(Names and other words that could not be transcribed are in italics. Unknown voices are referred to as “man” or “woman.” Comments, explanations, and additional names are in parentheses.)
Georgina Paegle: Lawrence Lord on August 15, 2005. Lawrence, you’re going to tell us a little bit about the different fires in the area.
Lawrence Lord: Well, 1947 had several fires. One of the big fires was at Bar Harbor and burned off Cadillac Mountain. And, the other fire was in Whitneyville, Centerville, come pretty well into Machias. Burnt right across Route 1 there in some places. Another one was in Township 19, which just across to Joe Hanscom Heath about three miles down from Route 9, probably somewhere around three miles, probably. So anyway, they was - to start with - go back to the Bar Harbor fire - they had a - a big fire. And, I know - I can remember at the time, the Rockefellers, I don’t know if David Rockefeller and some of the other ones, they flew in equipment into Bar Harbor trying to get more fire fighting stuff to get the fire - still - still burnt the whole mountain. And, they threw stuff in, I’m sure, from everywhere. So, during that Bar Harbor fire, because I was only 15 years old, coming down over Harold Cousins’ hill which is Mr. Ed’s Blueberry Shed, and me, you know, being - which I thought on the fire in 19 - I come down - we come down over that hill and I got the hollers right out of me. I thought we were going to drive right into that fire. And there was the whole Cadillac Mountain on fire. The whole sky just lit. I can remember that. I was scared. It was probably 60 miles away. But anyway, that was quite a fire. But anyway, we got over that, and the Centerville, Whitneyville, that was a fire. Had every available man, I guess, taking care of it. But anyway, the one on - that one which come pretty well to Machias. So, the other one down here at 19 - they was all going at the same time, and like I told you about three miles probably down from Route 9. I can remember when that fire started, there was 100, 150 men - they gathered up from Wesley, Crawford, Alexander - I mean, men come - even the farmers - all fought down there. I remember being on the east side of Joe Hanscom Heath and the fire was just across the heath. And, Paul Seavey was - I remember him being there and of course the fire warden, no doubt was busy everywhere, so they put Paul in charge there, sort of. What I remember of it. At least I wouldn’t take a crew of men across that heath. (Indistinct words) because the fire was coming toward them, you know, and that heath get afire, you probably couldn’t run and get away from it. But, I think around seven men went over when the fire - but if the whole crew had went across that Joe Hanscom Heath, maybe a third of a mile or less, why would probably put the fire out or held it down pretty good, but a few men went over and I believe it was Pike Seavey, and I’m not sure. I’m pretty sure Pike was one of them, but, you know, no man wanted to be responsible to take that crew over where they wasn’t used to fires. So - but anyway, that happened. That was 1947 so the winter of ‘47, my father cut the logs on the fire, and myself. And I snowshoed every day across the Joe Hanscom Heath. I know all about that heath. (Indistinct word) And I went over there one day - went over there with a horse and a toboggan and tar paper and sill boards. No chainsaws then, all ax and buck saw. We built a hovel and left the horse over there that night. Took hay with us - dark and we snowshoed back of course. We cut the wood on that fire all winter. And, there’s a sawmill probably three quarters of a mile north which was Labelle’s sawmill. Three miles north of that Joe Hanscom Heath and of course they run that - they sawed logs there all winter into the spring. So, so anyway, on them logs, I guess there was - I bet you logs left on the fire that they never got out - a couple of years later my father went back and made a deal - probably paid the stumpage to St. Regis Paper Company. I don’t remember just what it was there and got the logs out and sawed the lumber out at Cecil Hatfield’s mill right here and put it in the lake in Alexander and out of that lumber, Joey Wallace’s barn up here - all them buildings come off of that ‘ 47 fire - 19 fire. All his buildings, that where the lumber come from. So, then of course they moved - then that pretty much takes care of - then LaBelle, they moved that sawmill - the winter of ‘47 - the next winter they moved over to the foot of Day Hill back in there - about two miles back in the woods, maybe more. I know. I walked it many times. So we went back in there the next winter and we cut wood - wood in the foot of the hill - way in just south of Beaver Dam and we cut wood there. We stayed there all winter. At the same time that we was there, Captain - well, that mill, there. Then the same winter George Endre - lived here in Alexander - used to have the store up here by - George Endre’s store which is - used to be Starkey’s Garage, now somebody else owns that place. Well anyway, Tukey had it - the same winter George Endre had around some 28 or 30 men up in a lumber camp North. That was what they called South Beaver Dam. I believe it’s South Beaver Dam. And, he had a big crew from Alexander, (indistinct word) everybody - well, just a big crew there working. They cut the logs. Then the following year they moved that sawmill up there. And, we stumped the lumber, Dad and I, and (indistinct word) somebody else to (indistinct words).
Georgina Paegle:When you went out to cut the lumber in the winter time, did you stay in these camps?
Lawrence Lord: No, no, we (indistinct word) walked back
Georgina Paegle: You came home?
Lawrence Lord: We stayed out (indistinct words) We left the horse over across the heath (indistinct word) the fire, or where there was a fire. We left the horse there but we’d bring the horse home weekends. You know, we didn’t have to go back in there to feed it. You know, where it was.
Georgina Paegle: Your daughter was
saying that you were telling some interesting stories about deer
Lawrence Lord: Well, that - well, I’ll tell you that’s one kind of comical. I forgot all about it until I was telling the kids the other night a little bit. The - Yes, we’re pretty well done on the narrow stuff. We could go on on that sawmill. (Knock) Yes?
Second Woman: Guy out here liked to speak to you - the insurance people.
TAPE TURNED OFF AND THEN BACK ON.
Lawrence Lord: Now, she just wanted to know - you got that on, have you?
Georgina Paegle: Un huh.
Lawrence Lord: She wanted to know a little about some deer stories. Well, I forgot about them - them old stories. I haven’t had a - been hunting for years. But, we used to be kind of - (chuckles) Well anyway, I was telling the kids the other night and I guess they’d never heard it. I’d really forgot about it. Oh, Kit, my - of course I - three of the oldest kids was quite small - you know, I suppose - well anyway, they was small and I had - - -
Second Woman: Barbie, Bonnie and Terry.
Lawrence Lord: Yes, Bonnie, Barbie and Terry. So we - we was just out hunting - went down in, I think, 19 woods - pile of deer. I seen the time when I was a kid going through the 19 woods, you’d see up to 58 deer at some certain time. Then it dropped down to 30. You go down there now, you couldn’t find one with a helicopter probably, there was a pile of deer in the 19 woods. This was after - well anyway, we was going down through there just riding along and a deer popped out. So I said, “Hold it.” and of course she wasn’t much of a driver. She stopped. Well the kids was eating candy, you know. Of course I had to have some of that molasses candy - some - you know how it’d stick to your hands. Boy, I shacked the - put a shell in my gun. Of course everything was stopped. I hauled that hammer back and the - well, my hands was all sticky and my hand slipped off - slipped off my trigger - off the safety and that thing went off, went down through the floorboards. Well, that deer took off. His tail between his legs, he went and about that time I guess Hilda stepped on the gas and we went. Well, anyway, we - “Yes,”I said, “guess we better stop.” Blew the oil stick right out of the car. I set down and she got down to work Better stop. I got out and see a puddle of water running out of the radiator - next to the radiator. Went out the side of the frame and right out through. (Indistinct words) Took that - that oil stick farther. An old junky car. Oh, I was just - I could tell you - talk all night on it - all day.
Man: You didn’t want air conditioning in the car, did you? (Laughter)
Lawrence Lord: Well, I - that was that. I’ll tell you another one. We was up here - well Neil Seavey and I, we used to hunt quite a bit. So, we went over and he was working probably eight to seven or four or something like that - working daytime. So, we was over here behind - that field across - before you get to Eddy Perkins’ blueberry field. We rode on the further side and drop in around. Well, shot a deer there that night. Must have went out and dressed him out a little bit, because I went over the next morning and I had an old K-5 International truck. Well they wasn’t much wider than that. Oh, just - wasn’t very big, you know, them old K-5's - old ‘40s. Must be in the ‘40s. Well anyway, I went over the next morning and got - got the deer. Well, I got it in there but there wasn’t room for me and the deer and the horns - oh a great big set of horns. So, I got the horns right up on - between - by the steering wheel and my shifting lever. Of course I had a stick shift. So, all I had was these two gears down here because there wasn’t room because the deer was right full. So of course me going up the road, going bumping - thinking I’m going to meet a game warden, so I had - somebody had an old army coat. So I threw that old army coat over the horns so it wouldn’t be too obvious but here it is way, way over by the steering wheel. I just had room to steer. And I got up on Lane Hill up here - of course I - I started in low and then I went to high and then I got to Lane Hill. I didn’t have enough power to go so I had to jam it down into low gear and crawl up over the hill. And then - but then when I got the deer home and got it into the cellar - - -
Georgina Paegle: And no game warden.
Lawrence Lord: Oh no. No, no game warden. That was all - threw it into the cellar. Of course there’d been a time or two, that - well, they was hunting. It wasn’t me but they’d go shoot a deer and wound it, you know. You throw that right in the trunk. Well, then sometimes you’d stun it. The deer would still be alive. Sometimes you’d kick the trunk to pieces. Another time they threw one over in Earl Seevey’s cellar once - couldn’t have been too far away and they threw it down cellar and then the deer come back - the deer - you know, it wasn’t dead - it come - come to - you know. I suppose they stunned it or something. It went down there and went round and round that cellar and broke up all the old woman’s relish. All the canned goods - that deer going around. After a while I guess they had to go and shoot it. I didn’t hear the very end of it. I know it stove up a lot of canned goods - that deer down cellar alive - didn’t really like it there. Of course, they couldn’t open the door and let it out. They’d lose it. So that happened a time or two like that. I shot one up on Breakneck Mountain one time and went up after dark, Lloyd Simmons and I - big deer - bi-ig. I have the horns over at the camp now. Come over there some time and I’ll show you the horns. Well, anyway I shot the deer. Well, you know, up on Breakneck Mountain is quite a little walk. You know, if you can’t get up in there with an automobile, it’s quite a drag. Sunday morning - that was Saturday night - Sunday morning I took my wife and Terry - he was just a little boy then, just a little fellow. I took them over and went over and asked Carlton - I said “I believe I’ll go up on the mountain and take some pictures?” “Sure, go ahead. Yes, go ahead.” Well, heck, we didn’t even have the camera. I wanted to up, you know, and get that deer in the trunk. Went up and got the deer and put it in the trunk. It was so big - I had an old ‘54 - ‘53 car maybe - old Oldsmobile. So, I got - then I had to cut the deer’s head off in order to get the trunk cover down. So, we cut the head off and we got that home. That - that wasn’t nothing. I backed right up to it up there. We did it by - by him. I told Carlton about it some time later, “You know, it was pretty good of you letting me up in there to get that - we shot a deer up there that night.” He didn’t reslly want people shooting deer especially at night. Didn’t think it was quite fair. I thought it was fun. But anyway - so - he said, “I thought that car squatted quite a bit when you come down through.” But anyway, I could go on with that all day.
Man: Did you discuss the fires?
Georgina Paegle: Yes, we did. (Indistinct word) did. Oh, very good.
Lawrence Lord: So, I guess that kind of - - -
Georgina Paegle: Thank you Lawrence. Those are interesting stories.
Lawrence Lord: (Indistinct words) you know. Of course, (indistinct words) I’ll tell you another one.
Georgina Paegle: Good.
Lawrence Lord: You’d have - I had - we must have - well, I don’t know what year it would have been. I had an old ‘46 Oldsmobile car. Probably Hilda didn’t have her driver’s license then, but then we had another guy with us from Woodland. His wife was with him, you know, in the car and her kid - I’ve got to tell her about this. She’s out in California. Anyway - so, we shot - shot the deer and - right - right across from the Crawford Lake Road. And, we jumped right out and told Hilda to take off and she took off and - one more tale about Freddy. Ok. The - she took off and we run right up and we grabbed that deer. Well then, three to five minutes there’s a game warden there and Frankie Williams, the guy that owned the land. He wouldn’t have anybody on his place that would shoot a deer. We drug that deer over into the edge of the woods - going - got it right down - well, old Chuck Church, he lives - well they’ve got the blueberry field there now - it had a house there. He lived there. Well, we drug that deer out right across from his house. We got right - right close. Well, of course he wouldn’t know we done it. I don’t think he was home. But he - the deer was there. Well, after the game warden got all stirred up and the other guy, we -we really didn’t dare go back and get the deer. Afraid they was watching it, so I left the deer there. Well, he found out when the deer started rotting and stunk. He was telling my dad. He said to Dad - my father - my father never stuck up for me. When I’d go and do something, he wouldn’t stuck up for me. But he said, “Lawrence is the one that shot that deer. He took it right out in front of my house just to get me in trouble.” “How do you know?” Dad said, “How do you know Lawrence shot that deer? Did you see him?” “No, no. I didn’t see him, but I know he did.” “Well, how do you know?” Well, all this time Hilda with a bunch of kids in the car and this other woman with her kids, they drive up the road. They drive back down the road and looked to see Lawrence’s car going. We wasn’t there. They prepared to wait - waiting to pick us up, see. They come back - come back. Well anyway, we - I left the deer. I guess I got accused for it they was probably right. I didn’t dare go get it. I knew the game warden was watching it then. I figured they was. But anyway - all right, we settled that one with Chuck. Now, ok,. Freddy - one night Freddy had his car and he wanted to go shoot a deer. Well, I did and I guess he must have. He went, too, and took his car. So Freddy had an old car then. We went down the road and see a deer across from (indistinct words) Ventures now on Crawford Lake Road - just above that hill from Luther Thornton - that hill right there where the gravel pit is. I shot a deer there. Of course Freddy takes off. So I go out - you know, he takes off in the car and I get out with a gun and I go in and get the deer and take care of - you know, cut his throat and take care of the deer. Dress him out and whatever. Of course, Freddy goes off up the road and comes back in a little while and tries to pick me up. Well, I got the deer in a good safe spot so no one’s going to bother it. Then I walk down through the woods way up the foot of Hodson’s Hill and I hid the gun up against a pine tree way back off of the road at the edge of that blueberry field off across from cemetery in Crawford way over in the - pine tree over in there. I think the tree is still there. The - I hid the gun. So, I’m waiting for Freddy to come. Well, I was trying to hide because I didn’t know the car - whose car it was after dark - if it was the game warden or Freddy coming to get me. Well, Freddy drives down the road. I see that one go by - see - oh, that was Freddy. Well, he’ll come back. Well, I walked all the way up to the Crawford Church. He drive up the Arm Road and come back and when I knew that it was him, he had gone by. Well, you know, it was getting to the wee hours of the morning so I took my hat off - I took my hat off. I don’t think I had my name on my hat, but I took my hat off to get his attention and put it right almost in front of the Crawford Church. Left my hat in the road. He’s coming. He run right over that hat - wouldn’t stop. He’d go down the road and come back - come back and run right over that again. The hat - well, I guess he wore my hat out beating it right to death. Freddy said he never - he never seen that hat. I don’t know where he was looking. So anyway, I said “Well” - so I hid up there on the Arm Road and I get up with him and he come to that stop sign and I’m laying down there somewhere in the pucker brush and he comes to that stop sign and if that’s his car, I’ll jump up and nail him. Well sure enough, he come down to that stop sign and I see that it was the car. You know, that it was him. So, I jumped and I hit the side of that car - oh, almost scared him half to death. But anyway, I got my ride after a while. Went down the road. I said, “Why didn’t you stop?” I said, “See that hat right there in the road all beat to pieces? You run over that 50 - I don’t know how many times.” He said, “Well, I never seen that hat.” Well anyway, went - went over the next day and got the deer. Guess we must have had a big feed. Well, one other time - was that the deer? Oh, I never told the kids this. I - of course I like to play jokes on somebody. It was more fun playing a joke than it was - we shot a deer. I thought it would be funny - a real small doe. I thought it would be funny - I took it down to Dolly Hampton’s. I got a big set of horns - the big set of horns that I was telling you about - the one I shot up on Breakneck Mountain- got out of there. So, I had just the horns. So, I go over and tie a - over to tag the deer and tagged the deer. And, I got some wire and I wired them great big horns on that - wasn’t as big as a dog, and WO-OW Donny Marstey come. “WOW,” he said, “WOW, ain’t that a monster!” After a while he see what it was and went off. But, I was making such a fool of myself. Dolly - Dolly said, “Boy that would make” - I said “Dolly, it’s a doe. Dolly, it’s a doe. It ain’t a buck.” And, this guy - an out-of-stater said, “Oh my goodness, ain’t that a big deer.” And, he was going on. Well, I didn’t want to tell him the difference and it made - made a kind of a horse’s necktie out of me. Saying what a big deer. After a while he left and I told Dolly “that’s a doe.” After there was nobody there, I said, “I just tied them horns on there.” Well, I thought that was kind of comical so we got - some time again - of course that - that was - we - don’t believe it - that wasn’t - that was another time, we got one up to Freddy’s. Freddy - we shot a deer and I took them horns up and tied it on the deer up on - when Freddy lived in Joey Wallace’s place up here - in the garage - hang it right up in the door there - oversized dog was all it was. Well, they went up to the mill and the people - come noon hour, the people come from Georgia - St. Croix - Georgia Pacific, whatever, you know out here - they come up to look at that deer because of the great big horns. It wasn’t a very big deer. They come up and look at that and after a while they had to tell the difference, because of making such a fool of everybody. So, I think that Lan or Freddy, I don’t know, one of them (indistinct words) They told me different. They went - I’d of went on - I’d never told them not until they see it. But anyway, we hung them up there. We had quite a - quite a thing going. Then somebody - Phyllis Archer tagged the deer. Somebody come in - “Boy, didn’t Freddy get a big buck, huh.” “Oh no. No, Freddy got a doe.” “Oh, oh, no it ain’t a doe,” he said, “it’s a buck.” Freddy - Phyllis Archer said, “I tagged a doe.” “Well, I’m telling you right now there’s a deer down there hanging up in his garage right now with the worst set of horns you ever see.” Well, of course, Phyllis kind of thought she was going to get herself in trouble tagging a doe when it was a buck, so I guess I had to tell her the difference. You know, but anyway, we done that a couple of times. That’s - there’s a lot more deer stories than you probably - you’ve heard enough.
Georgina Paegle: Thank you.
Lawrence Lord: Ok, I was just thinking about - (background noises) I was just thinking about another deer story. One time that Charley White, right here in Alexander, and my next door neighbor, Billy Holst, up here. Billy shot a lot of deer - pretty good shot. Anyway, one night we took my car and thought we’d go down on The Flat -down onto - well, I always called it The Flat - Skunk Valley, but it’s down here beyond Dyer Crosby’s (indistinct word) house. A lot of deer come out there. So, I take my car - I take them fellows down, drop them off. Then I said, “If the game wardens show up, you - if the game wardens show up, I won’t come back if I see a warden, but if I don’t see the game wardens, I’ll come back in an hour.” Well, I didn’t come back. Well - but, I didn’t see no game wardens. So, anyway - of course me, I like to have a little nap. So, I went down here to the old dump by the Alexander Cemetery waiting for that hour. No game warden came through so I was supposed to go back and pick them up. Here they are way, way down - way down in them back fields. So, I - I went to sleep. So, I went to sleep, and I slept there an hour, two hours. I don’t know how long I slept. Well, sometime in the middle of the night, of course they wanted to go home. Well, I didn’t show up - so they knew the game warden, and they had to walk up all through the woods and up through the pucker brush to keep away from the game warden, which there wasn’t no game warden because I was asleep. (Indistinct word) So, I was asleep down there and I was still asleep. Sometime in the middle of the night, they come - found the car parked down there and me asleep in it - they come - well, they wasn’t very happy campers. They was some wild. That was a dirty trick. Of course, I’m supposed to be on guard and I went to sleep and they had to walk and walk and walk home. Anyway, it was comical afterwards. It wasn’t very comical to them that night. I know it. They didn’t get no deer. I got my sleep and they got a long walk. That take care of that one, don’t it? I should have told the kids that one the other night. I forgot all about that.
Woman: See, lots more bonfires to come.
Lawrence Lord: Yes.