Great stories of logging in the Maine Woods

It took a lot of wood to make Great Northern in Millinocket the largest paper mill in the world. And in his new book, Logging Towboats and Boom Jumpers, published by North Country Press,  Roger Moody gives us an interesting account of how O.A. Harkness built a specialized inland navy to get all that wood to the mill.

From 1903 to 1951 Harkness was a major contributor to the Penobscot Log Driving Company and the Great North Paper Company. He was constantly employing new technologies to move the logs to the mill from diesel powered log boom towboats to boom jumpers. Like me, I’ll bet you don’t know what a boom jumper is!

I have to thank Roger for including so many interesting photos in the book. Yup, if I ever see a boom jumper, I’ll know what it is!

Having spent a lot of fishing time on the east and west branches of the Penobscot River, I especially enjoyed this book because most of the wood was delivered using those branches of the river. There are some very interesting photos of the Allagash too.

Roger, like me, has a real interest in Maine history, and I really have to thank him for sharing this very interesting history of log driving in Maine.



George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.