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Rangeley Lakes Region, Maine

Last Updated Dec-2008

Wabanaki Family Names Known Here

Wabanaki Events That Occurred Here

Bits & Pieces from Books, news-clippings, etc.

 

Quotes from Squire Rangeley's Township

There was a little colony of Indians of the St. Francis tribe in the settlement in the 30's and 40's. The "big Indian" of the party was Louis Annance, a graduate of Dartmouth College, his aged sister, two nephews (the brothers Jerome and Elijah Wasmimmet), Jerome's wife and several children.[17] They occupied a log cabin on the road leading to Nathaniel Toothaker's and Abraham Ross's. There the women made prettily colored baskets. The men tanned moosehides and made mittens of them. In harvest time they worked for the farmers.

I think the first moose taken alive in that region was captured by Jerome and Elijah. It was a young one, and while it was feeding on lily pads in a shallow of Cupsuptic Lake, the Indians stealthily approached and pulled it into their boat. They brought it to Deacon Lake's where it became so far domesticated that, after roaming the woods all day for food, it would return to its pen at night. Its favorite food was the blossoms of fireweed called 'wickup'.

Down in the woods sloping westerly to North Cove Jerome and Elijah smoked and softened their moose peltry to a fine tint of yellow. Their entire 'plant' consisted of a tin pan of smouldering chips set in a hole in the ground and having as a chimney a green moose hide drawn around it cylindrically to absorb the smoke. It was a bit of savage life calculated to impress a boy observer very keenly.

More than fifty years ago Annance wrote for William Dodge a geographical description of the lake region, including the nomenclature of the several bodies of water. I think it varied somewhat from the names as now spelled and pronounced. If Mr. Dodge had preserved that writing its reproduction in the 'Rangeley Lakes' would doubtless afford great satisfaction to the readers of the paper.[18]

It was Annance who told Capt. Kimball that the once __ shaded point between Lake Cupsuptic and the outlet stream from the Kennebago and Rangeley Lakes, was an ancient Indian burial place.[l9] It was a charming spot before it was spoiled by flooding.

Once near an old landing on the Kennebago we found an ancient but well-preserved 'jack' for night still hunting of moose. It bore the marks of careful Indian handiwork. The edges of the background of bark were neatly bound with thread-like roots and near the centre was a socket for the torch intended to lure the game to its death. The last use of that jack was to hold a candle for a lazy boy to read in bed. [perhaps a more likely use of this tool was spear fishing by torch light at night - Ne-Do-Ba]

Authors Notes concerning above [NOT Ne-Do-Ba notes]

Squire Rangeley's Township - 1837-1849
by Zenas T. Haines, edited by Barbara Bruce -1970
pg.38-40

 

... 'Flyrod' Crosby later wrote in 1885 of the 1840's - "A few of the St. Francis Indians lingered around the lakes until the 1840's and helped farmers when they were not hunting, fishing or making baskets. A small family of them lived with Deacon Lake whose log cabin was near our home. These were the Wasmimmets - Jerome and Elijah - whose uncle Louis Annance was the noted student of Dartmouth. Jerome eloped to Canada with the wife of a 'neighbor'." ...

The name Annanse (Annance) previously mentioned is one that is a story in itself. There was a tribe of St. Francis Indians in the area in the 30's and 40's, according to Barbara Bruce in her book Squire Rangeley's Township, and the 'Big Indian' was Louis Annanse, a graduate of Dartmouth College. He lived with his aged sister, two nephews Jerome and Elijah Wasmimmet, Jerome's wife and several children. They occupied a log cabin on the road to what later was Abram (Abraham) Ross's farm and Nathaniel Toothaker's farm overlooking the lake. Louis's father was Francis Annanse of the St. Francis Indians in Quebec Province, Canada. It was this family of Indians who taught the pioneer farming stock the ways of the woods and lakes, as well as the Indian lore of the region.

"A Chronological History of the Rangeley Lakes Region"
by Edward Ellis, pg.26

Ne-Do-Ba Comment - - - Jerome Wasamimet (aka Peter Emmett) ran off to New York with Catherine Lombard, apparently abandoning his Abenaki wife and children.

 

... Many fine old English families lost their money in land speculations. They came North and settled where they pleased. They were called squatters. Many came to Avon and left their families and followed the old Indian trails North, there was an Indian colony at Madrid at this time [1790s]. The trails branched, one going to Bemis on the Big Lake, the other to the Indian settlement on Aquasuc Lake. In 1810 my great grandfather Salmon Whitney with his wife and son one year old, settled in the Gore on the Indian trail that went to Bemis. That same year Ebenezer Oakes and Benjamin Bubier, both from a fine branch of old English families, followed the trail that went to the Indian settlement on Aquasac Lake. When they came over the top of the hill and saw that beautiful view, Oakes stopped there and built him a camp. Bubier went to the next hill and built him a camp. They were the first white men to settle north of Madrid, five years before Deacan Luther Hoar the first white man to settle in Township 3, Range 3, now Rangeley.

"The Rise And Fall of Bubiertown"
by Sid Harden
Rangeley Record 19-Jul-1957

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