In 1901 Mr. and Mrs. Frank Ball of Andover, Massachusetts, purchased the “White House,” a former boarding house for tannery workers and fishermen, and established one of the first sporting camps in Grand Lake Stream. Under Stephen Yates’ ownership, prior to and after the tannery went bankrupt in 1898, the “White House” catered to sportsmen. Ball turned the place into a sporting destination. He added cottages, two of which are the Twin Sisters shown in the photo, marketed it effectively, and made it easy for guests to get to. Sportsmen could take the Washington Country Railroad to Princeton, then board a stage or a launch up Big Lake to Gould’s landing, where Ball would send a buckboard to meet them. Later, brochures advertised that Balls Camps’ autos would meet them at the train station.
The abundance of landlocked salmon and, later, smallmouth bass, the availability of excellent guides, and the ease of access to Grand Lake Stream spurred the development of many other sporting camps—Yates Camps (Indian Rock Camps); Grand Lake Camps; Will Rose’s Camps or Ouananiche Lodge; Grand Lake Lodge; Chet’s Camps; and others. Many continue to operate today.
In 1922 Rutherford Weatherby and Herb Chisholm purchased Balls Camps, and the business continues as Weatherby’s Maine Fishing and Hunting Lodge. The Twin Sisters still stand facing Canal Street.
Caption information provided by Art Wheaton