Alexander/Crawford History

Tag: 
Town News

By John Dudley & Cassie Oakes

Andrew Jackson Grover Stories: Luther Thornton had many stories about his grandfather Andrew Jackson Grover (1865-1929) who lived south of the Airline between the Alexander line and Durlings Corner.  Andrew was a big, strong easy-going man; he wore bib overalls.  He had a grocery store in part of his house providing his neighbors with things that a farm family couldn’t produce on their land, like flour, molasses, nails and kerosene for the lamps.

Andrew also had the mail contract between Calais and Machias via Crawford and likely Wesley.  Locals called this job “driving the stage.”  Mail was delivered to post offices, not houses.  Andrew kept horses at home, at the post office in Baileyville (across from the Sunset Camp Road) and likely at Wesley and Machias.  His brother Charlie often drove the stage for him.

Like most men of the day, Andrew was a farmer in the summer and a lumberman in winter.  Often he had the bid for the log drive down the East Machias River.  He was a good boss and always landed the logs.  He said that Pokey Dam held enough water for 75 days of driving if none were wasted.  Once when he had a logging crew on the other side of Crawford Lake, he carried a barrel of molasses to the shore and placed it in Frank Magoon’s canoe for transport across the lake.  A barrel of molasses weighed 500 pounds!

Cycle-bar mowers were replacing scythes and Andrew had Frank Williams get one from Furbishes in Princeton.  Andrew picked it up off the wagon and carried it into the corner shed.  He wouldn’t drive the mower into the barn, but unhooked it in Elba Durling’s yard and carry it into the barn.

Andrew Grover had come home with a wagon loaded with groceries for his store.  He had everything unloaded except for a barrel of salt pork.  The horse kept inching forward to the barn and Andrew had to carry the wares farther and farther.  Finally he leaped over the seat to the ground and dragged the horse back to the right place. He then grabbed the barrel and threw it into the shed.  The barrel smashed on the shed floor.  It is said that a barrel of pork weighs 440 pounds.  It is also said that haste makes waste, as Andrew spent considerable time cleaning up the mess.

In later years Andrew had a car, but like most had problems parallel parking.  Jack Lawless’s mother saw Andrew pull the front into a parking space, get out, pick up the back end and move it to the curb.

 

The oral history printed in the Advertiser is stored in the ACHS computer under Families/Thornton and on paper in the archives at the Municipal Building.