Staff Photo
Tom Merrill, a Portland Scout, swimmer for Portland High School and champion swimmer with the Portland Boys Club team, worked his way up from aquatic staff to waterfront director at Camp Hinds in the mid-fifties.

In the summer of 1953, Tom, Bobo Judson, and Bob Weatherbee made a historic one-day canoe trip from Camp Hinds down the Presumpscot River to the sea, finding that the trip required about a dozen portages around dams and roads, including a long haul the length of  Main Street in Westbrook, from above the Saccarappa Falls to below the S.D. Warren paper mill.

All photos courtesy of Tom Merrill

(Click any picture to see it larger)

Tom Merrill with campers on the 
swim dock at Camp Hinds
Bob Weatherbee  portaging their 
canoe across the Presumpscot River
Portaging the canoe across Westbrook’s
Vallee Square – Bob Weatherbee on the
bow and Bobo Judson on the stern
Tom Merrill on the stern,  portaging 
the Presumpcot
Jimmy Young, aquatics instructor, at 
Chipmunk Point, seeing the expedition off
Waterfront staff members: 
Kenneth “Bobo” Judson, 
Thomas R Merrill, 
David Willis, 
C. Wayne MacDuffie

I had just finished this page when Frank Maguire sent me this:

Perhaps that trip was what inspired Bill Lockwood to send out another overnight Presumpscot River trip in 1958.  A group of older scouts in at least six canoes were led from Camp Hinds across Panther Pond and down Pather Run to the Raymond picnic area on Route 302 where I picked them up at noon.[1]  I led the group to Sebago Lake Basin,[2] down though the canal and river, and over those awful dams with canvas canoes which were far too heavily loaded for the kids to lift.  We finally reached the planned camp site in Windham on a spot which Bill had obtained permission for the group to use.[3]  I left them there and someone else took over.[4]  He  led the trip the following day, finally reaching the ocean late in the afternoon.  At Westbrook they faced the same long carry through downtown as we saw in Tom's photos, but someone with a pickup truck came along and volunteered to haul the canoes to a launch site below the S. D. Warren mill. Then they paddled to the Falmouth dam, and to the road, where camp ranger Fred Foster met them with the camp truck.  They were unable to paddle in the sea because the tide was out! It's too bad that we did not take photos.

[1] - I was taking college classes in the morning at GSTC
[2] - I had my fingers crossed that we would find the entrance to the Basin!
[3] - I think that was at the spot where the river comes closest to the River Road.
[4] - Since I know I drove his Saab back to Camp Hinds, I think it was Bill Lockwood himself.

Bill Lockwood
Frank Maguire

Page design and layout by:
Dean B. Zaharis
Created: January 5, 2010
Last Update: January 6, 2010
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