Deep in the wildlands of northern Maine is a remote piece of land with a small point sheltering a shallow cove along the shore of an expansive lake. Used as a campsite by indigenous peoples for thousands of years, the land was cleared in the mid-1800s, developed into a lumber depot and named Chamberlain Farm. Following a period of neglect after a century of use by lumbermen, the area was turned into a rustic enclave for hunting and fishing enthusiasts. In recent years as civilization encroached, it became the focus of protection efforts by wilderness lovers who sought to ensure preservation and keep in it some semblance of its former wildness.In "The Wilderness from Chamberlain Farm," historian Dean B. Bennett traces those transformations, bringing to life the people involved, their motivations, and the interconnected effects of their actions. Beginning 10,000 years ago with the retreat of the glaciers, Bennett offers an overview of the forces that shaped the land, and the visitors to and inhabitants of this place once known as Apmoojenegamook -- "lake that is crossed." We meet one of the first American owners of the property, David Pingree, and his agent E. S. Coe, who kept a tight rein on operations from the 1840s until the turn of the century. An acquaintance of Coe and visitor during that time was Henry David Thoreau, who passed through the area on one of his excursions in the Maine woods. We also are introduced to the indomitable Patty and Al Nugent, who staked a claim on the land and built a sporting camp with their own hands that has served as a haven for outdoorsmen from the 1930s to the present day. And we learn of the efforts of Senator Edmund S. Muskie and others to protectthis wild river area, culminating in the creation of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway and its federal designation as the nation's first state-administered riverway in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.The dynamic history of the farm and its setting illuminate society's evolving perspective on the natural world around us. "The Wilderness from Chamberlain Farm" describes and explains the perspectives revealed by those attracted to the farm and its environment, and those who fought to protect the Allagash, offering a valuable lens through which to understand the changing relationship of people and the land.
Buy Wilderness from Chamberlain Farm book by Dean B. Bennett from Australia's Online Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(229mm x 152mm x 35mm)
Publisher: Island Press
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