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 8A : From MILO to KATAHDIN IRON WORKS, 20.5 m., State 221 and unnumbered road.

Via Brownville.

Tarred roadbed to Brownville Junction; wide gravel to airport; then one-lane gravel road.

Accommodations include, besides a small hotel at Brownville junction, sporting camps reached by buckboard or hiking from Katahdin Iron Works where reservations can be made and transportation arranged by telephone.

THIS route reaches a heretofore inaccessible hunting and fishing country. At 0 m. State 221 branches north from Milo (seeTour 8).

BROWNVILLE (alt. 350, Brownville Town, pop. 1911), 5 m., lies on both sides of Pleasant River near a dam.

On the far bank of the river north of the village, and visible from the highway, are long heaps of slate that show where quarrying was done until 20 years ago. Brownville slate won first prize at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia as the finest roofing slate in the country.

At 6.1 m. (L) is the Maine Forest Station of the Pleasant River District.

At 8.6 m. is the junction with a tarred road.

Left here to BROWNVILLE JUNCTION (alt. 390, Brownville Town), 0.5 m., which has a small hotel and the farthest north gas station on this road.

At 14.2 m. (R) is Brownville Prairie Airport.

At 14.7 m. the highway crosses a bridge of unusual construction. The floor consists of a long log on each side spanning the stream, with shorter logs fastened crosswise to them by rather loosely tied wire cable. Underneath is another cross-tied group of logs.

Towering pines of great beauty crowd close to the road north of the rolling log bridge; shorter hardwood and conifers, spruce predominating, mingle with the pines.

KATAHDIN IRON WORKS (alt. 580, Unorganized Township of Katahdin Iron Works, pop. 42), 20.5 m. A deposit of bog iron ore, a variety of hematite, was discovered about 1843 in the northern part of this town at the foot of Ore Mountain, and the development of the mine and the construction of the smelting mill were started. The property has changed hands several times. Because of lack of shipping facilities little work has been done in recent years.

Other valuable mineral deposits, including pigments and copper, can be mined but not profitably, because of the inaccessibility of the area. A large deposit of asbestos, said to be of excellent quality, has been surveyed but no attempt has been made to mine it.

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