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Norcross Heritage Trust Collection
Credit: Norcross Heritage Trust Collection, Northeast Historic Film. Logs go down a chute into a river dam, Maine, 1940's.
[Fowler--home movies], 1143
film (2,875 ft.) : si., b&w and col. ; 8 mm.
1930 – 1949
Credit: Norcross Heritage Trust Collection, Northeast Historic Film. Logging on a river, Maine, 1940's.
The Norcross Heritage Trust Collection contains 10 reels of 8 mm. film shot by George Fowler, Sr. in the 1930s and 1940s. Footage depicts gardening, farming and family scenes such as fishing, boating, and sharing lobster dinners. Collection offers views of climbing Mt. Katahdin in Maine, men guiding logs downstream, Kidney Pond camps in Maine’s Baxter State Park, and Millinocket lumber and street scenes in the 1930s. Collection also offers footage of family trips to San Juan Capistrano and Los Angeles, California, in the late 1930s.
George Fowler, Sr. (1909-1994) was the son of Albert F. and Kate Jones Fowler of Norcross, Maine. He married in 1932, and moved to California with his wife, Charlotte (Haynes), where they had a son, George Fowler, Jr. George, Sr. and his family returned to Norcross for a Fowler family reunion in the summers. He nurtured his family’s connection to the Northeast, and captured these summer reunions on film. The Fowler family was present in Norcross as early as 1829. They took advantage of the Bangor & Aroostook Railroad offering new access to the region’s lakes and wilderness for tourists and nature enthusiasts. George Sr.’s father, Albert, and his brother, Fred, built a hotel and set up a three-steamboat transportation enterprise to serve the people brought by the railroad. George Sr. shot many scenes of Maine while on a 1939 road trip from Norcross south to Biddeford. He also took great care to capture scenes of the workings of the family hotel, including scenes of work such as splitting wood, fixing roads, and transporting sportsmen to and from camps. Donors George Fowler, Jr. and Pat Fowler are active in the Norcross Heritage Trust, and live in Brooklin, Maine. Norcross Heritage Trust “The population of Norcross was comprised of families of the railway workers, the station agent, some of the sporting camp owners and guides, the two Fowler families and their complement of employees. The largest population occurred in the years 1915-1920, with a dozen or so families totaling fifty to fifty-five people. The state maintained a one-room school for grades one through eight which functioned continuously from 1909-1965. There were ten schoolchildren the first year and eleven enrolled in the last year, after which pupils were transported to Millinocket. The years after 1930 saw a gradual decline of activities in Norcross. The Depression and the automobile had arrived. Roads improved and sportsmen were able to reach camps more quickly and easily. The Millinocket to Brownville road and the side road to Norcross were completed by 1938. The railroad station closed in 1937, though Norcross remained a flag stop until the mid-1950s, when the station building was removed. The post office closed on Nov. 30, 1946. The Norcross House along with its complement of outlying buildings was removed in the 1960s. The schoolhouse served as a private residence for a few years, but burned in the 1970s. Norcross today is a small, quiet community of residences and seasonal camps along the lake. The occasional freight train still whistles at the crossing, but there are few, if any, persons living today who remember firsthand when there was a lot of ‘goings on.’ It is through recording those memories, preserving the written records that we have, and collecting historical photographs that the story of Norcross will live on for the generations to come.” Adapted from Fred Fowler’s 1999 essay: Norcross: A Village by the Railroad at the Foot of North Twin Lake. < http://norcrossheritagetrust.org/history/>
Northeast Historic Film
The Collection is open for research.
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13 Items in this collection