Moose Head Lake, Maine
This lake, the outlet of which is the source of Kennebec river, lies in the county of Piscataquis. Its form is very irregular. Its length is between 40 and 50 miles, and its breadth, in the widest part, about 12 miles. The tributaries are numerous and flow from almost every direction. It contains a number of islands, the largest of which is Sugar island, containing 5,440 acres, and Deer island, containing 2,000 acres. These islands are fertile, as is the whole country surrounding the lake, except in some places where the banks are high and precipitous. The waters are deep and abound in trout of an extraordinary size.
It is remarkable that the territory surrounding this inland sea, possessing in rich abundance all the necessary requirements for the uses and comforts of man, and within three hundred miles of the capital of New England, should be left a wilderness garden, uninhabited and almost unexplored; while thousands of New England men are pressing to distant regions, less healthful, and less productive, when markets for surplus produce are considered.
The only settlement, of any consequence, on the borders of this beautiful lake, is Haskell's Plantation, at the southern boundary.—This place lies 15 miles N. from Monson, from which town stages pass to Bangor, 60 miles. A steamboat plies up and down the lake, for the purpose of transporting passengers, more particularly those engaged in felling timber, and for the purpose of towing the timber down the Kennebec outlet.
The lumber business on this lake is very extensive, and doubtless lucrative; but the time is not very distant when this and other sections of Maine, will be as much valued for the fruits of the soil; and, under the wise system of geological exploration, adopted by the legislature, for the quarries of slate, lime, granite, marble, and even coal, as they are now for their forests of timber.
This lake may be divided into two bays. A little above the centre of it is a narrow pass of rather less than a mile across. At this place, on the western side, is Mount Keneo, an elevation of five or six hundred feet projecting over the water. From this height a picturesque view of the lake, its islands, and a boundless wilderness, is presented. When the wind blows fresh from the north, the waters of the north bay press through this strait with considerable force, and cause the south bay to rise two or three feet.
A dam has been erected at the outlet, for the purpose of raising the lake 3 or 4 feet, so as to let the water off as occasion may require, to facilitate the passage of lumber on the river. We hope, for the benefit of our friends down stream, that the dam is of solid materials and well constructed.