Historic Photos - Salmon Falls

Submitted by Al Churchill


Salmon Falls in Milltown is one of the most historic geographical sites in the St Croix Valley. The Falls are located just down the hill from Knight's Corner and are easily accessible by the road which until the 70's went to the Beckett warehouse and was most recently a redemption center.  The photo above were taken from the Canadian side and show the Falls with Knight's corner on the US side in the background. In the foreground is the Maine Central railroad terminal and warehouses.

 The Falls are a sacred place to the Passamaquoddies and were a principal summer encampment for thousands of years before the coming of the white man. In more recent times the tremendous water power generated by the Falls was the sole reason for the construction of the Cotton Mill in Milltown NB, at one time the largest in the world.

In Glimpses of the Past published in the late 1800’s by the St Croix Courier it is said  the area around Salmon Falls on the Canadian side was originally designated as an Indian Reserve:

“On this Indian reserve, extending from McDougall’s lot at Stillwater to Brown’s lot below the Salmon Falls, lie nearly all the principal streets of the town of Milltown.  The place was one of much importance to the Passamaquoddies, not only on account of the ‘dipping fishery,’ but also because it contained one of their tribal burying grounds.  It seems to have been to them a sort of holy ground long before the white men came. There is a tradition that here, on some spot near the Salmon Falls, was the fire from which the Schoodic took its name, (literally, ‘where it burns,’ or, ‘where it is burnt.’)  This fire, probably connected with some of the mystic ceremonies of the tribe, is said to have been kept burning throughout the fishing season.  The wonder-working fires of the cotton mill furnaces may now, perhaps, be burning upon the very spot on which the aborigines made their votive offerings to the spirit of the stream, or invoked the mighty Glooscap’s aid. 


   As to the “dippery” we cannot do better in describing the importance of Salmon Falls to the tribe than Ned Lamb in his article “ Let’s Go Fishing With the Etechemins” which can be found on our website http://stcroixhistorical.com/?p=1208


In more recent history Salmon Falls truly lived up its name. A place where the salmon of great size and quantity could be taken. Above Albert French and Rolf Emery proudly display a day’s catch at the Falls in the late 1880’s.