The West Branch Historical Preservation Committee is a group of men and women who have a current and historical attachment to the Penobscot River Watershed. The events that took place there lead to the development of the forest products industry. Which was a significant part of Maine’s economy for over 100 years.

The Committee is a 501-c-3 organization. It was formed  in 2013 to preserve a reasonable spectrum of the artifacts that are representative of the courageous and inventive nature of the early persons who were responsible for the movement of wood on the rivers in our region.

Two properties have been acquired by the Committee to be representative of the men and activities that took place on the West Branch of the Penobscot River.

The Chesuncook Boom or Boarding House sits on a high point of land at the place where Chesuncook Lake meets the western extremity of Ripegenous Lake. This is the site of the original Chesuncook Dam. There are outstanding views of the back side of the Katahdin Range and the length of Chesuncook Lake. The area has a rich history of dam building and movement of wood in both long log and four foot bolts over many years. The Boarding House is a frame building two stories high. Originally equipped with electrical generation, steam heat and  a horse barn. It had sleeping accommodations for 24 men and was built in about 1916. It is currently in the process of being Restored.

Chesuncook Boomhouse
Kitchen Ambajejus Boomhouse
Woodsman Memorial
Chuck Harris Curator

Up to this point work to develop the entity has been voluntary. We strive to take action as to not see our future generations’ history slip away, unknown and forgotten. Our state is built upon logging traditions; they can be saved for all time here at these two important River Driver Museums. All long logs and river men passed thru these two strategic spots, driving wood to Bangor for over 150 years.

The Chesuncook Boom or Boarding House sits on a high point of land at the place where Chesuncook Lake meets the western extremity of Ripegenous Lake. This is the site of the original Chesuncook Dam. There are outstanding views of the back side of the Katahdin Range and the length of Chesuncook Lake. The area has a rich history of dam building and movement of wood in both long log and four foot bolts over many years. The boarding House is a frame building two stories high. Originally equipped with electrical generation, steam heat, a horse barn, it  had sleeping accommodations for 24 men and was built in about 1916. It currently is in the process of being Restored.  The Committee plans to present house artifacts that will bring to mind the tools and techniques that made movement of wood on the upper West Branch Possible.

The “Boom House” at Ambajejus Lake is the second of two such buildings. It sits on an island at the point where the West Branch of the Penobscot empties into the lower lakes of the Pemadumcook chain. The current structure was built in 1907. It is a one and a half story frame building with a bunk room for 14 men. The building has been carefully restored and maintained by Chuck Harris our Curator prior to the formation of the West Branch Historical Preservation Committee. The Building and artifacts in it impart a feel for the conditions in which the men lived and worked in the early days.

As logging operations moved up the river to the present locations, several buildings to house the men were built. The first of these was further down the lake below so called “Bears Point”. Written record describes this as a Log building in 1865. The record goes on to say that it was an old building at that time.

Log movement on the West Branch of the Penobscot River stems for a Charter issued by the Legislature to the “West Branch Boom Company” in 1835.  From that time until 1972 when active transportation of wood on the West Branch came to an end, men lived and worked from the buildings that the Committee hopes to preserve as a physical record of their fortitude, ingenuity and courage.

Please come and enjoy a visit and help us to maintain our connection with this interesting period in Maine’s history.