The Men Behind Early Timbering, 1836 Moosehead steamboat

Rare facts of early logging speculation and the making of the first steamboat on Moosehead Lake

Wednesday, July 3, at 6 pm
Shaw Public Library

By
Marilyn Sterling-Gondek

THE JUNCTION — There’s plenty of intrigue, including a mysterious disappearance and suspicion of murder, in the rare details unveiled in “The Men Behind the 1836 Moosehead.”

The little known facts behind the early logging ventures and first steamboat on Moosehead Lake is revealed by first-rate researcher and historian Marilyn Sterling-Gondek at Shaw Public Library, Wednesday, July 3, at 6:00 p.m. $3 suggested donation for the program.

As Gondek tells it, the steamship Moosehead was put into service in 1836 by a group of men that includes Moses Burnham and Samuel Fitzgerald. It was for them that the two ponds near Squaw Mountain (now Big Moose) were named. Burnham and Fitzgerald also founded The Moosehead Lake Steam Navigation Company, an important early business venture for logging on the lake.

Some of the men who pioneered the first efforts at large-scale logging in the Moosehead Lake Region are tied to The Forks, where logs were sluiced from the East Outlet down to the junction of the Dead and Kennebec rivers. Their stories are woven into the history of the great timber speculation of William Bingham’s Kennebec Purchase, the Moosehead Dam Company, and the Kennebec Log Driving Company. Gondek ties the efforts of these early timber speculators together on July 3, with as yet unseen images & maps.

Gondek is an historian from the Old Canada Road Historical Society in Bingham. Her specialty is primary source research. She holds degrees from Bowdoin and Harvard.