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Leon Bussell, interviewed by Ralph Cook


Scope and Contents

From the Collection:

The Argyle Boom Collection consists of approximately seventy-five hours of tape recorded interviews (now digitized). The interviews deal with Argyle Boom, which was one of several locations at which logs that had been cut upriver and floated or “driven” down the Penobscot River were sorted before being sent on to the lumber mills in Old Town, Orono, Veazie, Bangor, and Brewer, Maine, from approximately 1900 to 1930. The material includes interviews with people who had worked on the boom and essays on various aspects of boom construction and operation and the daily lives of the workers.


  • Creation: 1973-1975


Conditions Governing Access

For digitized items free from access restrictions, we are working to upload this material (pdfs, mp3s, jpgs) for public access, but it is an ongoing project. If you don’t find what you are looking for here, contact Special Collections (


From the Collection: 31 items

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English


Leon Bussell, interviewed by Ralph Cook for FO 107, October and November 1973; by Susan Tibbetts for AY 125, October and November of 1975, UM Lambda Chi Alpha house, Orono, Maine. Bussell talks about log-sorting booms on the Penobscot River, especially Argyle Boom; hanging and taking in the booms; his own work along the shore; making rafts of the logs; kinds of rafts; dropping off; equipment and clothing; Captain Kidd’s buried treasure; steamboats and their use in river drives; rescues and drownings; work of boom scalers; Pea Cove and other booms; and boom-related buildings on White Squaw Island. The interviews are part of a project that led to an issue of Northeast Folklore, XVII: “Argyle Boom.”

Repository Details

Part of the Northeast Archives of Folklore and Oral History Repository

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