Prepared in 2015

Here we look at summer roads in Alexander for over eighty years. Roads need to be maintained. The responsibility has rested on all levels of government. The towns created and maintained roads within its borders. The county connected the people to the shiretown [Machias] and to other towns. More recently the state has connected parts of the state; it is amazing how bureaucracy grows! Starting under Eisenhower, we find the federal government creating and maintaining roads [to connect military facilities]. Many of these roads are in competition with private industry [the railroads].

More specifically for Alexander we reference the article titled History of Some Early County Roads. Secondly to see how the county (state) used the courts to get the towns to repair roads, see Ruinous, Miry, Broken and in Great Decay. The state legislated the first state aid program in 1907 that required local appropriations and provided state funds. In 1945 the state enacted the Town Improvement Road Fund to help towns up grade mud roads to gravel roads.

The text here comes from printed Annual Reports. The human images are from ACHS files. The 2007 map is from the Comprehensive Plan. Most of these roads plus a few others were in existence before 1850. The map shows 1927 roads with 2007 names. The So. Princeton Rd is a high accident road. Factored Annual Average Daily Traffic is boxed. Crawford Road is a new name for the west part of the Arm Rd. and Davis Rd. was built ca 1970. Robb Hill was abandoned after 1947.

Today year-around maintenance on the Airline is handled by Maine Department of Transportation. The state also does summer maintenance on the Cooper and South Princeton roads; Alexander plows and sands these two roads. The other roads are the town’s responsibility. Part of the Crawford Road is not plowed.

I’ve listed men’s names who were involved in keeping the roads passable. We were and still are a small town and its history is about people. In the early years equipment was primitive and men were available. Our ancestors were slowly changing from full-time farmers/lumbermen to full time workers off the farm, like in the mill in Woodland. Often in earlier days these men worked on the road to earn cash to pay their property taxes.

As we view this material, consider not only the change in the dollars and the change from man power to machines, but also the difference in how the authors presented their reports. If some things seem hard to understand, remember that what we write is perfectly clear to us when we immediately read it. I know that my words confuse me years after I write them, probably my words confuse you now. Also another person would present this material very differently than I did.


For the year 1927 the following information is reported in the Annual Report dated March 5, 1928. Winter road expenses are not mentioned. Roads were not plowed until the mid 30s, until then roads were broken out by horses and bad places shoveled. Was some of the reported labor for shoveling snow? This report lists a great number of men who worked on the roads and, if one checks each account, how much each man earned from this work. Was the amount earned related to taxes owed?

Sadly two pieces of information are missing. Who was the boss? And were their neighborhood road bosses at this time? Towns usually had a road commissioner and at times in our history the road commissioner had several assistants for the different parts of town. These jobs had to be done; I suspect that those with higher pay may have been bosses.

Tools and sources of power are not mentioned. Men in 1927 used shovels, mattaxes, and bars. These hand tools must been included as labor. Horses provided most of the power. Farm tools like plows and harrows would help level and ditch roads. Horse drawn scoots were used to move earth and stones.



Appropriated $1000.00

Appropriated for Road Patrol $400.00

Expenditures – $

Ernest Perkins labor 191.75

Marshall Strout labor 5.33

Theodore Scribner labor 78.49

Percy Strout labor 25.58

Allan Strout labor 3.03

Russell Perkins labor 3.92

Harold Cousins labor 6.42

Delmont Dwelley labor 14.50

Floyd Hunnewell labor 29.49

Ralph McArthur labor 20.38

Harold Perkins labor 26.83

Almond Frost labor 27.78

Chester Frost labor 27.59

Ronald Cousins labor 5.49

Charles Cousins labor 22.50

Orris Cousins labor 9.00

Theophilus Gillespie labor 59.78

Merton Scribner labor 94.16

Joe Leighton labor 6.00

Roland Perkins labor 6.00

Ellery Frost labor 10.50

Roy Seamans labor 4.84

Morton Scribner labor 15.80

Leon Scribner labor 17.35

Harold Bohanon labor 13.50

Neil McArthur labor 8.25

Harold Dwelley labor 7.50

Bert Flood labor 1.50

Nelson Flood labor 3.00

Lester Craft labor 3.00

Herbert Perkins labor 6.72

Robert McArthur labor 19.89

Floyd Frost labor 4.72

A. L. Knowles labor 3.20

Earl Knowles labor 6.30

Thomas Long labor 6.00

Orren Hunnewell labor 5.25

George Perkins labor 1.50

Vernon Perkins labor 12.00

Clinton Flood labor 12.00

Vinal Perkins labor 22.25

Marshall Berry labor 59.30

Guy Scribner labor 32.00

Mell Hunnewell labor 3.00

Wayne Dwelley labor 2.22

King Maxwell labor 49.50

Cleveland Maxwell labor 43.50

Alfred Perkins labor 31.33

Alfred Perkins poles for culvert 2.75

Nellie Berry poles for culvert 2.00

Herbert Perkins poles for culvert 7.50

Ernest Perkins poles for culvert 6.50

Leon Scribner gravel 1.20

Fred Brown sharpening drills 3.75

Patrol maintenance 565.40

1926 overdrawn 145.01

Total expenditure $1807.05

Overdrawn $407.05


         Mort Dwelley                Floyd Hunnewell                      Nelson Flood


Appropriated by State $1013.85

Carried from 1926 $9.32

Expenditures –

Marshall Berry labor 34.17

Guy Scribner labor 45.67

Harold Perkins labor 38.34

Vinal Perkins labor 109.39

Ernest Perkins labor 90.45

Roy Seamans labor 79.50

Russell Perkins labor 38.67

Almond Frost labor 15.00

Leonard Perkins labor 27.00

Chester Frost labor 70.10

Thomas Blaney labor 88.89

Ronald Cousins labor 44.67

Neil McArthur labor 39.00

Orris Cousins labor 29.00

Mell Hunnewell labor 71.67

Vinal Kneeland labor 30.00

Percy Strout labor 13.50

John Kneeland labor 6.00

Stephen Hunnewell labor 6.00

Theodore Scribner labor 48.67

Fay McArthur labor 20.50

NE Metal Culvert Co culvert 36.00

Total $994.19

Unexpended 28.98


Appropriated by Legislature $750.00

Unexpended in 1926 $52.71

Expenditures –

Harold Perkins labor 31.50

Marshall Berry labor 36.83

Ronald Cousins labor 30.83

Mell Hunnewell labor 57.00

Ernest Perkins labor 78.97

Orren Hunnewell labor 54.00

Vinal Perkins labor 19.50

Leonard Perkins labor 30.83

Wayne Dwelley labor 43.23

Theodore Scribner labor 35.33

Merton Scribner labor 17.33

Guy Scribner labor 33.83

Max Berry labor 2.67

Roy Seamans labor 63.00

Herbert Perkins labor 16.50

Lyman Strout labor 38.78

George Perkins labor 34.50

Chester Frost labor 40.56

Allen Strout labor 21.00

Thomas Blaney labor 10.00

Floyd Hunnewell labor 36.67

Russell Perkins labor 27.00

Leon Scribner labor 39.67

Harold Cousins filing 3.90

Total $803.43

Overdrawn $0.72


         Tommy Long                      Leon Scribner                       Lyman Strout


Appropriated by Town $115.00

Expenditures –

Almond Frost labor 5.00

Herbert Perkins labor 5.00

Chester Frost labor 1.50

Merton Scribner labor 6.00

Earl Knowles labor 1.50

Floyd Frost labor 22.50

Clinton Flood labor 6.00

Ernest Perkins labor 10,50

Theodore Scribner labor 6.00

Harold Perkins labor 3.75

Vinal Perkins labor 12.25

Leon Scribner labor 29.25

Total $124.55

Overdrawn $9.55



Appropriated by Town $300.00

Appropriated by State $1050.00

Expenditures –

Harold Perkins labor 51.67

Ronald Cousins labor 49.50

Vinal Perkins labor 78.71

Percy Strout labor 55.17

Marshall Berry labor 24.00

Roland Perkins labor 51.00

Guy Scribner labor 45.00

Theodore Scribner labor 49.50

George Perkins labor 49.17

Joe Leighton labor 18.00

Ernest Perkins labor 116.78

Russell Perkins labor 38.67

Chester Frost labor 53.33

Neil McArthur labor 53.01

Bert Flood labor 23.25

Harold Cousins labor 49.92

Almond Frost labor 55.00

Herbert Perkins labor 80.00

Thomas Blaney labor 50.00

Roy Seamans labor 92.33

Lyman Strout labor 3.00

Fred Niles labor 22.50

Alvin Carlow labor 53.89

Ralph McArthur labor 28.17

Raymond Flood labor 15.00

Clinton Flood labor 52.50

Leon Scribner labor 53.89

Morton Scribner gravel 64.50

Ernest Perkins filling 19.35

Total $1396.81

Overdrawn $46.81


In July 2015 Pauline [Flood] DeWald told us her memory of when tar was first placed on an Alexander road. Her memory of the time was related to her family’s move from Cooper to Alexander, to a house on the Cooper Road, 92 Cooper Road to be exact. Today this is the address of her Uncle Pike Seavey. Her sister Mildred Holst told us years ago that the pavement was from the Airline, up over Townsend Hill the down Spring Hill. Pauline and Mildred lived where the road was tarred. The tar was spread in the fall of 1936.


In this report the Road Commissioner names the roads, but not the men who worked on them. The 2014 names for roads are given in brackets if different from the name used in 1941. A question mark is used if we aren’t sure of the newer name. ‘Cr.’ and ‘Dr.’ stand for credit and debit. Melvin ‘Mell’ Hunnewell was the Road Commissioner, pictured below. It appears that he was careful of the dollars.

The snow REMOVAL ACCT was $2029.97 for the winter of 1940 – 41, $336.20 from local excise tax. And $1041.50 from the State – don’t add it up! Shovel #30 belonged to the State




Appropriated $75.00

Carried over $2.95



Labor $57.23

Gravel $1.35

Dynamite $19.37





Appropriated $150.00

Carried over $31.95



Labor $127.55

Culvert $41.25

Gravel $4.65

Poles $8.50






Appropriated $200.00



Labor $144.51

Culvert $41.25

Gravel $6.90

Unexpended $7.34





Appropriated $50.00



Labor $34.23

Gravel $1.15

Unexpended $14.62






Appropriated $100.00



Labor $93.42

Gravel $7.00





Appropriated $50.00



Labor $37.68

Gravel $2.10

Plank $8.91

Unexpended $1.31





Appropriated $451.00

Carried over $27.63



Labor $349.25

Gravel $5.95

Tar $115.37

Plank $8.06





State $1064.00

Carried over $41.12



Labor $726.30

Gravel $38.75

Tar $115.36

Shovel $219.00

Unexpended $5.71





Appropriated $75.00



Labor $60.75

Gravel $8.00

Unexpended $6.25






Appropriated $450.00

State $1575.00

Carried over $63.12



Labor $1499.05

Gravel $78.80

Tar $92.52

Culvert $43.75

Shovel $354.00

Right of Way $10.00

Field damage $10.00



50 – 50 ROAD


Appropriated $50.00

State $49.98



Labor $92.56

Gravel $7.40

Unexpended $0.02





State $273.00

Carried over $1.33



Labor $253.83

Gravel $20.50





Appropriated $100.00

Carried over $6.78



Labor $106.78





Appropriated $250.00


Labor & material $240.00

Unexpended $10.00




Town Roads $87.75

TWP 18 & 19 $28.25

State $85.25

Princeton $3.25

Crawford $6.65

Carried forward $85.08



Repairs $48.50

Unexpended $247.73


                   Mel Hunnewell                                  The Road Machine


This 2014 image shows a rock rake at the back of the machine and two grader blades under the middle. The grader blades can be separately rotated as can the rock rake. Rocks are piled on the back to help the digging power. The machine could be horse [or oxen] drawn. My early memories are of a dump truck pulling it with Tommy Long controlling the wheels [that controlled the grader blades]. Others have used a tractor as a source of pulling power.



Names again, but hired power equipment town owned road machine and sander

Raymond Flood elected Road Commissioner

Put in names of men associated with winter roads



Assets –

Crawford rent road machine $14.00

State rent sander $38.58


Expended –

H. P. Fairfield – repair $33.39


Unexpended $19.19



Assets –

Carried forward $2776.56

Town appropriated $600.00

State appropriated $2100.00




Assets –

Carried forward $8.99

State appropriated $2253.56

State part $2262.55


Carried forward $8,52

Town appropriated $3500.00

Town part $3508.52


Expended from town part –

Raymond Flood foreman $267.32

Merle Knowles labor $11.79

Floyd Hunnewell labor $78.60

Morey Hunnewell labor $8.52

Thomas Long labor $2.62

Lawrence Niles labor $5.24

Everett Dwelley labor $2.62

Mell Hunnewell labor $41.92

Merle Knowles truck or driver $253.53

Clinton Flood truck or driver $259.92

Robert Hunnewell truck or driver $89.81

Raymond Flood truck or driver $48.30

Everett Dwelley truck or driver $2.62

Darrell Frost truck or driver $14.44

Raymond Flood tractor $62.40

State grader $43.16

Douglas Hunnewell gravel $12.00

Bancroft & Martin culverts $155.04

Todd Brothers dynamite/fuse $5.51

State tarring $1794.47


Unexpended $348.69


            Raymond Flood                    Everett Dwelley                     Merle Knowles


Assets –

Unexpended $57.12


Expended –

Harold Bohanon $28.82

Foster Carlow $28.82


Overdrawn $0.52



                              Robbie Hunnewell    Foster Carlow          Roy Carlow


Labor - Arnold Bohanon, Harold Bohanon, Hazen Strout, Pliney Frost,

Labor & truck - Foster Carlow, Roy Carlow, Donald Frost, Floyd Hunnewell, Roland Perkins

Fence stakes – Cecil Hatfield, Foster Carlow, Lewis Frost



Plowing – Robert Hunnewell

Sanding – Darrell Frost, Peter Phelan, Thomas Long

Sander – Town

Loader – Hazel Frost

Salt – W. H. Shurtleff

Labor – Pliney Frost, Harold Bohanon, Roy Carlow, Foster Carlow, Hazen Strout,

Trucks & drivers – Raymond Flood, Llewellyn Dwelley, Clinton Flood, Merle Knowles, George Edgerly, Roland Perkins, Graham Brothers, Fred Mallar

Equipment – Graham Bros. for power screen, Douglas Hunnewell for tractor & gravel, Darrell Frost for loader, Town for sander


Rolla Archer was the elected Road Commissioner and the town received from the State $12,093.18 for road assistance plus $89.00 for use of our grader. That is the same York Work Master pictured with the 1941 Summer Roads article. The town also had appropriated $5000 from Local Road assistance at the March 1982 Annual Town Meeting. The town voted to spend $20,500 of Federal Revenue Sharing on Tarring and Mulching roads. MASCO was the outfit that tarred the roads.


                  Rolla Archer                       Carleton Davis              Elbridge McArthur

We note that as time passes fewer men and more equipment is listed as working on our summer roads.

Payroll –

Elbridge McArthur truck and driver $1637.21

Earl Landry labor $468.52

Wilfred Landry labor $384.54

Rolla Archer foreman and labor $202.13

Fred Wallace truck and labor $326.87

Lynn Wallace truck and backhoe $343.91

Dyer Crosby truck and loader $225.07

Phillip McArthur operator $51.59

Ben McArthur driver $37.52

Kay Church 28 yards gravel $11.20

Lane Construction Cold Patch Mix $2478.05

Russell Kinney labor $26.52


Tarring & Mulching -

State Aid Road acct $11,516.26

Federal Revenue Sharing $20, 500.00

Local Road Assistance $1,938.74


Local Road Assistance –

Local Road Assistance 1983 – 84 $12.093.18

LESS Road Appropriation $5,000.00

LESS Tarring & Mulching $1,983.74


Lawrence Lord had the contract that winter for plowing and sanding town roads. The total was $20,306.36.

The Stock Pile costs were –

New England Chemical Salt $1,726.50

G. E. Goding & Son Sand $2.084.95

Larry Lord Truck & Labor $267.60

Douglas Hunnewell Truck $193.56

Elbridge McArthur Truck $193.56

Steve Elliott Labor $53.04

Fred Wallace Truck $387.12

Carleton E. Davis Bulldozer $527.10



Airline 6.47 miles Green Hill Road 0.30 miles

Cooper Road 4.42 miles McArthur Road 0.55 miles

South Princeton Road 3.78 miles Pokey Road 1.27 miles

Arm Road 1.66 miles Spearin Road 1.25 miles

Berry Road 0.66 miles Tommy Long Road 0.38 miles

Davis Road 1.65 miles Crawford Road 1.52 miles

Flat Road 1.25 miles Cemetery Roads 0.46 miles

SUMMER ROADS – 2006 & 2007

The Selectmen served as Road Commissioners. Roger Holst was the Chair of the selectmen and part of his report pertained to summer roads follows. “Portions of the Arm Rd and Davis Rd were repaved and a section of the Davis Rd by Pleasant Lake was built up and repaved. Other town roads are still in need of attention and the selectmen will be assessing these needs this spring for the summer construction season. I would like to especially thank Pike Seavey for the many hours he put in as the Road Supervisor for the Selectmen. Most people do not realize how many hours Pike put in as Road Commissioner when he was a selectman. Thanks again, Pike, your time and expertise is much appreciated.”

Town of Alexander Total Roads Account July 2006 – May 2007


Roger Holst (missing)             Pike Seavey


State Road Assistance $22,800.00

06 Balance Brought Forward $87,173.61

Auto Excise $81,651.97

Boat Excise $1,191.50

Refund $969.96

Other $25,000.00

Total $218,787.04.


State Roads - Supplies $5,700.00

Town Roads

Electric $174.02

Equipment $5,459.37

Mileage $139.43

Paving Contract $2,184.02

Total 7,956.84


Snow Removal Contract / fuel adjustment $39,368.67


Sand $12,375

Salt $11,644.20

Total $24,019.20

Figures below may refer to the work on the Arm and Davis Roads -

Supplies $30,114.46

TR Labor $1,998.01

Other $58.51

Total $32,170.98


After the way had been marked out through the woods, men would cut the trees with an axe, taking care to keep the stumps low. This trail could be used by man on foot, on horseback or by ox drawn carts with six-foot diameter wheels. The next step was cut and fill [cut the high places and fill the hollows]. Rocks and stumps were dug out by manpower or later with help of dynamite. Ditches and cross culverts [usually log] kept the dirt road relatively dry. When it rained or at frost out time, these dirt roads were mud.

Gravel was added to the top of dirt roads. Dirt or gravel roads were dusty in season. Many houses were built close to the roads and the change from horse drawn traffic to automobiles stirred up the dust; thus came the desire for treating the roads to hold down the dust. Rock salt or used oil were two substances spread on the roads near houses. Gravel and dirt roads needed to be graded often [see picture of antique grader above].

High-speed motor vehicle traffic would knock the gravel out of the roads. Some residents would drag birch tops along the just graded roads to get those rocks out of the tire tracks. Logging and gravel trucks became larger and with heavy loads could damage gravel roads.

Tarring the road solved several of these problems. The 1937 Annual Town Report mentions a bill from the state for $613.74 for tarring on the State Aid Road [Airline]. The 1953 ATR tells of bituminous surface. MASCO [Maine Asphalt Surface Company] tarred and mulched Alexander roads during the 70s until 1991. In 1993, the town joined with others to acquire hot top installed on our roads.

Two roads have been added in Alexander. On March 22, 1971 the voters agreed to purchase the Davis Road from its builder Carleton E. Davis. This road connected the Airline to his Pleasant Lake Campground. The town paid $500 annually for about 20 years. Again at the request of Carleton Davis, the town acquired at no fee a road from the Davis Road to the Arm Road. This and the western part of the Arm Road were named the Crawford Road. A connecting part of the original Arm Road was abandoned at that time.

The Airline went through the same history as other roads; dirt, gravel and the last piece in Alexander to be tarred was about 1957. The entire Airline was completely rebuilt starting in 1950 in Eddington. The work in Alexander happened in 1989 and 1991, the in 1995 and 1996. The final pieces of this major rebuild were in 2002 at Archers Corner in Amherst and from the Whales Back to Route 179 in Aurora.