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Martin V. B. Wildes, interviewed by Joyce Butler


Scope and Contents

From the Collection:

The “Wildfire Loose” Collection consists of a series of 37 interviews conducted by Joyce Butler in preparation for her book of the same title about the fires in Maine in October 1947. Donated in 1979.


  • 1976-1980


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: 37 items

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English


1252 Martin V. B. Wildes, interviewed by Joyce Butler, April 3, 1977, Kennebunk, Maine. Wildes discusses the fire of 1947 in Kennebunkport; progression of the fire, particularly around Cape Porpoise; speed of the destruction; description of fire as all flames and no smoke; loss of equipment due to rapid approach of fire; fighting spot fires in Wildes Town; bulldozing a trench which stopped the fire; equipment used to fight the fire; lack of communication; changes in firefighting after 1947; cases of arson; description of a creek that looked like it was on fire; lack of water in pipes for homeowners because hydrants were drawing it all; how the Army bulldozers worked; a man who accidentally left with his goats and not his family; and disbelief that the fire could be so bad.

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