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Lew Dietz Papers

Identifier: SpC MS 0134

Scope and Contents

Typescripts with corrections of Dietz's books, "The Allagash" (1968), "The Running Man, A Touch of the Wilderness" (1970), and "The Year of the Big Cat" (1970), together with the printer's proofs for "A Touch of Wilderness" and articles for Ford Motor Company's "Ford Times." Also includes research and writings for "The Maine Finn" and his memoirs concerning the book he authored with Kosti Ruohomaa's photograhs, "Night Train at Wiscasset Station."


  • Creation: 1950-1983


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is kept at Fogler Library's offsite storage facility. One week's notice is required for retrieval.

Use Restrictions

Rights assessment remains the responsibility of the researcher.

Biographical Note

Lew Dietz was born on May 22, 1906 in Pittsburgh and graduated from New York University, but he lived much of his life in and near Rockport, Maine. In his youth, he was a foreign correspondent in Paris and a copywriter in New York.

As an author, much of Dietz's work centered on his native Maine. In a long career he produced 20 books and hundreds of magazine articles for Down East magazine (which he helped establish), True, Yankee, Redbook, Coast Fisherman and Outdoors Maine among others.

Perhaps his best known work (with Harry Goodridge) was A Seal Called Andre, based on the true story of an orphaned baby seal that learned to perform tricks and became a popular tourist attraction in Rockport. The 1975 book remains in print; the book was the source for the film Andre (1995).

He was also well known for the Jeff White books, young adult novels on outdoor themes:

Jeff White, Young Guide (1951) Jeff White, Young Lumberjack (1952) Jeff White, Young Trapper (1951) Jeff White, Young Woodsman (1949)

Other books included The Story of Boothbay (1937), Camden Hills. An Informal History of the Camden-Rockport Region (1947), The Allagash, (1968, 1978, 2001), originally published as part of the Rivers of America Series); Touch of Wildness A Maine Woods Journal (1970); Pines for the King's Navy, (1955), concerning the struggle among settlers, Indians, and the British king for Maine's timber, and Full Fathom Five (1958), illustrated by his wife, the artist Denny Winter. Other juvenile titles, all with Maine settings, are Wilderness River (1961); The Savage Summer (1964), also illustrated by Denny Winter and The Year of the Big Cat (1970)

In 1977 Dietz wrote the text for Night Train at Wiscasset Station: An Unforgettable Portrait of Maine and Its People, a Maine classic. Reissued in 1998, the book combines Dietz's words with Kosti Ruohomaa's (1914–1961) black and white photographs of ordinary rural and fishing industry Mainers.

Dietz died on April 27, 1997 at the age of 90 at a hospital in Rockport, Maine.


1.25 linear feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials



Typescripts with corrections of Dietz's books, The Allagash (1968), The Running Man, A Touch of the Wilderness (1970), The Year of the Big Cat (1970) and the Maine Finns (1976).

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Lew Dietz between 1969 and 1972. A third gift was made by Deanna S. Bonner-Ganter of Linconville, Maine in 2018.

Related Materials

Thoreau Fellowship Collection, SpC MS 0499, Raymond H. Fogler Library Special Collections Department, University of Maine, Orono, Maine

Guide to the Lew Dietz Papers
Box And Folder List Available
Elizabeth Russell
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for uncoded script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Raymond H. Fogler Library Special Collections Repository

5729 Raymond H. Fogler Library
University of Maine
Orono ME 04469-5729 United States