AUGUSTA — A life-size carving of Cornelia “Fly Rod” Crosby, Maine’s celebrated first Maine Guide, will be on display starting Feb. 14 at the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife building, 353 Water St. A ceremony will be held from 10:15 to 11:30 a.m.

Crosby was inducted into to the Maine Women’s Hall of Fame in 2017.

A life-size carving of Cornelia “Fly Rod” Crosby will be on display starting Feb. 14 at Maine Inland Fisheries & Wildlife Building, 353 Water St. in Augusta. Crosby was the first Maine Guide and a 2017 inductee to the Maine Women’s Hall of Fame. Submitted photo

Earle Shettleworth, Maine’s state historian and retired director of the Maine Historic Preservation Commission, will give a short presentation to the department’s Advisory Council, followed by an opportunity for public viewing.

The viewing in the lobby will feature the carving with a song, “The Ballad of Fly Rod Crosby,” composed by Bud Godsoe and Stan Keach and sung by Julie Davenport of Maine’s Sandy River Ramblers.

High Peaks Alliance of Franklin County and two generous donors made the 6-foot, one-of-a-kind likeness by artist Brian Stockman of New Hampshire available for public viewing.

The carving will be at the department building indefinitely, Brent West said in a phone interview Wednesday. “Robert Cram who used to be on the Outdoor Heritage Museum (in Oquossoc) board commissioned the carving,” he said. “He lives in New Hampshire; has a summer home in Rangeley.


A permanent location for the Crosby carving may be found, West said.

“Cram has artwork from the 1800s that he loans out,” West said. “Getting “Fly Rod’s” story out there is why he did it. He likes art and history. I think that is what drove him to (commission) it.”

The Advisory Council meeting and presentation may be attended in person or virtually by contacting Becky Orff at Parking is available at the Kennebec River Rail Trail parking lot, 369 Water St., next to the department’s building.

Stockman, a master carver, grew up in Rangeley. Over the course of two years, he posted Crosby piece updates on YouTube. In the first, he noted the trunk he used was the biggest, clearest piece of pine he had ever worked on.

According to an article in the Aug. 23, 2018, Franklin Journal, “Crosby was born in Phillips in 1854 and suffered from tuberculosis, which at that time was called consumption. It was a disease that claimed her father and brother. With no cure for the illness, doctors encouraged Crosby to spend as much time as possible outdoors.” She took it to heart in her young years, instilling a lifelong love of the outdoors.

According to Wikipedia, “On March 19, 1897, The Maine Legislature passed a bill requiring hunting guides to register with the state. Maine registered 1,316 guides that year. In addition to being its first licensed guide, Crosby promoted Maine’s outdoor sports at shows in metropolitan areas, and wrote a popular column that appeared in many newspapers around the country. Her efforts helped to attract thousands of would-be outdoorsmen – and women – to the woods and streams of Maine.”


According to an article in the July 24, 2015, Franklin Journal, “Crosby, who is buried in Strong, guided sports in the Rangeley region during her lifetime. She was the first to market this part of the Maine woods for 19th- and early 20th-century tourists. Fly Rod was not only an avid sports woman, but also an early proponent of bag limits and conservation of the resources that made the region a destination for hunting and fishing.”

In 2010, High Peaks Alliance began construction of the Fly Rod Crosby Trail that stretches 45 miles from Strong to Oquossoc village in Rangeley. The trail offers a unique look at the historic, natural and cultural landscape of Maine’s High Peaks region. The goal of the trail is to help residents and visitors take an active interest in preserving the unique character of High Peaks communities and natural resources.

For more information on the event, contact Betsy Squibb at 207-578-2306 or Brent West 207-491-2750 at the High Peaks Alliance or visit

For more information on the music, visit

Comments are no longer available on this story