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Katahdin: An Historic Journey - Legends, Exploration, and Preservation of Maine's Highest Peak
     

Katahdin: An Historic Journey - Legends, Exploration, and Preservation of Maine's Highest Peak

by John W. Neff
 

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Katahdin stands as an extraordinary landmark; for centuries it has dominated the changing landscape of Maine’s North Woods. This magnificent mountain has inspired and challenged all who have encountered it, from the Native Americans whose trade routes rounded its base; to Henry David Thoreau and Governor Percival P. Baxter, who forged new approaches to nature

Overview

Katahdin stands as an extraordinary landmark; for centuries it has dominated the changing landscape of Maine’s North Woods. This magnificent mountain has inspired and challenged all who have encountered it, from the Native Americans whose trade routes rounded its base; to Henry David Thoreau and Governor Percival P. Baxter, who forged new approaches to nature and conservation; to the hundreds of people who enjoy its trails and waterways each year.

In this superbly researched new book, Maine historian John W. Neff takes readers on a journey through the mountain’s history, legend, and legacy. Neff collects widely scattered sources—from journals, papers, and articles to unpublished firsthand accounts— and assembles the first comprehensive history of this massive peak. Neff shares Native American traditions and stories, recounts colonial settlers’ first glimpses of the dramatic mountain, traces the histories of trails and campsites, conveys the impact of the remarkable lumbering era, tells of the bustling sporting camps that sprang up in the mountain’s shadow, and follows in the footsteps of Thoreau and other artists who have been touched by the mountain. Neff also retells the extraordinary story of Governor Baxter’s dream, reflecting on the legacy of conservation and preservation he left in his wake.

Members of the Native American, conservation, and political communities express their voices throughout this rich narrative. As a result, Neff’s story is infused with the lives of people intricately entwined with the mountain, bridging past and present opportunities for conservation and recreation in Maine’s spectacular North Woods. 

Editorial Reviews

Brian T. Fitzgerald
“Katahdin has a rich history and John captures it all: from Native American traditions to
the formation of Baxter State Park and construction of the Appalachian Trail. Anyone who
considers Katahdin a special place should know and share these stories to ensure broad
support for preservation when the mountain and park face threats to their wilderness
character.”
Downeast Magazine
“Eminently readable…Katahdin’s 354 pages brim with intriguing anecdotes and captivating
characters. John Neff has finally given the mountain a fitting tribute.”
Maine Sunday Telegram
“Neff has captured the legacy of a sacred place. His research ardently collected here is a gift to Maine as much as its exalted mountain.”
Rupert Baxter White
“I am grateful to John W. Neff for his book Katahdin, in which he chronicles the history of the region, and demonstrates how Katahdin has influenced so many artists, hikers, statesmen,naturalists, as well as the public in general—all those who have been awed by the mystical powers of Katahdin.”
Dave Getchell, Sr.
“Always evident is Neff ’s deep feeling for Katahdin, one shared in his book by a host of
characters, both famous and common, who have been drawn by its imposing presence.”

Product Details

BN ID:
2940013552111
Publisher:
Appalachian Mountain Club Books MA
Publication date:
11/08/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
5 MB

Meet the Author

John W. Neff, a Maine resident and retired minister, has been involved with the Maine
Appalachian Trail Club both as president and an active trail maintainer. He co-founded
Friends of Baxter State Park, a non-profit citizens group, and served as its first president. He has published articles for various local and regional Maine magazines and authored a book about Pemaquid Point, Maine.

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