Bear Hunting

[Note: This article was originally written October 9, 2018.] Deer hunting season is still a few weeks away but if you can’t wait to get in the woods the season on bear started on August 27th. Perhaps you’ll get lucky like J.H. McMann of Milltown who in 1912 displayed his take for the season on his store in Milltown. Hopefully the wardens won’t notice but you’ll need to bag 142 bear to best Mr. McMann. Actually McMann was a merchant, not a sport and bought all 142 skins from local hunters. He shipped all 142 pelts to the fur pool in London England-furs were still very much in vogue in Europe in 1912. McMann’s store was at the intersection of Main and Baring streets where it takes a sharp left toward the Maguerrewock. Most recently it was a small gas station and convenience store.

Below is the whole story, by Ned Lamb:

We are glad to present this picture because we wrote about it and were in hopes we could have
one to use. The picture came from the collection of Cecil Miller, and we thank him for it.The
number of hides were more than we remembered. It looks like a regular skin game.
Would you ever think that there were as many bears to be killed in this whole region ?
The corner building was J. H. McMann’s Variety Store and is now John Stuart’s. The building
on the left up Baring street had been George Kelsey’s meat market The other is a storehouse

How Many Hides Are There?

That is the question we are asked by anyone looking at the picture. J.H. McMann bought skins
and hides and they accumulated so he decided to have them on display. Count them —but before
you start we will tell you that there are 141. Now see if we made a mistake, and they are all
At first we thougth that that old man with the long whiskers was Daniel Boone come back to
the last Roundup. You know that down in Kentucky there is a big tree on which is carved that
Dan Boone killed a “Bar” there, but we do not believe that Dan ever saw as many “bar” hides at
one time as you see in this picture.

Where Was This Picture Made?

That is the second question that folks always ask. In 1912 Lem Groves was living in the
Knowles house across the road and along in May he got a very long ladder and they gave him
some rusty shingle nails and Gus Dennison (when he was Alderman from Ward One he was A.
O. Dennison) helped him. It was a pretty big job, but it was the show of shows for some time.

Where Did Thev Go?

They were tagged and bundled arid shipped to the fur pool in Dear Old London and they got
scattered about in time for some to be destroyed in the Kaiser’s War.

Some bears around here came just before the street lights went out at 12 o’clock and went back
and reported and the bears could be heard singing The Bowery Song, “I’ll Never Go There Any
More” and some left for Woodland (in Aroostook County) and that is why there are so few here

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