The world premiere of the latest video in our line of "Videos of Life in New England," "Working the Land: The Upper Kennebec Valley Region of Maine in the 1930s," took place earlier this month at Fryeburg Fair. It was also our best seller!
Straight from the Allan Preble Robinson Collection, this is a marvelous look at woods and farming operations. Includes great shots of life in the woods camp. Various tools and methods used to cut and haul logs (both long and pulp length) to streams that will eventually be steered down the Kennebec to the various mills. Winter work and the spring drive. Filling the ice wagons, log boom on Wyman Lake, a jam at Moxie Falls and sluicing at Wyman Dam are featured.
This video offers a detailed account of the horses in the seasonal cycle of farm and woods life and how they are used and the role they play in their own sustenance. Twitching and hauling logs, planting and harvesting hay and thrashing bundles of oats. Shots of the equipment used here are particularly good. A four-horse hitch as well as horses at liberty. See parades of teams through Bingham and past Allan Preble’s house headed in and out of the main woods camp.
Snow and plows, both horse-drawn and on trucks, Pleasant Pond Inn, Caratunk camps and a Model T converted to rail for the Somerset Railroad at the turnaround point from Rockport to Bingham may also be of interest.
For the fishing enthusiast, there’s a segment about stocking local ponds with trout in 1936, a cooperation between State Fish and Game and volunteer sportsmen to get to remote sites such as Carry, Otter, and Pierce Ponds.
The narration by C.A. Hamilton (added to the historic footage sometime in the 1980s) is casual yet informative.