Saddened and confused: the flooding of Flagstaff village

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
Solon, Maine 04979

Good morning, dear friends. Don’t worry, be happy!

This morning I’m going around in circles as I have been trying to find some local news to share with you. Since I couldn’t come up with anything new, I had told you I would remind you when Carolyn Waugh’s memorial would be coming up; it is on June 29, here in Solon.

Lief and I have been traveling the roads a lot, we went up to the ‘County’ and spent three days up there visiting his sisters and brother. We also stopped at the cemeteries where relatives were buried.

Because of the strange weather we’ve been having this spring, there were very few potato plants sticking up through the earth; although, as always, there were many, many fields plowed up waiting for some sunshine.

It was fun to visit with members of Lief’s close knit family and see and hear about the places where he had grown up.

We also visited with some of my family, up in God’s country, which is always a pleasure for me, (and, thankfully, Lief likes it, too.) As I have written before, two of my brothers have camps near Flagstaff Lake. We visited Tom and Insowa whose camp is right on the lake one day, and then, a few days later, when Larry and Stefhanie were up to their camp, we went there to see them, and it was a wonderful visit. As I have written before, the peace up there passes all understanding!

But……that was not always the case, this is a headline from an old clipping: Flagstaff Awaits Man-Made Flood That Will Cover Town; Tiny Hamlet Will Be Wiped Out By Construction Dead River Dam.”

This old clipping was written by Eva D. Bachelder, and she wrote,”Saddened and confused the people of Flagstaff are watching the preliminary procedure of the project which, if carried through, will wipe from existence their entire settlement. Their homes, church and lodges must go, their dead will be moved from their burial place. The Flagstaff that has marked the spot where Arnold’s men landed on their march to Quebec in 1775 and the War Memorial markers must be moved to the ground of a nearby town.

For when the Dead River Dam is constructed as now planned by the Central Maine Power Company, the Plantation of Flagstaff will be under the body of water made by the flowage. It is estimated that at least 13 feet of water will be over the location of the present post office and store and that the flowage will run back nearly to the village of Stratton, seven miles away.

Flagstaff’s present population is small, between seventy and one hundred, but it is a population of survivors, people who were born in the community, many of whom are living in the homes of their fathers.

They have heard the building of such a dam talked about for 20 years and twice during that time it almost seemed a certainty but as the years have passed it has become almost a myth, although all are unanimous in the opinion that a change began in the town when the company years ago began to buy farms and other land.

There has been a feeling of uncertainty for several years in everything that they have done and no one attempted to establish anything permanent. The sawmill of the Viles Timberland, Inc., of Augusta, sawing a cut of 2,500,000 feet of pine, has only temporary quarters in Flagstaff. ” It was a very trying, uncertain time living there during all of this uncertainty and so some people started selling their homes to Central Maine Power. The last of it, my folks moved their house to Eustis, many of the Rogers families moved to Solon. Frank and I and our 18-month-old son moved to a farm we had bought on the River Road, in Solon. It was a very stressful time for all involved…… and that is why I am so against this CMP Corridor!

And now for Percy’s memoir: What you do, what you say, what you are, may help others in ways you never know. Your influence, like your shadow, extends where you may never be.


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