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Special Collections: Guide to the David G. Smith Papers

Arranged and described by Brenda Howitson Steeves
September 2009

Collection title: David G. Smith Papers
Collection number: MS 1533
Dates of collection: 1888-1990
Size of collection: 9 boxes
Restrictions on access: Collection kept at Fogler Library's offsite storage facility. One week's notice required for retrieval


David G. Smith, a resident of Camden, Maine, had a life-long interest in and connection to the Katahdin Iron Works area of Maine. His father, Theodore Lincoln Smith, first visited there in July 1892 and frequented it as much as he could thereafter, especially while trying to recover his health after the Spanish-American War. He lived in Concord, Massachusetts, and worked for the Gillette Safety Razor Company in Boston but continued to visit Katahdin Iron Works often and first leased a camp site there in 1922, establishing what would become a family camp called the Pine Knot Association.

David Smith and his brother Stephen had their first visit to the area in December 1921 accompanying their father while he was looking for camp sites. In the summer of 1928 they spent their vacation alone at Pine Knot, walking, camping, fishing, and visiting old family friends at KI. The Smith family continued to own and use the camp although David Smith’s career in the United States Air Force took the family to Ohio and New York before his retirement in Camden. Throughout his life, Smith gathered information about the area and corresponded with friends who lived there, often receiving historical material from them. He also served as the head of the Pine Knot Association and oversaw the maintenance and upkeep of the family camp.

David Smith’s family donated his collection of materials about Katahdin Iron Works to Fogler Library in 2003.

Scope and Content Note

The David G. Smith Papers are arranged in two series: Series I: Katahdin Iron Works Information Files and Series II: Pine Knot Association Records.

Series I: Katahdin Iron Works Information Files, contains all of the material gathered by Smith during his life-long association with and interest in the KI region and its history. The files are arranged alphabetically by subject and contain correspondence, newspaper clippings, photographs, maps, and notes and research material. Katahdin Iron Works residents Audrey Green Dunning, John W. Cobb, Emily and Louis Geery, the Green family, and Carl and Eva Gustafson feature prominently in the files, maintaining correspondence with Smith and furnishing him with information and photographs. His cousin Farnham Wheeler Smith of Carlisle, Massachusetts, was also a frequent correspondent. Of particular interest are notes that Smith kept from 1965-1980 about events and activities in the KI area.

Smith also gathered information about the town of Brownville, Maine; the Katahdin Iron Works, an iron-producing company operating near Brownville Junction during the 19th century; and the Gulf Hagas region as well as materials about hunting, fishing and outdoor life in general.

Series II: Pine Knot Association Records, contains Smith’s files about his activities in managing the finances and maintenance of the Pine Knot family camp at KI. Included is information about budget and costs, insurance, membership, assignment of member responsibilities, etc. Taken together these files provide a picture of the organization and management of the multi-generational family gathering places common in many areas of Maine.

Contents of Boxes

Series I: Katahdin Iron Works Information Files

Box 1


1 Accidents

2-4 Audrey [correspondence from Audrey Green Dunning]

5 Audrey [material from Audrey Green Dunning]

6 Audrey Green Dunning and old schoolhouse bell, K.I., 1985 [photograph]

7 Audrey Green Dunning: home-made wall safe

8 B Pond

9 Bangor

10 Bangor State Fair

11 Bangor & Aroostook RR Historical and Tech. Society

12 L.L. Bean

13 Big Houston Camps and proprietors

14 Big Houston Pond Camps(?) group picture

15 Birds, fish

16 Blether House [Dover-Foxcroft]

17 Blooms [iron]

18 Brownville

19 Brownville-Brownville Junction Historical Soc.

20 The camps at Long Pond [Edwin Starbird photograph: The Woods of Maine Series]

21 Camps, sporting

22 Canoes

23 Caribou

24 Carlisle, George D.

25 Censuses

26 Censuses [copies from 1820, 1830, 1900 schedules for Katahdin Iron Works]

27 Chairback Mt. Camps [includes Dean’s Camps, Long Pond Camps]

28 Chairback Mt. Camps, Long Pond photos

29 Chairback Mt. Camps, Long Pond, ME – photographs (Henderson, Eva)

30 Clark, Don

31 Cobb, Gov. Wm.

32-33 Cobb, John W., “Johnny”

34 Constantine, Walter S.

35 Counties (and towns)

36 Dam [photographs]

37 Danforth, Ed

38 Davis, Owen, playwright

39 Dean, William P.

40 Diary, unidentified [photocopy]

41 Dillon, Robert F. and Bertha

42 Dole, Richard F.

43 Dover-Foxcroft

44 “Down the West Branch”

45 Emery, Scott

46 Farm, Katahdin Iron Works [photographs]

47 Farn [Farnham Wheeler Smith]

Box 2

1 Farn – K.I.

2 Farrar

3 Fishing

4 Funeral train

5 Geery [including photos]

6-7 Geery, Emily: items received from her estate, 1984

8 Geery, Louis

9 Geerys [photographs]

10 Goodreau, Frank [includes photographs]

11 Grant Farm

12 Green, Albert L. (Bert): memorandum book, undated

13 Green family, 1983 [photograph]

14 Green, Harry D. (Hap) and Eleanor M. (Peggy)

15 Green, Sara

16 The Gulf – a rough idea

17-18 Gulf Hagas and Pleasant River

19 Gulf Hagas [photographs]

20 Gulf Hagas – Simon Garow

21 Gustafson, Carl Gustaf, Eva Alward

22 Eva G. [Gustafson]

23 Hermitage Preserve Guide, Maine Chapter, The Nature Conservancy

24 Heughen

25 Hiking

26 Historical Society, miscellaneous

27 Historical Society, Brownville

28 History, K.I.W. – overall

29 History, Maine – overall

30 History of Lake View Plantation plus 2001 celebration [videotape]

31 Hunting

32 “In the Maine Woods”

33 “In the Maine Woods,” 1901

34 “In the Maine Woods,” 1912

35 “In the Maine Woods,” – general

36-37 K.I. (Katahdin Iron Works), 1963, 1964

38 K.I., before 1965

39-41 K.I., 1965-1967

Box 3

1-15 K.I., 1968-1980

16 K.I. - books

17 K.I. – Brownville forest

18 K.I. – fish and wildlife

19 K.I. – general

20 K.I. – Hermitage

Box 4

1 K.I. – hotel

2 Katahdin Iron Works House sign [hanging on wall in Special Collections Reading Room]

3 K.I. – Indians, Vikings, etc.

4-6 K.I. – jitney [includes photographs]

7 K.I. – Jo-Mary

8 K.I. – logging

9-11 K.I. – maps

12-13 K.I. – miscellaneous information

14 K.I. – mountains

15 K.I. – News and review

16 K.I. – News and review front page

17 K.I. – operations

18 K.I. – ownership

19 K.I. – panoramas [photographs]

20 K.I. – people

21 K.I. – photographers

22 K.I. – photographs from estate of Emily Geery

23 K.I. – photographs from Harry D. (Hap) Green, 1988

24 K.I. – photographs, oversized

25 K.I. – pics (list of)

26 K.I.W. pictorial map, 1888

27 K.I. – pre-white man

28-29 Katahdin Iron Works prospectus, 1863 [photocopy]

30 K.I. – school [photographs]

31 Katahdin Iron Works site [photographs]

32 K.I. – village [photographs]

33 Keene, Della and Geery, Emily

34 Kilns

35 Lancaster, Reuben

36 Letterheads, K.I. (Martin)

37 Little Lyford Pond camps

38 Log hauler

39 Long Pond camps

40 Lumbering

41 LURC [Land Use Regulation Commission]

42 Maine Appalachian Trail Club

Box 5

1 Maine Genealogical Society

2 Maine Historical Society

3 Maine Marine Resources News, 1989

4 Maine Old Cemetery Association

5 Maine Register

6 Maine, state of

7 Maine State Museum

8 Maine woods

9 Memorandum book, unidentified, 1920s

10 Milo

11 Miscellaneous

12 Moore, Lyn

13 Nature Conservancy and the Hermitage

14 Newhouse, Walter

15 Newspapers

16-17 North Maine woods

18 “Nostalgia Notes”

19 Ore Mt. [photographs]

20 Page, Raymond W.

21 Bureau of Parks and Recreation

22 Peabody, Bert L.

23 Perkins & Danforth Spoolwood Co. : spool bars

24 Photographers

25-26 Photographs

27 Pictures (list)

28 Pine Tree Flyer, 1981-1983

29 Pineo, Orrin and Ruth

30 Pingree

31 Piscataquis County Historical Society

32 Piscataquis Observer

33 Pleasant River camps (Brown’s camp)

34 Pleasant River pack trips

35 Pool, Larry

36 Prentiss & Carlisle

37-38 Railroad: Bangor & Aroostook

39 Railroad: Bangor & K.I.W.

40 Railroad: Bangor & Piscataquis

41 Railroad: Canadian Pacific

42 Railroad: K.I.

43 Railroad: Maine Central

44 Railroads: “Downeast depots”

45 Railroads, general

46 Red Paint People

47 [Retirement]

48 River, W. Branch Pleasant

49 Rollins, Georgia & Gerald

50 Sawtell, William R. (Bill)

51 Severson

52 Shanty road

Box 6

1 Silver Lake

2 Silver Lake [photographs]

3 Silver Lake Hotel

4 Silver Lake Hotel [photographs]

5 Smelter complex [includes photographs]

6 David G. Smith (DGS) correspondence, 1960s-1990

7 DGS correspondence, 1980s

8-9 DGS notebook of research [includes photographs]

10 DGS notes on K.I., etc.

11-17 DGS research material re K.I., etc.

18 Theodore Lincoln Smith, father of David G. Smith, builder of the Pine Knot at K.I.

19 Theodore L. Smith, K.I. Works, Maine: excerpts from various publications

20 Sporting camps

21 Stereopticons [includes two views of Katahdin Iron Works]

22 Tallyho [photographs]

23 Thomas, Ichabod

24 Village [photographs]

25 White, Edith Brown

Box 7

Series II: Pine Knot Association Records

1 K.I. Pine Knot Association (PKA)

2 Pine Knot, 1983 [photograph]

3-4 Budgets, 1980, 1981

5 Correspondence re K.I. camp

6 PKA correspondence, clippings, etc., 1981-1983

7 Pine Knot costs, 1960s-1970s

8-9a Pine Knot diary, 1936-1963

9b-9c Pine Knot diary, clippings, etc.

10 PKA document – draft, 14 July 78

11 PKA documents: DGS letter to all members, 25 Sept 78

12 PKA document as sent to Steve, 30 Sept 78

13 PKA document: DGS to all, 31 July 79

14 PKA insurance, fire and general

15 PKA insurance, liability

16 PKA membership

17 PKA newsletters

18 PKA newsletter, next issue

19 PKA: Association newsletter working material

20 PKA taxes

21 PKA, 1979: Tyler, Artes

22 PKA winter watch

Box 8

Oversized materials

Box 9

Wall safe of Audrey Green Dunning


Finding Aids for selected manuscript collections in the Special Collections Department at Fogler Library are accessible online in URSUS, in a browsable Guide to Manuscript Collections. Please contact Special Collections at or (207) 581-1686 for further information.

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Special Collections Staff: | Revised: 03/31/2015
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