Fly Rod Crosby:
Cornelia Thurza Crosby's remarkable life (1854-1946) gave rise to a certain amount of legend: she was the first woman to legally shoot a caribou in Maine, held the first Maine Guide license issued, caught (but probably didn't release . . .) 200 trout in one day, and was rumored to have shot against Annie Oakley in a sharpshooting competition. Julia Hunter's insightful biography separates fact from fiction while exploring the career of a woman who worked tirelessly to promote the sporting life in Maine at the turn of the century.
Miss Crosby was an articulate writer herself, and her column, "Fly Rod's Note Book," was syndicated throughout the eastern United States. The Maine Central Railroad employed her to travel to expositions and fairs, where in her outdoor dress of dark green doeskin with a scandalously short skirt, she stood in front of a small log camp decorated with the paraphernalia and trophies of the sporting life, spoke with passersby about the delights of Maine, and showed them her scrapbook of photographs—enticing them to travel the rails to the woods.
Most of the photographs in her album were taken by E. R. Starbird, a commercial photographer specializing in Maine woods views, and many of those images are reproduced in this biography, which also contains an essay on Starbird's work by Earle Shettleworth. Excerpts from Fly Rod's writings add to this fascinating picture of the Maine woods at the turn of the century and provide further insight on the unusual life of this remarkable woman.
Julia Hunter is the registrar and curator of textiles of the Maine State Museum; Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr., is the director of the Maine Historic Preservation Commission.
Tilbury House, Publishers
103 Brunswick Avenue
Gardiner, Maine 04345