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Ernest Kennedy, interviewed by Kenneth Whitney


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



Ernest Kennedy, interviewed by Ken Whitney for FO 107, October and November, 1973; by Susan Tibbetts for AY 125, November, 1975; by Elizabeth Warner and Cindy Lamb for AY 125, October, 1975. Kennedy talks about the Argyle log-sorting boom on the Penobscot River; jobs such as checkers, runners; tools such as hookaroons, jiggers; method of tying joints to buoy; marks and prize (unmarked)logs; spring floods and jams; bosses Isaac Mann, Alonzo Mann, Wallace Drake, Walter Buzzell, Stephen Buzzell, and others; PLA; function of sorting gap, beats, joints, check line, swings, shear boom, buoys, dropping off; steamboats such as Toscah; cooks, cookees, and chambermaids; meals; description of kitchen and cooking methods; White Squaw Island boom house; pay; sleeping quarters; Indian and Irish workers; leisure activities such as gambling, music, dances, log rolling contests. 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