The Treasure Connections area is designed to help the seeker discover man-made and natural treasures - UPDATED EVERY TWO MONTHS!
When researching where to find the next treasure spot, try thinking of long ago and what the landscape looked like. Remember, all lakes will become fields and all fields will become lakes. Try to search in old river channels or underwater where it was once a field!
Franklin Journal Reviews - February 2010
Celebrating Maine’s unique waterfalls
By Greg Davis
In my last column, I touched upon Maine’s general abundance of water resources and how we tend to take them for granted.
A wonderful way to appreciate the wondrous variety of unique places Maine has to share in regard to its water resources is to visit some of its many waterfall features.
Maine’s Waterfalls A Comprehensive Guide, by Patricia Hughes of Dixmont, explores the history, photographic qualities and accessibility of 177 waterfalls to be found in all 16 counties. Directions are provided to all of the waterfalls listed, including the now extinct ones.
Maine has an abundance of waterfalls, as Hughes notes, because of our mountains, plentiful rainfall and geology that combine to provide the right opportunities for volumes of water to cause hydraulic erosion
Maine Waterfalls provides a handy guide with basic directions for each site and a system of star ratings to qualify its accessibility, historical importance and photogenic properties.
My only critique might be to say Maine Waterfalls could go from a good reference to a great one if photographs of each site were included. There are maps and a couple of photos, but I can envision a more visually powerful guide book, which could be laid out like the successful color wildlife field guide series, with the added photography.
Nevertheless, Maine’s Waterfalls is very helpful, and even lists a couple I hadn’t heard of right here in Franklin County, probably because I am not a native.
The Franklin County chapter lists 10 waterfalls of varying sizes, history and splendor - some only minutes away - , including:
• Alder Stream Falls - Alder Stream Township.
• Angel Falls - Township D-E, Range 6.(reportedly the largest drop in Maine at 90 feet).
• Cascade Gorge, Sandy River Plantation.
• Farmington Falls, Farmington.
• Grand Falls, Eustis.
• Livermore Falls, Livermore Falls.
• Moose River Whitewater Rapids, Township 2, Range 1.
• Mosher Pond Stream Falls, Farmington.
• Small’s Falls - Township E
• Toenail Ridge Falls - Alder Stream Township.
If the above don’t float your boat, there are a listing and descriptions of 13 waterfalls in adjacent Somerset County.
In this time of widespread economic distress and limited recreational dollars for many, can you think of a better day trip than visiting one or more of these natural sites?
A ride over to Rumford Falls in Oxford County, particularly in the spring, is a worthwhile and inexpensive outing. As Hughes notes, the Rumford Falls (also known as (Pennacook Falls) is one of the most powerful waterfalls that was known to early colonists. I definiately can say they are impressive in the spring. Another popular Oxford County site is Screw Auger Falls, located on Bear River Road, off Route 26 in Grafton Notch State Park.
LOST LOOT REVIEW BELOW:
Pirates, ghosts and treasure, oh my
By Greg Davis
When I was a child, like countless children before me, I would daydream about such things as pirates and their buried treasure troves and think how cool it would be to find some scoundrel’s lost loot.
The lure of “easy money” and an exciting historical treasure speaks to the child in all of us, I suppose, and no doubt is the reason many of us are so fascinated by the occasional discoveries of sunken treasure ships and the like.
In my last column, I discussed Patricia Hughes’ Maine Waterfalls A Comprehensive Guide. Her first book was Lost Loot - Ghostly New England Treasure Tales, and its tone allows you recapture some of that childhood wonder in fast-paced snippets on numerous mysteries and tales of missing riches.
What some may not know is just how active smugglers and pirates were along the New England coast in the 17th and 18th centuries, including many of the most notorious of these scoundrels right along Maine’s long, rugged coastline.
Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont have their fair share of buried treasure tales, and Hughes shares many of these mysteries with readers, including some of the more supernatural stories and curses said to be woven around them.
As the author notes in Lost Loot, perhaps the first treasure tale associated with what later became Maine was the gleaming lost city of Norumbega, supposedly filled with gold and jewels. That legend led to the earliest name for Bangor as Norumbega, which is also associated with the Wawenoc, once one of the six primary Native American tribes associated with early Maine history. Hughes notes the most well-known member of this tribe was Samoset, who greeted the Pilgrims when they landed in Massachusetts.
Hughes noted Maine even has a ghostly cursed ship, the Dash, that roams its coastline. The privateer was the first ship to be commissioned by the U.S.in the War of 1812, and captured 15 ships on its voyages between Portland and Bermuda. In January, 1815, the Dash sailed forth and was never seen again. The story is that one sees the Dash when “death is close by.”
The first documented New England pirate, according to Lost Loot, was Dixey Bull, who started his nefarious career from Machias Bay. The average life expectancy of a pirate then was 27 (probably similar to today’s Somalian pirates).
Hughes notes the heyday of piracy in this region was 1720, although it continued into the 19th century, when the U.S. Navy finally put a stop to piracy along our shores.
There are four islands in Maine called Treasure Island, with legends to go along with each. The islands are near, Gray, on Little Sebago Lake; on Moosehead Lake; on Grand Lake; and in Hancock County, near Dorrento (also known as Doane’s, Soward or Sewards Island).
There are five Gold Brooks in Maine, including Oxford County near Bowman and Franklin County near the Kibby Stream near Dallas.
Said to be a “haunted island” is Spirit Island on Lower Richardson Lake.
Treasures are said to be hidden in the Longfellow or Blue Mountains in western Maine, the White Mountains of New Hampshire and the Green Mountains of Vermont, including precious metals and gems. tied to early Native American mining, settlers, smugglers, military expeditions and bandits, to name a few/.
Some stories can be proven to have some merit. The tales of pirate treasure buried on some of` the 47 islands in the Harpswell area may have some merit. On a couple of occasions, Hughes noted, farmers have turned up buried gold.
One of the pirates with the worst reputations, Edward Low, is said to have buried treasure on Pond Island, with another version saying it was buried along the road from Maine to Canada in Sagdahoc County.
Samuel Bellamy, another notorious pirate, was said to have filled an underground vault with gold, silver, coins, weapons and jewels at the site of his fort in Machias, with more buried near the mouth of the Machias River. He also is said to have buried treasure on Deer Island, where some $1.5 million in loot has been found. In any case, it is known he had a large treasure that was not to be found when his infamous ship, the Whydah, sank off Cape Cod.
Arrrgh, has all this talk of treasure excited you, me mateys?
Be assured, you are not going to find an “X” marking the spot, but you never know if you might stumble upon some clue to something buried for protection centuries before our present day. After all, it is only the last 100 years or so that folks have been placing their loot in banks.