The following short articles appeared in the June 4, 1896, edition of the RANGELEY LAKES newspaper. In our last installment, we shared how the 1896 New York Sporting Exposition had concluded and Miss Cornelia Fly Rod Crosby, who was in charge of the Maine booth there, had blackballed the RANGELEY LAKES Outing Edition (10,000 extra copies printed for the show) from the venue. It seems she felt the local paper competed with her employer’s (Boston & Maine R.R.) publication. In the first item below Editor Dill reprints the B&M’s response. Flyrod knew “which side her bread was buttered on”…

Note: Contemporary commentary found in italics, otherwise reprinted just as it was in 1896.

Treat All Alike

RANGELY LAKES, the breezy paper published on the shore of the beautiful lakes which give it its name, was frozen out of a recent exhibition which purported to be a fair representation of the summer sporting resorts of Maine. There are too many instances of this nature everywhere. Parties who pretend to publish something or get up an exhibition of certain places blackmail all those who do not patronize them. Last summer, as at all times, The Boston & Maine Courier, published freely, news of hotel improvements and all such things so far as they happen on the line of the road (railroad). This has been without pay and without even the thanks of the proprietors. We have not published these for that purpose, but for the information of the thousands of travelling people who read the paper. —The Boston & Maine Courier.

Billy Soule was original owner of Pleasant Island Camps, who along with his friend Capt. Fred Barker, were early regional sporting camp pioneers. Billy had sold his camps and the steamer the Cupsuptic to Harry Dutton because he felt that the Rangeley region was getting too crowded and built up. He and his daughter had moved to Northern Maine to start anew. The Cupsuptic, like many of the region’s wonderful old steamers was stripped of her gear and burned …

Pleasant Island Camps


Harry Dutton has given Charles Soule what there was left of the Cupsuptic recently burned. Although the boat was badly damaged, the engine, boiler, cushions, and railings are in fair condition and in all probability, Mr. Soule will build a steamer at no distant date.

(Presumably Charles was related to Billy perhaps?)

Below Dill barely announces the big doings of the Rumford Falls & Rangeley Lakes R.R. reaching the region at Bemis. Keep in mind that the R.F.& R.L. was a subsidiary of the Boston & Maine and as shared previously he was NOT Happy with them.

Camp Bemis

The iron horse reached Bemis, in person, Friday afternoon, and the original horse has been retired from duty in that section.

Editor Dill consistently reprinted items from other papers to provide rural readers with the news and trends of the outside world. What follows is a searing indictment of the upper class and their propensity to allow “the help” to “parent” their children. This was a risk taken by Dill because many of his subscribers were of the “upper crust from away” seeking news from their favorite summer playground.


Encouraging Paternity

In this ultra fashionable age, it is considered vulgar to have too many children in the family. The genteel number is three in Boston, two in New York, four in Philadelphia, five in Baltimore and none in Chicago. In high society the old fashioned mother is played out. Few women regard it as a la mode or comme il faut to be on terms of intimacy and endearment with their offspring. We seldom hear of a conventional society woman washing and dressing her babies, brushing their soft hair, tickling their footsy tootsies and addressing the little darlings in that language which only a baby can understand. I know mothers in this city who see their children once a day and never think of kissing them good night. And in the face of all this J. hear that there is a movement afoot to organize a society for the encouragement of paternity! —New York Press.

Just imagine the uproar of printing the genteel number of children permissible by city today! And why is FIVE children the right number of kids in Baltimore but ZERO in the Windy City with its long cold winters?

In other big news from away, a big BASH was thrown outside D.C. for the freshly coronated Czar of Russia…

A magnificent outdoor fete was given last night by the Russian minister, in honor of the coronation of the Czar. Not having so large and well-appointed a house and grounds as the British Ambassador, the Russian minister availed himself of the courteous offer of Mr. John R. McLean, the multimillionaire editor and capitalist, and gave the fete at Beauvoir, the charming suburban residence of the McLeans, the grounds of which were made as bright as day and twice as beautiful by thousands of electric lights in red, white and blue, the national colors of Russia. With the aid of skillful electricians and tasteful florists, Beauvoir, which is at all times one of the handsomest country places around Washington, was turned into what one imagines a fairyland to be. The hours given in the invitations, which will be highly prized as souvenirs, were from 6 to 12, but it was long after midnight before the delighted guests left.

This is the same monarch who, along with his wife and 5 children, were executed 22 years later by the Bolsheviks in revolution of 1918.


Below, a reminder of just how large the waves can get on our big lakes when a gale occurs. I recall a harrowing day on Azischohos in a 16-foot aluminum boat with a six HP outboard. A big wind picked up and caught us on the wrong side of the lake from the launch. The swell was an easy 4-5 feet high! I had to gun the motor and ride down the backside of the waves just to keep them from swamping us over the transom. A pretty hairy ordeal…

Like the Cupsuptic, most of the region’s proud fleet of steamers were stripped of their reusable gear as shown in this vintage photograph and then burned.


Heavy Wind

Richardson Lakes, Me., May 28. —One of the worst gales ever known at the Rangeleys suddenly came up last week. The wind raised the waves to proportions unknown here. J. P. Whitney, Esq., who has a beautiful cottage on Molly-chunk-a-Mug Lake, was out in his sailboat, alone. The boat was overturned, and Mr. Whitney clung to the bottom of the boat till picked up by Capt. Tom French with his steamer.

Whitney was a self-made multi-millionaire who could travel anywhere he liked, but he often claimed the Richardson Lakes as his favorite place on earth. To learn more about him please visit the Outdoor Heritage Museum or read his book entitled “Reminiscences of a Sportsman” with numerous regional references.

And as a close for this edition of Snapshots, a note on expanding communications in the region…

A telephone line will be put in from Dead River Station (Junction Station on the Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes Narrow Gauge) to Stratton immediately. This line will be connected to the Rangeley line and will be a great convenience to the public.

Be sure to get outside and explore and work on making some great Rangeley History of your own!

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