I know; I know
you’re asking yourself just what does The Red Paint People have to do with Unsolved Mysteries, things of the Macabre
or even Maine?
They are a mystery because a once great people, thought to be Native Americans that lived 6,000 years
ago, completely vanished from the Historical Record.
Then again, you might be wondering why I'd throw my hat into
the ring, and write about them. Well they say write what you know. For 10 years I studied Maine's Prehistoric Past. This
was of course before I chased after ghosts and then murders and even a little before I started collecting minerals and gems
from all over the state.
You might say I had enough background research to fill a book. You might also say that along
the way, I figured out a few ways to go out and legally find some artifacts of these people.
Anyways, back to the story.
If you haven't guessed it already, Bucksport was the first place in the State of Maine, that an archaeological dig was
performed by Chas Willoughby of the Peabody Museum in Andover Mass.
The year was 1891, some say 1892, some say it was
the first in the state, some say it was the first in the United States. You get the picture.
A local had approached
Augie Hamlin the Bangor Mayor, and well known Antiquarian. This individual had been working the land in Orland, and after
one shovel full, the ground appeared to be bleeding. A red paint like substance was bleeding up from the freshly dug hole.
Hamlin came in and was allowed to dig for one day on the land, by the owners. He found dozens of spears, woodworking
tools, and weapons all made from stone. He brought these to the Peabody Museum and Willoughby was soon on the scene.
Red Paint People, which now go by the Moorehead Phase Archaic, and are also thought to be a part of the Maritime Archaic,
ruled the state and expanded all the way from Labrador, to Southern New England, before their time was through.
Red Paint was used to mark their burial grounds, and the grave goods were buried with the dead. They were thought to be highly
advance people, because of their beautiful craftsmanship and carving tools. They were also an excellent seafaring people,
because there is proof of them actually actively fishing for swordfish.
They thrived all across their lands for almost
a thousand years, and then vanished from the state. What is thought to have happened to them and the later and earlier peoples
of Maine are thoroughly covered in my book.