In the late 19th Century there was probably few Maine Guides that could match the Rangeley Region’s Ed Grant in his ability to “spin a good yarn”. He was the founder of Grant’s Camps, which still in operation today at Kennebago Lake. Ed was known as the “Sage of Beaver Pond Camp”and was as superb a storyteller as any Maine Guide who ever lived. Some of his stories were chronicled by a regular guest, Francis I. Maule of Philadelphia, in a small book titled; “The Tame Trout and Other Backwoods Fairy Tales” published by Maine Woods and Woodsman Print in 1904. The story was reprinted in 1939 by the Grabhorn Press as a little 8-page booklet that was given away to friends as a New Year’s gift from Francis and Marjory Farquar of Berkeley, CA. who were also guests of Ed’s. The original publications were limited prints and are hard to find, but reprints are available online. The 1904 edition included entertaining stories like “Grant’s Partridge”,“A Remarkable Bear Skin”, “Rowing Extraordinary” and “The New Camp Stove”.

The article below with quotes from Ed (most likely to Fly Rod Crosby) for the June 6, 1900 edition of the Phillips Phonograph share Ed’s ability to “add color” to even a simple report from camp. The 2nd short article, from the same edition, shares another Mooselookmeguntic guide’s idea of “Rowing Extraordinary”.

Ed Grant of Grant’s Camps

Can you imagine what the Spring fishing in Maine was like in 1900! Enjoy and Be sure to get out and make some Outdoor History of your own!

Bill Pierce Exec. Director Rangeley Lakes Historical Society

Trout Taken with Dip Not Allowed to be Cooked

Deer May Be Snowballed on July 4th

Special Correspondence to the (Phillips) Phonograph (Fly Rod Crosby)

Rangeley, Me., June 6, 1900

Your correspondent this morning met “Eddie” Grant who is home for a day or two from Seven Ponds. He said that the travel this year commenced earlier than usual, and they are now working to finish a new camp for Mr. C. M. Hapgood’s party of Easton, Pa., who are coming the middle of this month for a stay of six or eight weeks.

The buckboard road now makes the Seven Ponds camps (Megantic); only half a day’s journey from Kennebago, and more people are coming than ever before.

Mr. A. E. Winter of New York, and his friend, Mr. H. Andrews of London, England, who were the first party to go in, have just returned for a two weeks’ stay. They found the fishing fine, in fact Ed declares the “fish are so thick one has to use a paddle to get them out of the way, and some lazy fellows want to dip them from the lake into the fry pan, but he has made a law of his own, that no one should catch more than three at a time at one cast, and fish taken with a dip net should not be cooked in camp.”

The Vaughn party of Worcester, Mass., five in number, with Jim Mathieson, Jim Stewart and John Oakes for guides, went in on Monday.

  1. A. Stearns and son, John Ballard and son of Boston, who have been coming for years, are now in camp for a two weeks’ stay.

Ed says “there are now, snow banks in the woods not far from camp, and he is going to have a snowball celebration on July 4. Mr., Will Grant stays in camp looking after the wants of the guests. All parties who come, report seeing deer as plenty as sheep”, So Ed says—

Think of daily mails way up at Ed Grant’s camp! But they have them, and everyone who goes to Seven Ponds, is happy and sure to want to stay all summer.

(And in the same issue this little missive that shares one guide’s theory that salmon like their flies trolled faster which is still true today).

“SALMON FORGITS IT”

Sportsman’s Guide Explains Why He Rows His Boat Fast

A well-known resident of Springfield, Mass., who has already made one fishing trip to the Rangeley lakes this spring, was out trolling a few days ago when he discovered that his sinkers were riding up on top of the water, the result of the very fast rowing that the guide was indulging in.

The sportsman naturally moderated and suggested that for the sake of landing a salmon, once in a while, would he be willing to row considerably slower?

“Oh,” said the guide, “It’s better not to go too slow. These fellers that go slow try to earn ther money easy, ’em the salmon sees the bait, sees that he kin git it any time an’ goes off an’ for- gits it.”


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