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Ernest Kennedy interviewed by Edward D. “Sandy” Ives


Scope and Contents

From the Collection:

This is an arbitrary collection of accessions created in June 2014 containing interviews that focus on hunting, trapping, poaching, and recreational fishing. There are 123 series in NAFOH that relate to the topic, but 18 belong solely to this collection.


  • Creation: 1959-2008

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: 18 items

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English


1114 Ernest Kennedy (b. 1889) interviewed by Edward D. “Sandy” Ives, summer, 1977, at Kennedy’s home in Argyle, Maine. Kennedy, 88, talks about his life working in the woods, on river drives, and on the Argyle Boom. Kennedy was the principle informant for “Argyle Boom,” Northeast Folklore, XVII (1976) which explained the workings of the sorting boom on the Penobscot River where the logs from the river drives were sorted for delivery to the various saw mills. In this series of interviews he expands on the information he gave for that project and explains various models he made of the boom and other structures and equipment. He also discusses photos of logging camps and river drives. Also included are newspaper clippings and a 32 page summary of the Bible by Kennedy. (See NA 0579, 0786, 0792, 1032, 1056, 1143 for other Kennedy interviews.)

The interview is part of a project that led to an issue of Northeast Folklore, XVII: “Argyle Boom.”

Text: 331 pp. transcript, (349 pp. total) Recording: T 1138 - T 1160 34 hours Photos: P 1786 - P 1808

T 1138 River-driving; cutting timber; peeling hemlock; family and siblings; tannery; switching from chopping to sawing trees down; schooling; Aunt Hat (brothel madam); family background; mother cooked for woods camp; rafting logs; father ran hotel for weavers.

T 1139 EK cooked; father ran hotels and boarding houses for woodsmen; working as a teamster in woods; building camp; skidding and yarding timber; cribbing and rafting; hewing boards from logs; rafting camp; woods-work techniques.

T 1140 Putting in telephone line; breaking in landings; dynamiting jams; booms; jobbing; road conditions; farm animals; daily transport; Argyle schools; social events; haunted places.

T 1141 Explains the Argyle Boom model; gardening; butchering meat; hunting game; smoke-pot for mosquitos; smoking meat; jacking deer; families that lived in Argyle.

T 1142 Types of hunting guns; hunting and camping; getting lost in the woods; exploring and estimating land; families that lived in Argyle; how he met his wife-to be; his portable mill; his children.

T 1143 Recalls seeing the first car; Kittyhawk and the Zeppelin; story of a plane; playing baseball; explains the bateau model; greenhorns.

T 1144 Discussion of Northeast Archives photos of bateau being used; socializing and helping neighbors; barn raisings; country doctors and midwives; typhoid fever; herbal medicine; EK explains his camp model.

T 1145 A tour through EK's home in Argyle; recalls getting modern conveniences; family reunion preparations; discussion of material concerning Pentecostal faith.

T 1146 Spring log drive; EK describes footwear that was used; the types and ages of the woodsmen he knew; other loggers.

T 1147 EK demonstrates the scoot sled model; discusses types of binds and hooks; types of tobacco used; reviews how he began his logging career; demonstrates a parbuckle model; shows a dam model.

T 1148 Recalls cutting logs for I. M. Pierce; explains using a rule and scale; recalls celebrating Christmas as a child; learning French; dancing; another discussion of Pentecostal material; remembers owning several mills; trapping and raising muskrats; Hoyt Brook Dam; gap and crib; fishing for pickerel.

T 1149 EK recalls childhood activities in the winter; skating and sledding; swimming in the summer; bike riding; children in the family; types of log jams; running on logs; more family history; working with horses and oxen.

T 1150 Born in 1889 in Kingman, Maine; EK recounts the places he has lived and more about his life as a lumberman; sired 13 children; joined Pentecostal Church in 1926; had a stroke around 1939; he retired from active lumbering when he was 78.

T 1151 More about lumbering; EK is still cutting his own wood and tending his large garden; EK recalls canning; selling Christmas trees; naming his children; 4th of July celebrations; price of salmon; bears; dealing with insects.

T 1152 Recalls game wardens he knew; dogging deer; poaching deer; gives more information about families in Argyle; Dingbat Prouty; Aunt Hat and prostitution; Veazie ‘Lemons.'

T 1153 Argyle families; bateau oars; more deer stories; people getting shot and shot at; EK had a Maine Guide license; camp entertainment; swampers; father's boarding house.

T 1154 EK looks at some photos and describes the people and places in them; recalls relatives; dance hall fights; brawling in general and boxing.

T 1155 EK recounts how death was dealt with in his day; shenikers; funerals; ‘whiskey bears'; his friend Dudley Smith who drowned; vandalism at cemeteries; and illegal activities in general.

T 1156 Family information; "Fox and Geese" board game; his Pentecostal life and interpretations of his beliefs.

T 1157 Halloween; bird-hunting; more about log drives; stargazing; quotes and his interpretations from the Bible.

T 1158 Continuation of EK's interpretations of the Bible.

T 1159 EK recalls town meetings in Argyle; political affiliation; effects of the Depression in 1939; woods work and different ways of cutting timber.

T 1160 Recalls what winter was like; spring thaw and floods; transportation during those seasons; EK demonstrates the parbuckle model he has made; recalls dealing with house and buildings fires in town of Argyle; more information on running logs in the river; EK ends the interview with more scripture and interpretation.

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