Skip to main content

Frye Mountain Interviews / Jeffrey “Smokey” McKeen

Identifier: MF117

Scope and Contents

Interviews done by Jeff “Smokey” McKeen concerning the farming community of Frye Mountain in Waldo County and its acquisition by the federal government in the 1930s. Interviews cover the problems like having to selling land to the government, bad roads for automobiles, and other issues.


  • Creation: 1991


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 (

Conditions Governing Use

Rights assessment remains the responsibility of the researcher. No known restrictions on material.


7 items

Language of Materials



NA2205 Denby Larrabee and Geneva Larrabee, interviewed by Jeffrey “Smokey” McKeen, October 28, 1991, in Knox, Maine. The Larrabees discuss the Frye Mountain community in the 1930s – 1950s; land purchases on the mountain by the government during the Great Depression; resistance of the local farmers to selling; problems with mountain roads; burning of farm buildings; dairy farming; unsuitability of roads for automobiles; lumbering in the 1950s; disagreement with how the land is currently used; and how loss of services forced remaining owners to sell to the government.

Text: 42 pp. total: 22 pp. transcript/field notes/Frye Mountain report Recording: mfc_na2205_c0845_01 47 minutes

NA2206 Clayton Littlefield, interviewed by Jeffrey “Smokey” McKeen, November 14, 1991, Montville, Maine. Littlefield talks about his childhood on Frye Mountain; problem of roads unsuitable for automobiles in most seasons; mountain land as good for farming; local families; federal government purchase of land; burning of the farm buildings; partial relocation of cemetery; failure of government to pay town for lost tax income; employment of local men by CCC, turning mountain into a park; and means of income other than farming.

Text: 26 pp. transcript/1 pp. index Recording: mfc_na2206_c0846_01 46 minutes

NA2207 Albert Jackson, interviewed by Jeffrey “Smokey” McKeen, December 2, 1991, Morrill, Maine. Jackson talks about the federal government purchase of Frye Mountain land during the Great Depression; story of his grandfather’s (illegal) still; grandfather’s business as an auctioneer; making and selling bootleg alcohol during Prohibition; community knowledge of the bootlegging; and his grandfather’s experience letting 500 hogs loose on the mountain.

Text: 18 pp. transcript/1 pp. index Recording: mfc_na2207_c0847_01 46 minutes

NA2208 Roland Stewart, interviewed by Jeffrey “Smokey” McKeen, December 8, 1991, Freedom, Maine. Stewart talks about the Frye Mountain community in the 1930s; carbide lights; small family farms; his schooling; role of bad roads in prompting people to sell land to the government; the burning of farm buildings; local men hired by WPA to work on mountain; and Frye Mountain in 1991.

Text: 20 pp. transcript/1 pp. index Recording: mfc_na2208_c0848_01 46 minutes

NA2209 Norman Nash, interviewed by Jeffrey “Smokey” McKeen for AY 125, December 9, 1991, Montville, Maine. Nash tells of the Frye Mountain community in the early-to-mid 1900s; problems getting supplies during a particularly harsh winter prior to WWI; problems plowing; selling the land to the federal government during the Great Depression; mail delivery; state attempts to scatter deer population; burning of the farm buildings; theft of belongings stored in the family home after the sale; necessity of selling once neighbors had sold as road no longer maintained; raccoon hunting; anecdotes from life on Frye Mountain; and the prevalence of game poaching.

Text: 31 pp. transcript/1 pp. index/ 1 pp. field note Recording: mfc_na2209_c0849_01&02 71 minutes

NA3931 Roy A. Hatch, interviewed by Jeffrey “Smokey” McKeen, December 2, 1991, at Hatch’s home in Morrill, Maine. Hatch talks about Frye Mountain, where he was born and grew up.

Text: 13 pp. transcript/ 1 pp. index Recording: mfc_na3931_c0847_01 28 minutes

Existence and Location of Originals

Located at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress: AFC 2012/047

Materials Specific Details

Audio files are the primary source material. Transcriptions are the transcriber's best effort to convert audio to text, but should be considered secondary to the audio.

Guide to Frye Mountain Interviews/Jeffrey “Smokey” McKeen
In Progress
Thomas Libby
May 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

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