Maine, a Guide down East

By Workers of the Federal Writers Project of the Works Progress Administration for the State of Maine | Go to book overview

TOUR 6: From FORT KENT to MATTAWAMKEAG, 138 m., State 11.

Via Wallagrass, Eagle Lake, Portage, Ashland, Patten, Sherman, and Medway. Graveled or macadamized roadbed, narrow and rough in spots. Route not recommended except to reach sporting areas.

Accommodations infrequent except at sportsmen's camps.

THIS route, frequented chiefly by sportsmen, runs almost directly south. Small villages in this area are widely separated in the midst of forests, lakes, and mountains, with only occasional open farm land. Game abounds. Most of the people depend on guiding sportsmen, trapping, small-scale farming, and lumber operations for a livelihood. Between Fort Kent and Portage, the French Acadian villages are like those along the St. John River (seeTour 1, sec. e). Between Masardis and Sherman, the route crosses a fertile potato belt.

FORT KENT (alt. 530, Fort Kent Town, pop. 4726) (seeTour 1, sec. e), 0 m., is at a junction with US 1 (seeTour 1, sec. e). The village is at the northern terminus of the Allagash River Canoe Trip (seeSports and Recreation).

FORT KENT MILLS (alt. 610, Fort Kent Town), 1.5 m., was settled in the 1860's when the Bradbury Lumber Company began operations at this fine water-power site on Fish River. Extensive operations ceased about 1916.

At 7.3 m. is a junction with a dirt road.

Left on this road is SOLDIER POND (alt. 590, Wallagrass Plantation), 1 m., on the shore of a body of water named during the Aroostook Bloodless War (seeHistory).

WALLAGRASS (alt. 820, Wallagrass Plantation, pop. 1145), 10 m., is one of the series of French-Acadian settlements. In such villages as this the medallion of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is often seen on the doors of the homes, these people, like their ancestors, being devout Catholics.

EAGLE LAKE (alt. 602, Eagle Lake Town, pop. 1780) (guides available), 15.7 m., is active during the hunting and fishing seasons. The town was settled about 1840 by French-Acadians and Irish emigrants.

Near the center of the village is the Northern Maine General Hospital, an important institution in this area where medical aid is hard to find.

The clear water of Eagle Lake, one of the deepest of the Fish River Chain, holds many landlocked salmon, and the streams flowing into the lake have abundant supplies of speckled trout. During the fall, hunting in the neighborhood is nearly always productive of the permitted quota of game.

Rufus McIntyre and Major Strickland, leading their 200 men north from Bangor at the time of the Aroostook War, were impressed by the large number of eagles hovering about, and gave the lake its name.

-308-

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