Greg Tuttle wrote this review of Marshal Stearns’ rare book “Along the Trail”.
“Along the Trail” was written by Marshal Stearns in 1936, his third book. It is a compilation of his experiences while hunting and fishing and also describes the people he knew. Here’s a summary of Stearns’ stories in “Along the Trail”.
The Story of a Fisherman-Also a Grizzly- This is an entertaining story about an amateur salmon fisherman names “Yates”. He is somewhat of a ‘dub’ when it comes to the lordly sport of salmon fishing ….and about the same when it comes to bear hunting. The story ends with Yates up a tree, but he gets the bear anyway.
Grouse Dogs- Stearns reminisces about a couple of champion dogs he knew and shot over. One thing that’s clear after reading this chapter is that Stearns really knew dogs.
Maine Guides I Have Known- This section consists of 6 profiles of Maine guides Stearns knew and fished with, mostly in the Dead River region of western Maine.
Tommy – Tommy Gerard owned a sporting camp on the north end of Spencer Lake in Somerset County, Maine. Tommy was a quiet unassuming man and a friend of Stearns. He lived a simple life, quiet and lonely, especially in the winter. Stearns relates a visit to Gerard’s camps in the dead of winter and tries skiing for the first time. Skiing was considered a novel idea back in the early 1900’s.
Why Do We Destroy Life?- This is not an anti-hunting piece by any means, but more of an essay about conservation. Though a little philosophical, to be sure, the essay shows that Stearns was way ahead of his time.
Early Morning Reveries- This is a beautiful piece about birds and bird songs that are heard just when the world is waking up. Along with being a hunter and fisherman, Stearns was a keen observer of the outdoors.
“Along the Trail” is a great book, with wonderful illustrations by Donald Gardner. Stearns was a lawyer by trade and moved in very exclusive circles. He wrote 3 other books: “Just Memories” (1932), “Memories and Reflections” (1935) and “War Memories” (1937). “Along the Trail” is an extremely hard book to find, and when it comes up for sale it is very expensive. It took me 5 years to find my copy. If you can’t locate a copy to own, look into borrowing the book from a library. You will love it.