Until 1725, the Saco River was the main artery for the Pequawket Indians traveling in canoes to and from the Atlantic. Soon thereafter came trappers, followed by loggers, who harvested the colossal white pine and sent the logs floating down the river to sawmills mushrooming all along its course. By 1871, the Portland and Ogdensburg Railroad had reached Fryeburg, fifty miles from Portland, thus linking the Upper Saco River with Boston and beyond. Soon, a steady stream of summer visitors began arriving in the region and the White Mountains beyond. Upper Saco River Valley: Fryeburg, Lovell, Brownfield, Denmark, and Hiram visits the days when logs floated down the river and trains thundered up and down the valley. The first stop is in Fryeburg, home of Fryeburg Academy and the Fryeburg Fair, the oldest and largest fair in Maine. Next is Lovell and its many lovely brick homes and Kezar Lake. The book then journeys to Brownfield, largely depicted before the devastating fire of 1947. Denmark was the home of Rufus Ingalls, the quartermaster general under Ulysses S. Grant. The volume ends in Hiram, the home of a famed Revolutionary War general who was also the grandfather of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Throughout the region and throughout this book are rarely seen vintage photographs of the Saco River and the nine covered bridges that once spanned it.
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