“Life on the Little Black River”
Author: Randall Probert
PO Box 862, Bethel, ME 04217
The story begins with John Willey, age 82 and his wife Ann trying to understand why John hears voices as if he is the reincarnation of somebody from a prior life.
In Chapter one, John becomes that someone, Blair Kelley. The story begins in 1858 in Fort Kent with Blair age 16 working in the woods for his father, Blayne Kelley.
In Chapter two, John 1861 sees a young girl age 14 and he ask her, her name. She is Monique Lamoureax, granddaughter of Minnie and Alfred Lamoureax. Minnie is a Native American. Very soon after that, Blair leaves to join the 20th Maine and does not return home until after 16 June 1865.
Not until April of 1866 is Blair able to see Monique for more a few minutes when he gives her a ride home. They were married about 14 months later.
This story is about living in Fort Kent and the surrounding area from 1858 into the 1900’s.
Most of the story is about living on the Little Black River, away from anybody within 50 miles. What survival skills each brought to the marriage is fascinating to read and is a narrative of what you needed to know to have survive in the Northern Maine Woods back then.
The Little Black River (LBR) starts in Canada north of Saint Pamphile and runs into the St John River NW of the village of Allagash at Dickey. The area in 1790 (also today) was basically uninhabited by full time residents.
The LBR drains the water from the upper NW portion of Maine bordering Quebec mostly. It includes a large of area of Quebec.
This NW border area is basically the SE part of the “highlands” (Mountains) that separated the new US from (the British who control French) Canada in 1790 and was finally agreed to about 1838/1840.