Native American Special
The Wawenoc diaspora section of this bibliography has been combined
into the Native Americans in Maine: Principal and Contemporary sections.
Damariscotta Shell Middens
The Damariscotta oyster shell heaps as well as the hundreds
of other clam shell heaps located in the estuaries between the Kennebec
and Penobscot rivers document the existence of thriving communities of
Native Americans in coastal Maine. While this area was the dominion
of the Wawenoc Indians, the numerous trails leading from the Norumbega
back country to these coastal sites indicate that these were shared resources
used on a seasonal basis by other tribes such as the Kennebecs and Penobscots,
who in turn would share their resources such as the Kenduskeag alewife
run with the Wawenocs and other tribes. The following list represents
a compilation of all the articles and annotations in the Museum files on
this subject. Additional citations are welcomed.
Allison, Roland. (1964). Shell heaps around Deer Island. Maine
Archaeological Society Bulletin. 2. pg. 3-5.
Backman, Dave. (1996). The Lady Slipper Midden Site (14.31). Maine
Archaeological Society Bulletin. 36(1). pg. 1-16.
Berry, George S. (1898). The great shell mounds of Damariscotta. New
England Magazine. 19. pg. 178-188.
Castner, Harold W. (1948). The prehistoric oyster shell
heaps of the Damariscotta River. Damariscotta, ME.
Ceci, L. (1984). Shell midden deposits as coastal resources. World
Archaeology. 16. pg. 62-74.
Chadbourne, H.P. (1859). Oyster shell deposit in Damariscotta. Maine
Historical Society Collections. 6(1). pg. 345-351.
Cushman, David. (January 27, 1864). Clam shell deposits.
col. 110, box 3c/35, manuscripts collection, Maine Historical Society,
Cushman, David Quimby. (1882). The
history of ancient Sheepscot and Newcastle, including early Pemaquid, Damariscotta,
and other contiguous places, from the earliest discovery to the present
time; together with the genealogy of more than four hundred families.
E. Upton & Son, Printers, Bath, ME.
Goldthwait, Richard P. (1935). The Damariscotta shell heaps
and coastal stability. American Journal of Science. Series 5. 30.
- A most elegant history of the ancient Sheepscot.
- On clam shell deposits, Cushman notes "There is one of them on what is
called the Hawthorne farm in the town of Cushing, once owned by Mr. Isaac
Burton. It is a peninsula extending Southward into the St. George's
river about ten miles... Here the Indians had their encampment, raised
their corn, and continued to live through untold generations. The
clam shell deposit was near the bank, helped to form the bank, and was
from one to eight or ten feet deep. The whole deposit was about three
rods wide and fourteen rods long. It is the accumulation of ages.
...It makes capital soil; and the seed which is cast there, whether it
be corn, oats, potatoes or turnips, is sure to produce a plentiful crop.
I have never seen better. It is the richest, surest, best part of
the farm, by far. The river fogs moisten the crops in summer, and
the influence of the salt water keeps back the frosts in autumn.
The crop is as certain as anything can be." (pg. 310-311).
- "Here they spent their winters, and when the cod and whale fishery could
not be pursued, they resorted to the clam banks for food. These never
failed them. In the spring they went up river and caught salmon and
shad, and at other seasons of the year they pursued the game..." (pg. 311).
- "In the town of Bremen, on a farm owned by Mr. Jacob Keene is another of
these clam shell deposits. It is not so extensive as that in Cushing,
yet it is near the water, in a fine, sunny, warm place, at the edge of
the river looking Southward, near a spring of water, and defended in the
rear by rising grounds and dense forests. ...Excellent corn grew there
in the summer of 1863." (pg. 312).
- "On the upper end of Loud's Island, formerly Muscongus Island, is found
another of these beds of clam shells. It was once undoubtedly quite
extensive; but the most of the bank containing it, has been washed away
by the heavy seas that roll in, during Southeasterly storms, from the broad
Atlantic." (pg. 321).
- "The spot chosen for encampment was similar to the others described;--on
the bank, and near the mouth, of a river; never in the interior; with fresh
water at hand, and an easy water communication in different directions.
The spot was level and sunny, looking Southward, and defended from the
cold raw winds which swept down from the interior. The clam banks
were near." (pg. 313).
- "Oyster shell deposit in Newcastle. ...On that rich and beautiful
peninsula, was their encampment. Here they lived, and died, and were
buried. All the marks of savage life found at clam shell deposits
are found here. In this place they cooked and eat their oysters;
and the shells were carried out and deposited in a precisely similar manner
that the Indians did the clam shells at the mouths of the various rivers.
But where did they get their oysters? In the stream that ran by their
place of settlement in the large bay above and in Oyster Creek which enters
into this bay on the eastern side. Here they used to be found in
abundance, but when the mills were put upon the river, which was done at
an early period of the settlement, they were killed out. An occasional
one is now found; and Captain Samuel Glidden who was born upon this point,
and till within a short time (1852, when this was written) owned and resided
here, has told me that within the period of his remembrance a bushel of
oysters have been taken out of this creek in a single tide. ...The chief
deposit is at the Eastern point on the bank of the river and opening into
the bay above, and on the Northern point upon the bay, and opposite to
the island where was their place of interment." (pg. 313-314).
- "It is supposed by many that in this vicinity was the lost 'city of New
England' called Norumbega, or the ancient city of Arumpeag which is thought
to mean the place of men. And on an island in the beautiful bay above,
traditions says, was the place where they used to bury their dead." (pg.
- "When the settlers first came to these parts, vessels used to come from
the Westward to dig for oysters and carry them away and they found it a
profitable business. But as soon as the thick deposit of saw dust
which constantly came down from the mills situated above that the English
erected there, began to accumulate on the bottom, and sunken slabs and
other lumber increased, the breathing holes of the oysters were stopped,
their sustenance was cut off and they perished." (pg. 315).
- There is extensive commentary on the Indian cemetery at the northern tip
of Loud's Island, now washed away. "The specimens carried away have
been almost endless, and some are found there at the present time.
The sea has also done its part in carrying away these relics of the dead.
About twenty acres have been washed away within the memory of man, and
with it the entire cemetery of these sons of the forest." (pg. 317).
- See the other annotations for
this text in the Ancient Pemaquid bibliography.
Johnson, F. (1935). Excavations in the Glidden shell
heap on the Damariscotta River, Newcastle, Maine. Unpublished manuscript.
R. S. Peabody Foundation, Andover, MA.
Loomis, G.F. and Young, D.B. (1912). On the shell heaps
of Maine. American Journal of Science. 34. pg. 17-42.
Mercer, Henry C. (1897). An exploration of aboriginal shell
heaps revealing traces of cannibalism on the York River, Maine. Publications
of the University of Pennsylvania, Series in Philology, Literature and
Archaeology. 6. pg. 111-137.
- "...it must be then deduced that the original object, of coming to the
sea shore, was not clams but rather fishing, and possibly hunting,
but especially fishing." (pg. 20).
- "...Sawyer's Island is characterized by the tremendous abundance of deer
remains, so that it would appear that the hunting must have rivalled the
fishing, as doubtless this island was then a part of the mainland." (pg.
- "...and staple food, on this Island [Sawyer] was the great auk, the bones
of which occurred in large numbers, as did those also of many other birds,
many of which we have not been able to identify." (pg. 21).
- "That they were spring camps is also confirmed by the condition of the
horns on the crania of the male deer, which were found in the heap." (pg.
- "Lastly these heaps are also testimony to the sinking land, for the camps
were beyond doubt originally well above the tide's reach." (pg. 22).
- Large numbers of deer jaw bones were recovered from Sawyer's Island. (Table,
- "The absence of individuals with partly developed or perfect antlers indicates,
further, that the camps were simply spring camps, which also coincides
with the best fishing season, and is the evidence that these heaps were
made during periodic visits to the sites." (pg. 25).
Morse, Edward Sylvester. (1868). Evidence of great antiquity
in the shell heaps at Goose Island. Boston Society of Natural History
Proceedings. 11. pg. 301-302. FCW.
Moses, T.F. (1878). Shell heaps of Maine. Proceedings,
Central Ohio Scientific Association. 1. Urbana, OH. pg. 70-76.
Myers, A.C. (1965). The Damariscotta oyster shell heaps:
Some further considerations. Unpublished senior thesis. Department
of Anthropology, Princeton University.
Prentiss, D.W. (1903). Descriptions of an extinct mink
from the shell-heaps of the Maine coast. Proceedings of the U.S.
National Museum. 26. pg. 887-888.
Putnam, Frederick Ward. (1883). Shell heaps on the coast
of Maine. Science. 1. pg. 319.
Sanger, David and Kellogg, Douglas E. (1983). Preliminary
report on sea-level rise in the Damariscotta Estuary, central Maine coast.
In: New England seismotectonic study activities in Maine during fiscal
year 1982. Thompson, Woodrow S. and Kelley, Joseph T. Eds. Maine Geological
Survey, Augusta, ME. pg. 137-145.
Sanger, David and Sanger, Mary Jo (Elson). (1986). Boom
and bust on the river: The story of the Damariscotta oyster shell heaps. Archaeology
of Eastern North America. 14. pg. 65-78.
Sewall, Rufus King. (1895). Ancient
voyages to the western continent: Three phases of history on the coast
of Maine. The Knickerbocker Press, NY, NY. IS.
- "As sea-levels rose throughout the Holocene, head of tide pushed upstream
and over bedrock sills in the Damariscotta River. Oysters followed,
and found a fertile niche that was basically predator free. Some
time around 2400 B.P. Native Americans discovered the oysters, and by 1500
B.P. had built shell middens up to 30 ft (9 m) high. Increasing sea-level
rise resulted in higher salinity levels, and eventually predators such
as oyster drills joined forces with the Native Americans. Shortly
thereafter the oysters were annihilated and the humans moved on, seeking
more fertile ecosystems." (pg. 65).
- "We construct a series of events that attests to a heavy dependency on
a single species, such that when the species was eliminated, the Native
Americans abandoned the area." (pg. 65).
- "In the nineteenth century, few archeological sites in northeastern North
America attracted as much attention as did two large oyster shell heaps
and numerous lesser ones along the Damariscotta River in Maine." (pg. l65).
- "Native American oysters no longer flourish in the Damariscotta River,
and likely did not in numbers for several centuries." (pg. 67).
- "All of these discussions related to the cultural significance of the oyster
shell middens were severely limited by the poorly developed state of knowledge
of regional prehistory. Even in 1965, Myers had to refer to outdated
concepts in place since the 1930s, especially as reviewed by Willoughby
(1935)." (pg. 69).
- "Local folklore also claimed that the sites were major Native American
settlements occupied in the 17th century (Castner 1954), despite the total
absence of any evidence to support the assertion." (pg. 69).
- "Gamage's notes and sections, ...led to speculation about the length of
time that the site was used, and the presence of three distinct periods
of occupation. A recent analysis of the Whaleback collection at the
Peabody Museum indicated a rather different interpretation." (pg. 70).
- "The ceramics constitute the bulk of the diagnostic artifacts." (pg. 70).
- "The analysis of the two largest middens, Glidden and Whaleback, suggests
that the middens began to accumulate somewhere around 2400 B.P. and were
probably abandoned before 1000 B.P., or long before Europeans colonized
the area in the 17th century. The period of greatest utilization,
based on the ceramics, would be from about 2200 to 1500 B.P. It should
be noted that some later occupation along the banks of the Damariscotta
is indicated by the presence in a local collection of very late prehistoric
to Contact period artifacts from a small midden downstream of the Glidden
site. Significantly, the collector told Sanger that he found the artifacts
in a clam midden context overlying an oyster midden." (pg. 72).
- "Downstream of the study area, recent surveys by the University of Maine
have documented nearly 200 clam shell middens in the estuaries of the Damariscotta
and the adjacent Sheepscot rivers, many of them with Late Ceramic period
(post-1200 B.P.) occupations." (pg. 76).
- More quotations and annotations on this text can be found in the Ancient
Pemaquid information file: The First Colonial
Dominion of Maine and in the essay on Sylvanus
- The following quotation is taken from pages 24 - 28:
Damariscotta river is an inlet of the sea, inland off Monhegan Island,
in the County of Lincoln ; an effluent of the tide-waters of Pemaquid,
expanded into a shallow bay or basin above the flow of the Salt-water Falls,
at the foot of a fifty-foot fresh-water cascade, over which a great lake
above, embracing the waters of Muscongus and Damariscotta Lakes rush to
reach the salt sea below. The Indians called the site, with its environment,
'Ped-auk-go-wack,' 'place of thunder.'
Popham colonists wrote of this river. They called it 'Ta-mes-cot,'
embodying native sounds, descriptive of the food resources of its waters.
The Indian said of it : 'Na-mas-coota' : 'fish water place.' The
Penobscots still call it 'Ma-damas-couta,' as Sabattis interprets it :
'Many fish (alewices) water.'
Father Rasle, in Jesuit Relations, records 'that during a month
fish ascend in such numbers, one could fill fifty thousand barrels a day,
could the labor be endured -- the fish crowding one upon another, a foot
DEPOSIT OF SHELLS
They are heaped chiefly in marginal aggregation, along the shores of the
outlet of the basin described, near the 'Salt-water Falls,' so called at
the meeting of the bay above, with the tide waters below, on both shores.
The shells are chiefly of the oyster in mature condition, and of very
large size. Gilbert of the Popham Colony wrote home in 1607, 'their
men found oysters there, nine inches long, and heard of others twice as
big.' The nine-inch oyster was a shell-fish of the river, 'Ta-mes-cot,'
and the bigger ones in a river near on the other side, i.e., the
Sheepscott, where big fat fellows still grow.
The shells are horizontally disposed, shell on shell, ends to the shore.
They are seldom found in pairs, but laying on the side instead of on edge,
shell within shell.
There is a central heap on the east shore, back of high-water mark,
left as if rolled in a mighty wave, thirty odd feet deep, oval shaped,
terraced with smaller heaps, from five to fifteen feet diameter, as seen
in 1859. This ridge has since been dug over for grinding up the shells
into hen-food. High-water mark was found to be the base-line of the
shell heaps on both shores of the outlet. On the west, the shells
are piled from the water-line at a sharp angle, twenty-five to thirty feet,
showing nearly a vertical fall, the shells horizontally disposed, shell
lying in shell, layer on layer, no shells mated, quite perfect in condition.
This deposit is interleaved with dark, rich vegetable mould, indicating
lapse of periods of time intervening, sufficient to make a few inches of
An arched tunnel for twenty-five feet by three feet in diameter had
been cut into the deposit on the west shore side, and disclosed only shells
in different stages of decay, bleached on the surface, cream colored and
friable beneath. Many shell mounds are distributed over the entire
shell-covered area of the peninsula of the west shore of the outlet of
the bay or basin, at the foot of the great falls of 'Ped-auk-go-wack.'
'The great heaps are made up of the oyster, exclusively. The shells
are of extraordinary size, and belong to a variety not much found
on this coast, the long-necked species. The heaps are immense in
size, covering acres.'
These shell deposits were measured by Dr. Jackson in 1838 for his geological
survey of Maine, and his official report makes them 'one hundred and eight
rods long by eighty to one hundred wide, and twenty-five or six feet deep
; making not less than forty-four million, nine hundred and six thousand
RELICS, INDUSTRIAL AND KITCHEN.
In and throughout these deposits are bits of charcoal, bones of fish and
animals, and of the human frame ; stone hatchets, chisels, and deep-sea
sinkers ; bone stilettos, and tools of art and the chase ; pottery, sometimes
ornamented ; and even lumps of clay...
Smith, Walter B. (1929). The Jones Cove shell-heap at
West Gouldsboro, Maine. Bulletin I, The Robert Abbe Museum, Bar Harbor,
Snow, D.R. (1972). Rising sea level
and prehistoric cultural ecology in northern New England. American Antiquity.
37(2). pg. 211-222.
Varney, Lloyd H. (1971). A Blue Hill Bay coastal midden site. Maine Archaeology Society Bulletin. 2(1). pg. 14-32.
- This article contains extensive discussion of the shell middens along the
Maine coast including those at the Damariscotta estuary.
- "The earliest date from the Damariscotta midden indicates that a shift
toward the exploitation of shellfish along the Maine coast was underway
by 1900±250 radiocarbon years: A.D. 50 (Snow 1969:3). Bourque (1971) infers a similar
beginning date for midden accumulation at his sites on Deer Isle on the
basis of ceramic attributes cross-dated with sherds of known age from New
Brunswick and New York. It is convenient for the present to use A.D.
1 as the probable beginning of shellfish exploitation." (pg. 212).
- "Most middens are made up almost exclusively of the common clam; in a few
instances, they are composed almost entirely of quahog shells. It
is not clear which of these represent early 'pre-clam' middens, and which
(if any) are early historic accumulations that resulted from the florescence
of wampum manufacture from quahog shells. Finally, there are huge
middens in 1 locality that are made up almost entirely of oyster shells."
- "The largest heap, Whaleback, was removed for commercial purposes in the
1880's. Whaleback was originally 347 ft long, 123 ft wide, and 16
ft thick at the center." (pg. 214).
Wyman, Jeffries. (1867). An account of some of the
kjœkkenmœddings, or shell-heaps, in Maine and Massachusetts. Essex
Institute Press, Salem, MA.
Pandemic of 1617-1619
Ashburn, Percy M. (1947). The ranks of death: A medical
history of the conquest of America. Ashburn, Frank D., Ed. NY, NY.
Cook, Sherburne F. (1973). Interracial warfare and population
decline among the New England Indians. Ethnohistory. 20(1). pg.
Cook, S.F. (1973). The significance of disease in the extinction
of the New England Indians. Human Biology. 45. pg. 485-508.
- "The tremendous decline in numbers suffered by the North American Indians
in the early days of European colonization may be ascribed to a number
of factors. Among these is disease introduced by the whites, which
accounted certainly for more than half the population loss. Also
of outstanding significance was warfare." (pg. 1).
- "There were three periods of intense military effort, the Pequot War, 1634,
the Dutch War, 1643, and King Philip's War, 1675-1676. The number
of Indians killed on the field of battle is estimated as 2,950, or close
to eight percent of the total population loss suffered by the tribes concerned
during the period from 1620 to 1750." (pg. 1).
- "The second serious conflict involved the inhabitants of the central Maine
coast, an Algonkian group known as the Etechemin. Gorges (1837) places
a great war just prior to 1616-1618: '...for that war had consumed the
Bashaba and most of the great sagamores ... and those that remained were
sore afflicted with the plague (of 1617) so that the country was in a manner
left void of inhabitants.'" (pg. 2).
- "Nevertheless, as Williamson (1839) pointed out, the great Sagamore, or
Bashaba, held in dominion the valleys of the Penobscot, Pemaquid, Kennebec,
and Saco. He was undoubtedly killed, together with most of his subordinate
chiefs, the villages were destroyed, and the survivors subject to famine.
All this happened, according to Gorges, prior to the plague which finished
them off, and indicates extraordinary devastation. It will be noted
that we have here no exact estimates of the number of lives lost.
On the other hand, the evidence is strong that there was almost total destruction."
Crosby, Alfred W., Jr. (1972). The Columbian exchange:
Biological and cultural consequences of 1492. Greenwood Press, Westport,
Crosby, A.W. (April 1976). Virgin soil epidemics as a
factor in the aboriginal depopulation in America. William and Mary Quarterly.
23(2). pg. 289-299. IS.
Dobyns, Henry F. (1966). Estimating
aboriginal American population: An appraisal of techniques with a new hemispheric
estimate. Current Anthropology. VII. pg. 395-449.
- "Virgin soil epidemics are those in which the populations at risk have
had no previous contact with the diseases that strike them and are therefore
immunologically almost defenseless." (pg. 289).
- "...many of the most important events of aboriginal history in British
America occurred beyond the range of direct observation by literate witnesses."
Dobyns, Henry F. (1983). Their number became thinned.
University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, TN.
Hoornbeek, Billee. (1976-1977). An investigation into
the cause or causes of the epidemic which decimated the Indian population
of New England 1616-1619. New Hampshire Archaeologist. 19(7). pg.
Jacobs, Wilbur R. (1974). The tip of an iceberg: Pre-Columbian
Indian demography and some implications for revisionism. William and
Mary Quarterly. 3rd ser. XXXI. pg. 123-132.
Malone, Patrick M. (1991). The skulking way of war:
Technology and tactics among the Indians of southern New England, 160 -
1677. Madison Books, Lanham, MD.
Massachusetts Historical Society. (1837). Gorges' brief
narration. Massachusetts Historical Society Collections 6. Third
Series. American Stationers' Company, Boston, MA.
Miller, Virginia P. (Spring 1976). Aboriginal
Micmac population: A review of the evidence. Ethnohistory. 23(2).
pg. 117-127. IS.
- "See Chapter 10, pg. 57, for information on the plague of 1616-1620." (Ray, The
Indians of Maine, pg. 41).
- See the annotations in the Native
Americans Principal bibliography.
Snow, Dean R. and Lanphear, Kim M. (1988). European contact
and Indian depopulation in the northeast: The timing of the first epidemics. Ethnohistory.
35(1). pg. 15-33. X.
- "The efforts of Dobyns (1966, 1983) notwithstanding,
there is still little certain knowledge about pre-1500 population levels."
- "While the 1616 epidemic was the first to appear in the Northeast, the
sources clearly indicate that it did not spread far into the interior.
The first epidemic to reach the interior was probably the 1633 smallpox
epidemic." (pg. 23).
- "We conclude that it was the introduction of susceptible and possibly infected
children along with the shortened transatlantic crossing that determined
the timing of the first smallpox epidemics in the Northeast." (pg. 28).
- "It is unnecessary to assume a series of pandemics in the Eastern Woodlands
during the sixteenth century. Indeed, given the known effects of
the epidemics in the Northeast, the assumption of earlier equally severe
epidemics would necessarily entail the projection of unrealistically high
population levels for 1520." (pg. 28).
Spiess, Arthur E. and Spiess, Bruce
D. (1987). New England pandemic of 1616-1622: Cause and archaeological
implication. Man in the Northeast. 34. pg. 71-83. IS.
- "Between 1616 and 1622 a virulent pandemic spread through coastal Massachusetts,
New Hampshire, and southern Maine. Local mortality ranged close to
100%, causing dramatic social change. Symptoms of the diseases reported
by European explorers implicate hepatic failure. The causative agent
may have been a hepatitis virus. ...The current lack of archaeological
visibility of the catastrophe should be considered by research archaeologists."
Starna, William A. (1992). The biological encounter: Disease
and the ideological domain. The American Indian Quarterly. 16(4).
pg. 511-519. X.
Williams, H.V. (1909). The epidemic of the Indians of
New England 1616-1620, with remarks on Native American infections. Johns
Hopkins Hospital Bulletin. 20. pg. 340-349.
and Canoe Routes of Native Americans in New England
Cook, David S. (2007). Above the gravel bar: The native canoe routes of Maine. Third edition. Polar Bear & Company, Solon, ME. IS.
- This is an updated version of Indian Canoe Routes of Maine. See the review below.
Cook, David S. (1985). Indian canoe
routes of Maine. Covered Bridge Press, North Attleborough, MA. IS.
Groening, Tom. (September 23, 2000)
Augusta road less traveled. Bangor Daily News. pg. B3.
- Cook, a Maine archaeologist and teacher, has spent a lifetime canoeing
through the back woods of northern Maine. Cook uses Fannie Eckstrom's
research, many of them unpublished papers from the Folger Library in Orono,
including her unpublished Indian Trails of Maine (ca. 1920) as a
jumping off point for his description of the canoe routes of Maine.
- "All rivers have places where the fishing is still excellent. On
the major canoe routes such a spot is most assuredly an ancient campsite.
These places are particularly evident when ascending a river in a canoe.
The rapids that today require a portage are the same as they have been
for the last few thousand years. Most towns have their old mill dams
built over falls where Indians fished. The falls made the fish easy
to catch for the Indian, and provided power for the mill wheels of pioneer
industry, nuclei for many small towns." (pg. 26).
- "The Indians first burned one side of the log and then dug out the charred
wood with stone tools until they had a depression suitable for cooking.
Cold water and the meat were put into the hollowed log and red hot rocks
were dropped in until the meat was cooked to the broth they loved." (pg.
- "Old beaver ponds were free of obstructions for canoes because the dead
wood and stumps had been rotted away by years of flooding. In the
old days canoe travelers would break open small dams allow the water to
run for an hour or so to fill up a small brook so that their canoes would
float. The industrious beavers would repair the hole during the night
to save the precious water for their own purposes." (pg. 40).
- "The prehistoric canoe routes of Maine fall into four general categories:
major routes, short routes, cut-offs, and neighborhood routes. The
major routes were along the great north-south rivers; the Saco, Androscoggin,
Kennebec, Penobscot, St. John, and their major tributaries. These
routes ended in some important place, such as a large town or tribal center,
...The short routes went over the interconnecting tributaries and allowed
direct travel between watersheds when water levels permitted.
...The cut-offs were used for safety and convenience and are characterized
by the numerous portage points that have been found on the coastal peninsulas.
The ocean is very dangerous for canoes and the carry paths across the long
and narrow capes saved the paddlers many miles of dangerous paddling in
cold waters and high waves. ...neighborhood routes, were byways through
hunting and trapping regions but had poor connections as canoe routes to
any other place." (pg. 42-44).
- "The mid-coastal region from the Kennebec to the Penobscot, like the rest
of the Maine coast, has many excellent canoe routes. The Eastern,
Sheepscot, Damariscotta, Medomac, and St. George Rivers all rise in the
area south of Soudabscook Stream, a Sebasticook/Penobscot canoe route.
These rivers roughly parallel each other and outlet in the ragged coastal
region so popular with tourists today. Many tourists would be surprised
to know just how long people have been going there for clams, lobsters,
and cool sea breezes." (pg. 55).
- "Coastal canoeing is very dangerous. The rocky shores, strong tides,
and sudden storms make canoe travel difficult at best. The Indian
canoe travelers sought the safest way and took advantage of the numerous
options offered by the various rivers and lakes. These are situated
in such a way as to afford interior canoe routes paralleling the coast
and traversing good hunting terrain with no exposure to the sea.
The many islands of the coast provide protected inside passages for canoe
travelers while sheltering them from the rough conditions in the Gulf of
Maine." (pg. 56).
- "At places like Pemaquid Point, open for miles to the sea, the coast was
impossible for canoes. To avoid this dangerous stretch the Indians
had a cut-off from the Damariscotta River to New Harbor, and another to
Round Pond and no doubt another higher up to Broad Sound." (pg. 56).
- "The Indians had an inside route from the blue hills of Camden east to
Belfast. On the east side of Penobscot Bay the coastal rivers provided
interior canoe routes all the way to Lubec in extreme eastern Maine." (pg.
- "The Aroostook River, important for its many canoe routes, also runs very
close to important outcroppings of 'Munsungun cherts,' that the native
people valued for making stone tools." (pg. 93).
- "These Munsungun cherts, like the felsite of Mount Kineo, have acted as
a magnet drawing people into the Munsungun Lake region since the end of
the last Ice Age. At some point in the distant past, they began coming
by canoe. A careful study of the canoe routes and the distribution
of Munsungun chert in archaeological collections may yield important insights
about canoes and ancient trade in this material." (pg. 93).
- For more comments on this book see the essay on pathways
and canoe routes of Native Americans in the Norumbega Reconsidered
and the Wawenoc Diaspora Section.
Hallett, Leaman F. (April 1956). Indian trails and their
importance to the early colonists. Bulletin of Massachusetts Archaeological
Society. XVI. pg. 41-46. X.
- "Thomas Purchas came to Maine from England about the year 1626, landing
at Saco. From the eastern part of Casco Bay there was an Indian thoroughfare
that led to the falls of the Penobscot in what is now the town of Brunswick.
Skirting the shores of Casco Bay and journeying by this route, Purchas
reached the falls and found a very favorable location for trade with the
Indians as they descended the river in passing from their villages to the
mouth of the Sagadahoc, or to the camping grounds on the shores or islands
of Casco Bay. In establishing himself at the falls he secured the
Indian trade of the Androscoggin in the same way as the Pilgrims of Plymouth,
in erecting their trading house at Cushenoc, now Augusta, secured the Indian
trade of the Kennebec." (pg. 41-42).
- "The Connecticut path from Boston to Windsor, Hartford and Weathersfield
saw generations of colonists pass along the way before it widened for cart
or coach travel. For a long period the ancient Indian trail remained
a path, although it admitted the passage of footmen, horsemen and driven
cattle. It played a major part in the establishment of the postal
system in this country. The first colonial post route was started
in 1672 between New York and Boston by way of Hartford, and the post rider
of that day traveled over the old Indian trails between these points.
The many lakes and ponds along its course were bountifully supplied with
fish, and an occasional Indian village offered its crude hospitality to
the early settlers. Wilderness homes sprang up at favored places
long before towns were settled. Then, as now, the ninety-five miles
to Windsor and the one hundred and two miles to Hartford pay tribute to
the Indian facility in choice of terrain." (pg. 44).
Haviland, William A. (2005). A safe passage to the sea: An ancient canoe route at Deer Isle, Maine. Maine Archaeological Society Bulletin. 45(1). pg. 25-30. IS.
Marlowe, George Francis. (1942). The old bay paths: Their
villages and byways and their stories. Hastings House, Publishers,
NY, NY. IS.
Stark, William. (1988). Indian
trails and superhighways. American Canal and Transportation Center,
Wallace, Paul A. W. (1965). Indian
paths of Pennsylvania. Harrisburg, PA.
Williamson, Joseph. (1859).
Castine and the old coins found there. Collections of the Maine Historical
Society. Volume VI. pg. 105-126.
- "It was not on the peninsula that these coins were found, nor within the
limits of the town of Castine, but on the banks or shore of the Bagaduce
River, about six miles from the site of Castin's fort, in the town of Penobscot.
This river, at its mouth, forms the harbor of Castine, and is navigable
for small vessels for several miles above the village. At about six
miles above, is a point called 'Johnson's Narrows,' or 'Second Narrows,'
...A path leads across the point, and from the adaptation of the shore
as a landing place, it is probable that the usual passage from Biguatus
to Mt. Desert, was up this river as far as the narrows. Near the
narrows the coins were discovered. ...some twenty-five yards from the shore,
and in the direct line of a beaten track through the bushes, which has
been used as a path across the point for a time beyond the remembrance
of the oldest inhabitants. At the termination of this path on the
shore, is an indentation or landing place, well adapted for canoes, and
the natural features and facilities of the spot are confirmatory of a tradition
that one of the Indian routes from the peninsula to Mount Desert and Frenchman's
Bay was up the Bagaduce river, and from thence across to Bluehill Bay."
The petroglyphs of Maine constitute one of the most interesting
archaeological fragments that remain as testament to the thriving Native
American communities who once inhabited the shores and rivers of coastal
and inland Maine. This section of The Davistown Museum bibliography
is dedicated to the memory of Joan Haskell Brack (1939-1999), a distant
descendant of Native Americans, who was interested in and helped facilitate
the documentation of the petroglyphs on her property at Holmes Point in
Machias Bay. The Native American displays in The Davistown Museum
are also dedicated to the memory of Joan. We hope to expand this
special topic bibliography as time allows and provide a complete listing
of all the citations on this topic. The following is a preliminary
Hedden, Mark H. (1983-1987). Maine
Archaeological Society Bulletin.
Hedden, Mark. H. (Spring 1989). Petroglyph evidence for a
possible 19th century survival of Algonkian (Passamaquoddy) shamanism in
eastern Maine. Maine Archaeological Society Bulletin. 29(1). pg.
- The following articles in the Maine Archaeological Society Bulletin are
all on petroglyphs. References courtesy of Ray and Faulkner.
- Vol. 23, no. 1 (Spring 1983)
- Vol. 23, no. 2 (Fall 1983)
- Vol. 24, no. 1 (Spring 1984) "Sexuality in Maine Petroglyphs"
- Vol. 24, no. 2 (Fall 1984) "The Form of the Cosmos in the Body of the Shaman"
- Vol. 25, no. 1 (Spring 1985) "Petroglyphs on Hog Island, Machias
- Vol. 27, no. 1 (Spring 1987)
- Vol. 27, no. 2 (Fall 1987) "Canoe Figures at Embden and Machiasport."
- Vol. 31, no. 1 (Spring 1991) "A winged figure incised on a slate pebble."
Hedden, Mark. H. (2002). Contact period petroglyphs in Machias
Bay, Maine. Archaeology of Eastern North America. 30. pg. 1-20. IS.
- The article deals with the Elliott site, Grand Lake Stream, Maine.
Reference courtesy of Ray and Faulkner.
Lahti, Eric. (1976). Oil rubbings of petroglyphs. Maine Archaeological Society Bulletin 16(1). pg. 30-31.
Lahti, Eric. (1976). The Machias petroglyphs. Maine
Archaeological Society Bulletin 16(2). pg. 3-6.
Lahti, Eric. (2001). Goodwill-Hinckley archaeological
survey 1996. Maine Archaeological Society Bulletin 41:1. pg. 25-34.
Mallery, Garrick. (1893). Picture-writing of the American
Indians. Tenth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology to the Secretary
of the Smithsonian Institution, 1888-1889 by J. W. Powell, Director. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. Reprinted in 1972 in 2 vols.
by Dover Publications, Inc., New York, NY. IS.
Ray, Roger B. (1985). The Machiasport petroglyphs. Maine
Historical Society Quarterly. 25(1). pg. 22-39.
Ray, Roger B. (1987). The Embden, Maine petroglyphs. Maine
Historical Society Quarterly. 27(1). pg. 14-23.
Ray, Roger B. (1991). The petroglyphs at Grand Lake Stream,
Maine. North American Archaeologist. 12(3). pg. 257-268.
Snow, Dean R. (1976). The Solon petroglyphs and eastern
Abenaki shamanism. In: Papers of the Seventh Algonquian Conference.
Cowan, William, Ed., Carleton University Press, Ottawa, Canada. pg. 281-288.
Whitehead, Ruth Holmes. (1992). A new Micmac petroglyph
site. The Occasional. 13(1). pg. 7-12.
Wabanaki Studies Commission. (October 2003). Final
report of the Wabanaki Studies Commission: Wabanaki studies. Maureen
Smith, Chair, Native Studies Program, University of Maine, Orono, ME. IS.
for LD 291 on the Maine State Legislature website.
Center at the University of Maine.
Bibliography from the Final Report of the Wabanaki Studies Commission
Title of Book - Author - Publisher
Abenaki Warrior, The Life and Times of Chief Escumbuit - Alfred E. Kayworth
- Branden Publishing Comp.
Aboriginally Yours, Chief Henry Red Eagle - Edited by Eleanor R. Williamson,
Juana D. Perley, Madalen F. Bumham - Moosehead Communications, Inc. Greenville,
Algonquians of the East Coast - The Editors of Time-Life Books - Time
American Indian Holocaust and Survival, A Population History since 1492
- Russell Thornton - University of Oklahoma Press Norman
American Indian Resource Manual, for Public Libraries - Frances du Usabel
& Jane A. Roeber - Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
Anoqcou, Ceremony is life itself - Gkisedtanamoogk & Frances Hancock
- Astarte Shell Press, Inc
Colonialism in the Americas - Susan Gage - Victoria International Development
Dawnland Encounters (2 books) - Colin G. Calloway - University Press
of New England Hanover and London
Documents of United States Indian Policy - Francis Paul Prucha - University
of Nebraska Press Lincoln
Elitekey, Micmac Material Culture from 1600 AD to the Present - Ruth
Holmes Whitehead - The Nova Scotia Museum
Encyclopedia of American Indian Contributions to the World - Emory Dean
Keoke and Kay Marie Porterfield - Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication
Enough is Enough, Aboriginal Women Speak Out - as told to Janet Silman
- Women's Press
Games of the North American Indians Volume 1 - Stewart Culin - University
of Nebraska Press Lincoln and London
Games of the North American Indians Volume 2 - Stewart Culin - University
of Nebraska Press Lincoln and London
Gluskabe & the Four Wishes - Joseph Bruchac - Library of Congress
Hollywood's Indian, The portrayal of the Native American in Film - Peter
C. Rollins & John E. O'Connor - The University Press of Kentucky
How To Teach about American Indians - Karen E. Harvey With Lisa D. Harjo
and Lynda Welbom - Greenwood Press
Indian Country Teacher's Guide - Karen D. Harvey & Lisa D. Harjo
- North American Press
Indian Games, Toys, & Pastimes of Maine & the Maritimes - Edith
Favour - The Robert Abbe Museum, Bar Harbor, ME
Killing the White Man's Indian - Fergus M. Bordewich - An Anchor Book
Published by Doubleday
Maliseet Micmac, First Nations of the Maritimes - Robert M. Leavitt
- New Ireland Press
Memories of a Micmac Life, J. Richard McEwan - Edited by W. D. Hamilton
- The Micmac-MaIiseet Institute University of New Brunswick
Mi’ kmaq - Stephen A. Davis - Canadian Cataloguing in Publication Data
Mi' kmaq Hieroglyphic Prayers - David L. Schmidt - Nimbus Publishing
MicMac by Choice, Elsie Sark-an Island Legend - M. Olga McKenna - Formac
Publishing Company Limited Halifax, 1990
MicMac Medicines, Remedies and Recollections - Laurie Lacey - Nimbus
Molly Molasses & Me - SSIPSIS & Georgia Mitchell - Little Letterpress
Robin Hood Books
Molly Spotted Elk Katahdin: Wigwam's Tales of the Abanaki Tribe - Molly
Spotted Elk - Norheast Folklore, volume XXXVII
Multicultural Literature for Children and Young Adults, third edition
- Cooperative Children's Book Center - University of Wisconsin-Madison
Native Americans Today Resources & Activities for Educators grades
4-8 - Arlene Hirschfelder & Yvonne Beamer - Teacher Ideas press
Native Names of New England Towns and Villages - C. Lawrence Bond, A.B.,
S. B. - Privately Published (Native Names P.O Box 862 Reading, MA 01867)
Native Nations, Cultures and Histories of Native North America - Nancy
Bonvillian - Prentice Hall
Native Roots, How the Indians Enriched America - Jack Watherford, (also
author of Indian Givers) - Crown Publshers, INC. New York
No Word for Time, The way of the Algonquin People - Evan T. Pritchard
- Council Oak Books Tulsa Oklahoma
Passamaquoddy Community Vision 1996 - White Owl Press - Pleasant Point
Passamaquoddy Reservation Perry, ME 04667
Penobscot Man - Frank G. Speck - University of Pennsylvania Press
Rethinking Columbus - Edited by Bill Bigelow & Bob Peterson - Rethinking
Rita Joe, Lnu and Indians We're Called - Edited by Lynn Henry - Hignell
Six Micmac Stories - Kenneth M. Morrison - University of California
Press Berkeley Los Angesles
Six Micmac Stories - Retold by Ruth Holmes Whitehead - Novia Scotia
Museum Nimbus Publishing
Song of Rita Joe, Autobiography of a Mi'kmaq Poet - Rita Joe. with assistance
of Lynn Henry - University of Nebraska Press Lincoln
Stories From The Six Worlds Micmac Legends - Ruth Holmes Whitehead -
Nimbus Publishing LTD
Tales of the Maine Woods:Two Forest & Stream Esasay (1891) - Frannie
Pearson Hardy - The Maine Folklife Center
The Abenaki - Colin G. Calloway - Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication
The Abenaki - Elaine Landau - A Division of Grolier Publishing
The Circle of Thanks, Native American Poems and Songs Of Thanksgiving
- Told By Joseph Bruchac - Bridgewater Books
The Earliest Americans - Helen Roney Sattler - Clarion Books, New York
The Faithful Hunter Abenaki Stories - Joseph Bruchac - The Greenfield
The Federal Indian Day Schools of the Maritimes - W.D. Hamilton - The
Micmac-Maliseet Institute University of New Brunswick
The First Peoples of the Northeast - Esther K. Braun & David P.
Braun - Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication
The Handicrafts of the Modem Indians of Maine - Fannie Hardy Eckstorm
- The Robert Abbe Museum Bar Harbor, ME
The Native American Almanac, A Portrait of Native America Today - Arlene
Hirschfelder and Martha Kreipe De Montano - Macmillan Inc.
The New England Indians - C. Keith Wilbur - The Globe Pequot Press Old
The Old Man Told Us, Excerpts from Micmac History 1500-1950 - Ruth Holmes
Whitehead - Canadian Cataloguing in Publication Data
The Waters Between, A Novel of the Dawn Land - Joseph Bruchac - University
Press of New England Hanover and London
The Wigwam and the Longhouse - Charlotte and David Yue - Houghton Mifflin
Thirteen Moons on Turtle's Back, A Native American Year of Moons - Joseph
Bruchac & Jonathan London - The Putnam & Grosset Group
Through Indian Eyes, The Native Experience in Books for Children - Beverly
Slapin and Doris Seale - New Society Publishers
Timelines of Native American History - Susan Hasen-Hammond - The Berkeley
Uses Of Birch Bark In The Northeast - Eva L. Butler & Wendell S.
Hadlock - The Robert Abbe Museum Bar Harbor, ME
We Were Not the Savages - Daniel N. Paul - Nimbus Publishing LTD
When the Chenoo Howls, Native American Tales of Terror - Joseph &
James Buchac - Walker and Company New York
List of Videos Abanaki: Native People of Maine
Gabriel Women Passamaquoddy Basketmakers
Healing Woods: Passamaquoddy
Home: the Story of Maine
Indian Island School 1992: Kluscap & His People/Creation
Journey Into Tradition
Our Lives in Our Hands
Red Paint People
Penobscot Basket Maker
Penobscot: The People and Their River
Song of Eskasoni
Wabanaki: A New Dawn
Six Micmac Stories (a listening cassette tape)
Oyate (informative website) http://www.oyate.org/