National Geographic : 1948 Oct
Down the Swift, Brawling Allagash Go an Angler and His Guide In water too shallow for an outboard motor, the guide poles the canoe. Each year the Allagash canoe cruise lures hundreds of Nature lovers and sportsmen to northwestern Aroostook County. It begins at the northern end of Moosehead Lake and ends at the meeting of the Allagash and St. John Rivers, near St. Francis. The route covers some 150 miles of virtually unspoiled wilderness, with numerous portages and white-water stretches. Axmen began to filter into Aroostook from north as well as south. Hapless Acadians had long been looking for land to call their own. War Without Blood, Shot, or Tears Fog of misunderstanding lay thick on Maine's northern boundary. In fact, none seemed to know just what constituted the international frontier. Lumbermen from New Brunswick and Quebec accused Ameri cans of poaching, and vice versa. Persistent disputes over the vague border brought on the bloodless "Aroostook War" of 1839. For a time, soldiers glowered at each other across the St. John River, but the Webster Ashburton Treaty of 1842 eased the tension. Soldier-woodsmen swapped rifles for axes and went back to work in their rightful forests. As lumbermen opened up Aroostook County, farmers moved in to seed the soil. In this remote northeast corner of the United States, the potato-native of South America-found just the land it liked. Po tatoes thrived. The land produced more than the people needed. But absence of adequate transportation precluded exports to the "out side." By 1870 local factories were turning the spud surplus into starch. Spurs of a Cana dian railroad rambled into the county to handle shipments for Portland and Boston. Still the roundabout routing to American markets didn't satisfy. Three Peoples Colonize Aroostook In the early 1890's the Bangor and Aroos took Railroad finally steamed into the region. This convenient link with the rest of the State put Aroostookians on their feet. They had reason to expand their acreage, for they now had a direct way of supplying big consumers.