Katahdin Area Sporting Camps
Odds and Ends From The MUSEUM!
By Trudy Wyman, Curator, Millinocket Historical Society Museum
Vacationers to 1930’s and 40’s sporting camps in the Katahdin area might have arrived at Norcross or Millinocket by train or motored in their own vehicle. Interesting advertisements in the B & A Railroad magazine In the Maine Woods enticed people to venture to the area for fishing, hunting or relaxation.
Clifford’s Rainbow Lake Camps ad states “the camps are easily reached from our garage on the Ripogenus Road, five miles to walk, or we can take you by car or motorboat – no walking.” Togue Pond Camps could be reached by car as it was only 18 miles from Millinocket. The Antlers Camps on Jo Mary Lake were located “14 miles from railroad or 12 miles from car road by boat.” The Katahdin Lakes Camps (at the very end of their ad) reminded tourists that the camps “are not accessible by car.”
Upon arrival at any of those camps or others in the area, there were many activities to choose from. But the emphasis of many were the hunting and fishing opportunities. Antler’s Camps stressed “trout, salmon, pickerel and white perch are a sure-fire paradise for the fly-caster and are reached by well-cleared, picturesque trails. An unspoiled hunting country abounding in deer, black bear and moose.”
The cabins for the visitors were usually described as “fine,” “up-to-date,” and/or “comfortably furnished and immaculately clean.” At Togue Pond Camps, the cabins had an excellent view of Katahdin and a delightful bathing beach running by the door of each cabin. The camps had a garden and cows and hens to supply the visitors with vegetables, milk and fresh eggs. Kidney Pond Camps and The Antlers Camps advertised the same. Clifford’s Rainbow camps also mentioned their own supply of cream, butter, berries and meat.
All of the above-mentioned camps ended their advertisements with contact information such as “write for information,” write, telephone or telegraph for reservations,” or “write for booklet.” No street addresses, few PO Box addresses or zip codes in those days so the mailing addresses were simple…Mrs. Roy Bradeen, Kidney Pond Camps, Millinocket, Maine; Leon E. Potter, Millinocket, Maine, Tel. 358-22 (for The Antlers Camps); R. H. Crawford, manager (Togue Pond Camps), Box 308, Millinocket, Maine; Fred Clifford (Clifford’s Rainbow Lake Camps with access from Greenville), Kokadjo, Maine.
A brochure from Buck Horn Camps at Jo Mary Lakes (Jasper Haynes, Prop.) states “sportsmen and their wives will find the cabins accommodating two or more, furnished with spring or bough beds, open fireplaces of stone and bath room. The air is dry, cool and invigorating, a tonic for those seeking health.” The camps were in a pine grove with a white sand beach just a short distance away. “Hay fever is unknown.”
These and other sporting camps in the area catered to tourists from near and far for many years!