Roy Dudley was a real Maine character who hung out at Chimney Pond just below Mount Katahdin from 1890 to 1942. And Roy was well known for his very entertaining stories, many of them focused on a very strange character called Pamola.
Pamola was a giant with wings and antlers and the illustration showing him on the front of the book, Chimney Pond Tales, is amazing. The book is a collection of Roy’s tall tales, and it has a very interesting history.
Having spent lots of time over the last 36 years at our camp on the edge of Baxter Park, I especially enjoyed this book. I actually first read it many years ago upta camp, because Roy’s stories were first published in 1991. To celebrate its more than 20 years in print, Jane Thomas and Elizabeth Hall Harmon issued this new revised edition with the help of Maine Authors Publishing.
Elizabeth’s uncle Clayton Hall originally wrote Roy’s stories. And when her Uncle Edmund Hall died, Elizabeth and her cousin Jon found all the stories in a box of papers in his North Yarmouth home. One of my all-time favorite Maine writers, Bill Caldwell, gave them a lot of good advice for editing and publishing the book, which Bill wrote about in the Portland Press Herald.
Amazingly, at the same time, Jane was writing Roy’s stories which she remembered from her many visits as a kid to Chimney Pond. Jane and Elizabeth quickly linked up to work on this book, and spent several years on it before it was first published.
I found the collection of photos of Roy, Clayton, to be very interesting. Wait to see Roy dressed up as Sukey Gildersleeves. I even recognized a photo of the very narrow gravel woods road to be the very same road we now drive to get to our camp. But thankfully the road is much wider and paved today. There is even a photo of Pamola’s cave/home.
If you love Baxter Park as we do, you will really enjoy this book, but even if you’ve never been to Baxter you will find the stories entertaining. And I’ll predict you will put Baxter Park on your list for a visit this year. If you see that amazing creature Pamola, let me know!