Fascinating history of log driving, sporting camps, and more

One of the best things about writing my book about Maine Sporting Camps is the connections I’ve made with sporting camp owners and others who value history.

One connection came from Bill Geller, who retired in 2010 from the University of Maine at Farmington. Bill wrote, “Your relatively recent book on Maine sporting camps seems to have been we’ll received.  One supportive comment by reviewers that I agree with is that too little has been collected and published about sporting camps in Maine, and yet everyone says it is such an important part of our state’s history.”

Bill contacted me to let me know he’s been researching log driving operations and sporting camps in the West Branch of the Penobscot River watershed and the Piscataquis River watershed.

He recently finished a four part piece on the history of sporting camps in the Piscataquis watershed.  The documents appear on the University of Maine Fogler Library Digital Commons, Maine History section of Special Collections.

You can access those articles here.


Samplings of Bill’s work on the West Branch of the Penobscot are available at his website.


“My interest is simply to make the history available,” Bill told me. And boy, he has certainly done that. I am sure you will enjoy these articles.

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, georgesmithmaine.com, 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.