Grand Lake Stream

Town News

Dave McCullough


I stated my day off by voting early. The choices for me were simple at the local, state and national level. Now I can click the mute button and not listen to any more election info. My civic duty is complete.

Frequently folks have asked me about what resources are available in Grand Lake Stream during the fall and winter with hunting and ice fishing coming along. I called Brinda at the Pine Tree Store and asked about the store plans for the next few months. The store will be open continuously thru the fall and winter and they will be open from 7am to 7pm. The usual amenities for food, gas and supplies will continue to be available. Also for those wishing overnight accommodations the Canal Side Cabins are open for guests year round.

I was curious about the status of turkey hunting and was interested in what Maine (IF&W) had to say about turkey hunting. Here is some of what I found.

Once reduced to meager numbers, the turkey is now prospering through the combined efforts of wildlife managers and sportsmen. Turkey hunting is a secretive sport in which a camouflaged hunter attracts the wary bird by use of a call. Success is not always measured in the number or size of the animals harvested, but in seeing, hearing or conversing with this game bird.

According to Rob Keck of the National Wild Turkey Federation, “turkey hunting has become one of the safest outdoor activities whether you’re talking about team sports, other types of hunting, or outdoor hobbies such as mountain biking. The incident rate for turkey hunting has fallen to 2.95 injuries per 100,000 hunters, even though the number of turkey hunters has increased dramatically.” Effective turkey hunting safety curriculums have been the key to reducing incidents. It is your responsibility to become safe, ethical hunters, who through example and education preserve the integrity of the sport for future generations.

The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife strongly recommends that hunters ask permission of the landowner before going onto land to hunt or scout. Since the hunt will be conducted during the spring (a non-traditional hunting period) and in the most densely populated counties of Maine, it is very important to seek consent from the landowner. The hunter who does this will find that landowners who posted their property during the fall are often willing to allow spring turkey hunting. Usually, the landowner only wants to know who you are and when you are going to be on his/her land. If you fail to gain permission on a parcel, respect the landowner’s rights and seek hunting privileges elsewhere. The success of this and future hunts depends on you.

Let’s see how your memory is working today.  (1) How many sides to a stop sign?  (2) How many players on a football team (on the field) and (3) How many continents in the world?  (Answers appear in column)

One of my joys in Grand Lake Stream is the opportunity to sit and listen to the Farm Cove Hermit’s stories. Here is an extra good one! “CLING CLANG” 

Time was when the reaches of Northern New England were stocked with a goodly number of road warriors:  travelers, peddlers, hobos and “fixers”.  They were common to the area in the 1800s and early 1900s. These old-time pilgrims had free and independent spirits.  Most of them slept under the stars and it took a 2 day blow to drive them to cover.  Washington County farm and fishing families long noted for hospitality to wanderers took them in providing food, cool water and a place by the fire.  In turn the folks received news and gossip from “away” plus a break from their hard labors and perhaps shop a bit also.

During this time unusual fellows wandered from Washington County to Nova Scotia.  A tin-knocker and clock fixer (called cling clang) frequented this area.  They carried their gear plus a good selection of pots and pans.  They spoke with difficulty usually travelling alone.  On a clear day, rattling as he walked alone, you could hear him coming about ½ a mile away. Mr. Clang’s mode of travel was unique.  Two 8’ brass tipped poles allowed him to swing and jump in 8’ bounds. If there was road traffic, he would hide in a ditch until all was clear.  If he stayed the night with a family, he made sure that any rooster was covered with a basket so it would not crow in the morning.  A crying baby sent him into hysterics causing him to leave immediately.  Tragically, after a two day blizzard, Sullivan residents knew he was in the area but hadn’t been seen.  Searching they found Cling-Clang under a beached dory frozen to death.  So, passed from the scene a shy gentle soul.  

The old-time peddlers are long gone and forgotten as part of our history, lore and traditions and we are poorer for it. 

My wife Jenifer can remember at the end of WW11 of a car coming to her house at least once a week carrying two men.  They would jump out, open their car trunk and open some boxes of oranges.  When her mother would come out they always said they had “the best oranges this side of Florida”.  They would pull a jackknife out of their pocket, sliced the orange in half and have you taste them. One could only guess where that jackknife was last used.      (Answers to quiz:  1:8, 2:11, 3:7)

You’re Humble Correspondent, Dave McCullough, 207-839-4205 or