Alexander/Crawford History

Town News

By John Dudley 

& Cassie Oakes


The National Geographic Magazine for December had an article about Superfund Sites.  It did mention the one near Alexander.  This article prompted a discussion about potential polluted sites here.  Sites with soil and water polluted so that we cannot use them are called brown-fields.

We concluded that we might have three potential brown-field sites in Alexander.  The first created was at the northeast corner of the South Princeton Road and Airline.  This once had a salt shed for ice control on roads.  The second is north of the Airline on Wapsaconhagan Hill.  It too was the site of a sand-salt shed.  We know that salt is consumed by all of us, but, like chocolate, too much salt isn’t good for us.

The third brown-field site likely is the closed and capped dumpsite on the Spearin Road.  We threw our trash there from the early 1960s to early 1990s.  During that time our trash contained chemicals that are poisonous, but, we as a society didn’t realize how bad they are for the environment and those of us who live in our environment.  Those chemicals mostly were the result of research done during WWII.  Before the town dump opened, most of us and we were not too numerous then, threw our trash over a rock wall or into an old cellar.  And that trash contained few contaminants.

Are there other brown-field sites in Alexander, or in Crawford?  How many of us have some fluid leaking from our truck?  How long will it be before that fluid reaches our well?  Who will drink the water?

Oh, the superfund site near here is the five-acre Eastern Surplus Company site by the Denny’s River in Meddybemps.  The EPA started the clean-up in 1999 and found Indian artifacts on the site.  The Passamaquody call the place Ntolonapemk.


Some of the pollutants listed in the Geographic article come from furnigants to control insects and rodents, pesticides, organic compounds (ie petroleum products), PCBs, vinyl chloride, methane and metals, such as copper, arsenic, lead, zinc, aluminum, mercury and iron.