Transportation and Trade

Of course, trade depends on transportation and for our three towns transportation was by roads and water

WATER – Cooper is in the Dennys River water shed. Crawford is in the East Machias water shed. Alexander is drained by both of these watersheds and a small portion on our easterly side is within the St. Croix water shed. Remember that water flows down hill.

Streams were used to move logs from the woods to the lakes, and on via the rivers to mills at East Machias, Dennysville and Meddybemps, which was Gilman’s Mills in the old days. Logs would be hauled in booms across lakes using capstan rafts and flowing water would provide the energy for the log drives. Logs were traded down stream, but goods gotten in return had to be brought upstream via the roads.

ROADS – The roads used by our early residents to bring goods to our three towns.

Cooper was served by two roads. The County Road (191) from East Machias brought settlers and goods and the East Ridge Road allowed trade with Dennysville. The East Ridge Road somewhat paralleled the Dennys River.

Crawford was served by two roads. The 19 Road paralleled the East Machias River and using some of the before mentioned County Road and some of the Airline, gave trade access to the coast at East Machias. The other road serving Crawford has had several names starting with General Cobb’s Great Road from the Penobscot to the Schoodic (St Croix), Blacks Road, Airline Road and Route 9. The Airline gave access east and west, and about the Civil War time became a route to get cattle, sheep and horses to market and bring back needed goods.

Alexander was served by the County Road from East Machias via Cooper. Many of our early settlers followed this road. Alexander is also served by the Airline. Along it came settlers from Calais, our nearest seaport. It was along the Airline that our farmers took produce and forest products to Calais and Woodland.

WATER AND ROADS – Water in our lakes is the natural resource that defines what our three towns are today, i.e. people today live on lakes. And it was and is two roads, Route 191 and the Airline that have molded our towns from the beginning.

The Airline - Route 9

Summer Roads


Wayside Springs

Early County Roads


Winter Travel