Sharon Norman


Happy Spring! The sap is running at Big Lake Township, pussy willows are being gathered – sounds like spring. With the sweet, there is often the bitter. 

Princeton people grieve this week with the passing of Philip McDowell.  Many of us know and love him as a local boy, dedicated community worker, wholeheartedly giving many years to the town in the capacity of town selectman; there was no stronger believer in the Princeton Rod & Gun Club where Phil would always be cooking, cleaning or socializing with friends. Phil was also a dedicated mason to Lewey’s Island Lodge #138.  Phil was always ready to lend a hand in these organizations preparing and serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. He took his responsibilities in these groups and in life as a husband, father and friend very seriously.  Mayo Angelou wrote, “I believe that every person is born with talent”.  Philip McDowell had many talents and he will be greatly missed.

In keeping with the idea that every town has a history, Roy Smith was recently interviewed to give a picture of Princeton in 1954.  That is the year that Mr. Smith secured a job with Eastern Pulpwood. When showed photos of the pulpwood chute at Silver Lake, Roy said he was in charge of building it.  He mentioned the chute was covered with 1/8” steel plates.  In another discussion with Bobby Bacon, it was learned that Bobby dumped the first truckload of pulpwood down the chute and into the water.  The logs were floated from Silver Lake down through to Clifford Bay and then on into Big Lake by using boom logs to keep the pulpwood confined.  The four-foot pulpwood was peeled before putting it into the water.  Spruce and fir pulpwood was peeled by hand with a “spud” and hemlock was debarked by girdling the tree and applying poison. The bark on the standing tree fell off and then the tree was cut down.  After the pulpwood arrived at Big Lake it was again confined with boom logs in Clifford Bay and towed by boat down to the narrows at Long Lake.  The boats used in those days were the “Big Lake” and the “Spednic”.  The Big Lake was used west of the bridge in Princeton and the Spednic was used east of the bridge.  Mrs. Smith said that she was a lumber camp cook once when she was 19 years old in the Kokadjo area. It was during spring shutdown in the woods and there weren’t too many woods workers around.  She agreed the cooks in the lumber camps “ruled the roost”! Photos of the pulpwood chute at Silver Lake are on, click on Princeton ( photos courtesy of Joyce Carle).  Patrons of the library can also view these photos and others that have been uploaded to the MMN site using the town computer.  Also, the complete interview with Roy Smith will be available for viewing at the library.  

PES PTO News: After school programs have been a success this year.  As some of the clubs are winding down, others are just gearing up to supply enrichment for students in different age groups.  An outside hike is in the planning stages for May.  If cooking or decorative painting is of interest to some students, May is the month to dabble in either of these.  The Munchkin Drama Club is in full swing.  Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory will be presented May 2, 3 and 4th at different times.  Girls’ Day at the State House is Thurs., March 21.  Two student representatives are Paige Fitch and Chabre Poole.  They will participate in the 11th Annual Girls’ Day at the State House in Augusta.  The girls will engage in mock public hearings, a mock press conference, meet with the Senate and House leadership and get to know the State House.  A generous donation by Rep. Beth Turner made the lodging possible.  What a learning experience for these two eighth graders!

Keep those happenings coming or by calling 214-8333.