Last week I wrote about the Thanksgiving dinner at the C.C.C. camp at Togue Pond. Coincidently, several new camp photos were just added to the museum’s collection by Paul Pasquine. A few show what the structures looked like where the men lived. Some were tents while others were no more than tarred paper shacks. The book titled In the Public Interest, The Civilian Conservation Corps in Maine (published 1988) states that side camps were erected in order that the proposed projects could be completed. One of these side camps was at Togue Pond.
One of the enrollees described this side camp as follows. “Togue Pond on the map is a beautiful lake within the game preserve of Mt. Katahdin, about five miles from its base and almost twenty miles from Millinocket. This camp, built of timbers, rough hewn, laid in place, nailed and chinked, and when finished gave the outward appearance of a ‘Fort Apache’ style, but within its confines. Two barracks to house 125 personnel, a large mess hall, a tool house, a blacksmith shop, an underground ‘refrigerator’ for food storage, plus latrines, a water pump from the lake and a garage to accommodate all the heavy equipment and trucks. This was all accomplished in the period of a couple of months, and I repeat, all built of heavy timbers, cut and hewn by hand by these same kids! And the location, a millionaires paradise, in the shadows of Mt. Katahdin. A truly beautiful setting, and when disbanded by the ‘C’s, was converted to a girl scouts camp.” This Girl Scout camp is Camp Natarswi and is still active today.
One Pasquine photo shows the mess hall with two rows of picnic style tables and benches. A wood stove occupies one end of the room and kerosene lamps are suspended from the ceiling. Another shows a bunkhouse with individual cots, wood stove and what appears to be a half wall separating the sleeping spaces. Another of the photos is labeled “washroom” with a row of washbasins, lines for drying clothes and a container for hot water. A photo shows a man, outside a barrack or the washroom, standing in the snow shaving with a straight-edge razor. A small mirror hangs beside the barrack’s door.
A reminder that the museum is open regular days and hours throughout the winter, with the exception of heavy snow days or ice. We are, perhaps, the only small museum in the state to keep winter hours. Open extra hours during Millinocket Marathon and Half weekend. Look for the museum sign to be lit!
More DVD’s of the “Tales of Little Italy” are available for purchase at the museum, $15.00 (add $2.50 SH for mail orders).
***Available at the museum store for Christmas gift giving………
1. “Within Katahdin’s Realm, Log Drives and Sporting Camps” by Bill Geller – $30.00 ($5.00 each SH);
2. Taste of History cookbooks – $15.00 ($5.00 each SH on mail orders);
3. “Spirits of Katahdin” DVD – $10.00 ($2.50 SH);
4. 2019 MHS Calendars, “Sports for All Ages”- $10.00 ($5.00 each SH);
5. “Hiking in Baxter State Park” by Greg Westrich – $20.00 ($5.00 SH);
6. Engraved pavers, $100.00 each, contact MHS for details and form;
7. …and more
***Contact me, Curator Trudy Wyman, 723-5477 or trudy18@beeline-online.net. For groups or appointments, contact the Millinocket Historical Society at P. O. Box 11, on the web at www.millinockethistoricalsociety.org or on Facebook.