down.

Second Woman: Down the (indistinct word). Grandma (indistinct words) the river drive on that lake.

John M. Dudley: Well, your - your grandfather, Charles - - -

Second Woman: Oh, yes.

John M. Dudley: - - - he told me he could remember cutting the meadow hay down here and there was one rock down there (indistinct words) and they all used to call that the river driving rock because you could stand on that - because they had a boom on both sides of the river in those marshes - meadows. (indistinct words) The last lake I have - not too long here - the last lake I have which is in Crawford. Letís see, Crawford Lake is mostly in Crawford - just that Huntley Cove part is in twenty one. Thereís Love Lake over in Crawford which is partly in Crawford, but the lower end of it is in Township 19. That lake in a beautiful lake. It has this gin-clear water - sandy - golden sand and gravel - beautiful. There are no islands in it that I know of. Beautiful sand beach at the head of it where Barrows Lake Stream comes in. Barrows Lake flows into Love Lake, then Love Lake flows out into Northern Stream and Northern Stream goes down - Northern Stream is a beautiful - used to be a beautiful trout stream and it is a great area for - for the Atlantic Salmon to spawn. Salmon - the Atlantic Salmon come up the East Machias River and that Northern Stream is one of the best spawning grounds in the whole river.

Second Woman: They donít get many salmon down there, though.

John M. Dudley: And they used to have landlocked salmon. They were stocked for a while. And, here a couple of winters ago - three winters ago, maybe - they caught a landlocked salmon in this lake - right up here at the public landing through the ice, up in the (indistinct words) and a beautiful fish, female, just as plump. And, I always figured that that - where she came from - she came from Love Lake. Went down the river - down Northern Stream into the East Machias River and then came up the river and ended up in (indistinct word). This lake of course is not a salmon lake. On Love Lake Stream - no Barrows Lake Stream - up there a short distance, there used to be a marvelous trout hole. You could catch trout there that weighed three and four pounds a piece. And, if you donít believe me, you ask Bob Archer. Heís somebody (indistinct words). Bob thought that was his private - oh, he had a camp there (indistinct words) lived on Love Lake of course for many, many years. Thatís about all I have.

Second Woman: Jack, (indistinct words) Where is Grand Lake? Well, I just heard from Margaret Ferris that Grand Lake is in part of the Alexander Records (indistinct words).

John M. Dudley: The only area or place I know around here that you could call Grand Lake would be in New Brunswick.

Second Woman: Really?

John M. Dudley: Now, we have a - a West Grand Lake here, but the town there is called Grand Lake Stream. We have East Grand, which is over on the (indistinct word) east branch of the St. Croix over in back of Danforth. Thatís called East Grand. The old name is Chiputneticook. But, there is a place on the St. John River which I think is known as Grand Lake.

First Man: The one that (indistinct words)

(Several men talking at the same time - canít be transcribed.)

John M. Dudley: They moved back and forth across the border in the Danforth area every other day. They didnít even know where they were because they didnít know where the border was for years.

Second Woman: I think it (indistinct words)

Third Woman: A lot of them were born over the river.

Second Woman: Pardon?

Third Woman: A lot of them were born over the river.

John M. Dudley: Parts of those lakes are in Maine and part are in New Brunswick - - -

First Man: Yes, on the East Branch.

John M. Dudley: - - - but where the (indistinct words) in New Brunswick.

Third Woman: Did many of them go up there to get married or what did they do?

John M. Dudley: Apparently they went there for a lumbering operation, because they were married down in St. David.

First Woman: Also is there anybody here (indistinct words) were buried in their family?

Second Woman: That what?

First Woman: Buried. Anybody else that was buried in that line?

Second Woman: No.

John M. Dudley: Blue berries.

(Several people laughing and then talking at the same time - canít be transcribed)

Second Man: May I ask you one question? Do you know how much the level of this lake was raised when they built the dam at (indistinct word)? Any idea?

John M. Dudley: Well, I would guess that the old river - river dam down there would probably put this lake up 12 feet. Of course they didnít have it - keep it closed all the time.

(Several people talking at the same time - canít be transcribed.)

John M. Dudley: They closed it in the fall.

Third Man: (indistinct words) the dam that causes the - the marshes - marshes - before there was any dam at all. I was wondering if what the difference - - -

John M. Dudley: Yes. Good idea. (Indistinct words) The original level was probably about 18 inches lower than it is now. Maybe a foot lower - 18 inches.

(Tape turned over - some conversation lost.)

John M. Dudley: - - - probably put this lake up 12 feet. Of course they didnít hold it - keep it closed all the time.

(Several men talking at the same time - canít be transcribed)

Third Man: - - - the dam that causes the - the marsh - marshes before there was any dam at all, I was wondering if there was a difference in the water level.

John M. Dudley: Well, yes. Yes. Good idea. Talking about the dam. The original level probably would be about 18 inches lower than it is now. Maybe a foot lower than 18 inches. The river driving dams - they closed those in in the fall - keep them closed all winter to take advantage of the snow and the rain and whatnot and in the spring theyíd have a - hopefully theyíd have them full. Then theyíd open them up to take the drive down, and the lake drained right out - drained down. It couldnít drain down to its original level but it would drain down to what they called the old bed lock that ran across. It held up probably a foot or 18 inches maybe or probably (indistinct words).

Third Man: Yes.

John M. Dudley: Then of course we had a - later on in Machias we had a - the old dam finally went to pieces - rotted out - put in a - Bangor Hydroelectric put in a dam down there - coffer dam - made - made a storage area there for the hydroelectric company in Machias and they held water up most of the time - probably four or five feet above the original level (indistinct words) And that finally went out and then in 1930 - mid 1930s there was a dam built kept the water just stabilized it - down about where it is now and that dam finally rotted out and another one was built in the Ď50s - same height. I do know that in the old days when the river driving dam was down there, theyíd - the water would go down of course after the drive and you could go up here to the mouth - here around Outlet Point in a canoe this time of the year in the middle of September you could paddle down through that - and when the black night

End of Tape