Skip Navigation

Special Collections: Guide to the Penobscot Paddle and Chowder Society Records

Arranged and described by Brenda Howitson Steeves
Raymond H. Fogler Library Special Collections Department
February 2005
Introduction and Summary Information
Collection Title: Penobscot Paddle and Chowder Society Records.
Dates of the Collection: 1974-1976 (inclusive); 1974-1976 (bulk).
Provenance: Unknown.
Collection Number: MS 399.
Box Numbers: 1 (formerly Box 1708).
Size and Arrangement: The collection consists of one document box of material (0.5 cubic feet).
Conservation Note: The collection has been re-housed in acid-free folders and an acid-free box.
Preferred Citation: Penobscot Paddle and Chowder Society Records, Special Collections, Raymond H. Fogler Library, University of Maine.
Restrictions on Access and Use: Kept at Fogler Library's offsite storage facility. One week's notice required for retrieval.
The collection contains records of the Penobscot Paddle and Chowder Society, an organization in Bangor, Maine, for people interested in canoeing, kayaking and other outdoor activities. The materials center on environmental advocacy activities of the group in the 1970’s.
The Society, organized in 1968-1969, is a family-oriented group which through its activities promotes interest in paddling, paddling instruction, river safety, and conservation. A volunteer organization, it seeks to make canoeing and kayaking safe, accessible, and fun. Its members come from throughout New England but are primarily from the Penobscot River area in central Maine. The Society sponsors paddling, hiking and cross-country skiing trips for its members as well as several meetings per year and dinners at which chowder is often served.
The Society is an affiliate member of the American Canoe Association and the Natural Resources Council of Maine. More information about the Society can be found at its website (
Scope and Content Note
This small collection contains files maintained by William F. and Fern Crossland Stearns on environmental advocacy activities of the Society. Bill Stearns, a member of the College of Education at the University of Maine at Orono, served as the society’s first president.
Two main issues are addressed in the records: the Society’s opposition to the Dickey-Lincoln School Lakes Project and its support for designating the Penobscot River to Wild and Scenic River status under the provisions of the U.S. Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968.
The Dickey-Lincoln Project, proposed for the St. John River in northern Maine, was designed to be a low-cost source of power for both Maine and New England. It was to have two dams, one in the village of Dickey and the other eleven miles downstream at Lincoln School. The St. John River and many streams in the area were to be flooded to create an 86,000-acre reservoir above the Dickey Dam. Estimated to cost $463 million, the construction was fiercely opposed by various environmental groups as well as citizens of Maine objecting to its high cost. The project was finally defeated in 1985.
The Dickey-Lincoln file contains correspondence, newspaper clippings, press releases, and material from groups opposed to the building of the Dickey-Lincoln dams. Many materials from a Boston group, Friends of the St. John, are included in this file.
The file supporting designation of the Penobscot River as a Wild and Scenic River contains correspondence with the Great Northern Paper Company and the U.S. Bureau of Outdoor Recreation, reports and updates on the process, and press releases of the Society outlining its position.
Also included in the collection are Society membership booklets and copies of correspondence and press releases from the Central Maine Power Company discussing the company’s energy policies.

Box List
Box 1
1 Society membership booklets, 1975-1976
2 Central Maine Power Co.: correspondence, press releases, etc., re energy policies, 1975-1976
3 Dickey-Lincoln dams, 1974
4 Land Use Regulation Commission: correspondence re protection district designation for Mud Pond Carry trail and North East Carry trail, 1975
5-6 Penobscot River: Wild and Scenic River status, 1974-1976
7 Miscellaneous reports, clippings

Finding Aids for selected manuscript collections in the Special Collections Department at Fogler Library are accessible online in URSUS, in a browsable Guide to Manuscript Collections. Please contact Special Collections at or (207) 581-1686 for further information.

Return to top level page

Special Collections Staff: | Revised: 03/23/2015
5729 Fogler Library
University of Maine
Orono, ME 04469-5729
Phone: 207-581-1661 | Fax: 207-581-1653
© Copyright 2000-2015
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469