[Ktotonuk] in Passamaquoddy, meaning highest land
—K'taadn - this 19th century spelling is preferred by many Penobscots today —
For many Wabanaki people, Mount K'taadn (Ktotonuk) is a profoundly spiritual place.
From around the campfire, you might hear tales of Pamola and Glooskap. Some folks imagine that Katahdin's ridges form the shape of a resting giant. (Hint: His feet lie to the right or Northeast.)
In Wabanaki mythology, Pamola [Pomule]
is a mysterious winged spirit - part bird, part man - who inhabits Katahdin. Tales say he made the night wind blow by flapping his wings. When irritated, Pamola made violent wind and snow storms. Pamola might appear suddenly with a whirring or whizzing sound, traveling quickly from Katahdin's summit.
The legendary Storm-bird Pamola
Penobscot Andrew Dana recalls, "Those who used to see Pamola perceived him as almost resembling a man...
," with a narrow face and a slender body, his body being perhaps the width of two hands. "His legs and arms, and his wings all were as though they were attached together at a single point... He was not vulnerable to the shot of an arrow even if he could have been hit.
as imagined by David Moses Bridges, traditional Passamaquoddy Birchbark artist
In the view stretching before you passes an ancient Indian Carry Trail, a 3-mile portage from Baskahegan Stream to Grand Lake used for
thousands of years.
This "carry" or portage is part of The Maliseet Trail
, a Wabanaki canoe route from the ocean and the Penobscot to the St. John and St. Croix rivers. Travelers would portage canoes and gear the 3 miles from Cleaves Landing on Baskahegan Stream to Davenport Cove on East Grand Lake (called Kioxak · cèk
in the 1798 map at left). The Maliseet Trail was used for trapping, trading, and as a link between Wabanaki tribes (Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, Micmac or Mi'kmaq
[Three left images, from top, read]
· Lightweight birch bark canoes made portages like this one possible
· In 1798, Passamaquoddy Chief Francis Joseph Neptune
drew this map of the Maliseet Trail
· Joseph Treat, guided by Penobscot John Neptune
, drew map of this Carry in 1820
Today, canoe sleuth's efforts retrace "lost" Maliseet Trail
A group of dedicated enthusiasts from both Canada and the U.S. are working to retrace this canoe route used for thousands of years by the Wabanaki peoples. Investigating old local maps, land surveys, oral histories, as well as on-the-ground exploration, canoe sleuths are hot on the trail of the authentic historic route.
To learn more, visit: MaliseetTrail.com
1836 Maine's First Geologist explored and surveyed this route
The State commissioned
Geologist Charles T. Jackson to explore and inventory its public lands in 1836. Beyond Danforth, their wagons struggled over rugged terrain to reach Houlton. The expedition's artist recorded this view (at left
). This artwork shows how much of the forest has been logged. Can you spot where only stumps remain in newly cleared fields?
Old Sam Cleaves
, 1795-1872) Born in Wales, he settled near Baskahegan Stream in 1827. He left Weston during the Gold Rush to seek his fortune in California but returned to Maine. Cleaves Landing is named after this early settler.
Despite the stern face we see in this photo [near marker bottom right], early settler and patriarch Sam Cleaves married three times!
Samuel Cleaves' ingot scales, brought back from California's Gold Rush (1849-1855)