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It Doesn’t Look Like Much Now, but…….

Lumberjack quarters at Churchill Dam (Depot)
Lumberjack quarters at Churchill Dam

An old building standing next to a dirt road in the middle of nowhere.  Anyone passing by it wouldn’t give it a second look unless they had taken the time to learn a little bit about the area.  Actually, most people will never even pass by it because it is, quite literally, in the middle of nowhere.

Recently, I’ve been looking through old photos of places I’ve had the pleasure of visiting in this great state that we live in.  The people I’ve taken these trips with I barely see or hear from anymore…but the memories are great and it delights me to share a little of what I’ve learned.

Because northern Maine has a rich history, I LOVE to read books about it and THEN visit the places I read about.  Not once have I been disappointed by a trip to a place I’ve read about.

The picture above was taken on a trip that I took with one of my best friends of all time, Dave, who now lives in Wisconsin.  It is a picture of, what was once, the lumberjack quarters at Churchill Depot.  It’s where the men (mostly Canadians) lived, slept and ate.  This was detailed in the book “Nine Mile Bridge” by Helen Hamlin, who was married to a warden in the region and taught school to the children of the lumbermen in a one room school house that was once part of this thriving community.  Now, save for a person or two who lives there to tend the dam, it’s vacant.

On the trip that this picture was taken, Dave and I launched our canoe from here (on Heron Lake…which connects to Churchill…all part of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway) and paddled out to The Jaws on Churchill where we set up camp at a maintained Waterway campsite.  Three days of peace, quiet and beauty.  We even canoed late one night in a full moon but found our way back with no problem thanks to Dave’s skills at firebuilding (the flames must have been 15 feet high, rolling off the five foot logs  we’d set up in a teepee formation).

If you ever think you’d like to learn more about the history of this state we call home, email me or go in to the Maine State Library.   But be warned, once you read you’ll want to travel and when you do, gas up every chance you get because opportunities are few and far between in this paradise.  Oh, and take AT LEAST two spare tires with you.  Just trust me on this :o)

David at the dock as we get ready to canoe to The Jaws

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