I started The Cattail Press as an experiment in 1997, mostly just to learn how to construct a web site. The first items posted were based on a little book I had written about my sons and their friends ice fishing on Corundel Lake in Corinna. The text and photos from the book seem like good material to use on the site. When printing the book I made up a fictitious publishing company called “The Cattail Press”. That name just stuck on the site.
In 1999 it became clear that the town of Corinna was about to go through many changes due to the EPA cleanup of the ground water and soil contamination from the woolen mill. I knew that the changes would be drastic. Whole sections of the downtown area would never look the same. It struck me that someone should take pictures throughout the cleanup process. I started taking photos as the cleanup began and continued to documented the changes for five or six years.
To show a friend of mine living away what was happening in his hometown, I posted pictures of the cleanup on The Cattail Press with brief descriptions. Over time, a following of others interested in the town and the cleanup grew. Soon I was posting new pictures everyday. Some days the site had hundreds of views as people from many places checked in to see what was happening.
I had tremendous cooperation from the EPA and the Maine DEP. Project manager, Ed Hathaway and construction manager, Rick Leighton were eager to help me get good pictures and learn about the project. The web site won awards from the governor of Maine and the from EPA office in Boston. Some of the pictures I took were even used in congressional hearings.
Most important were the connections I made with the surprising number of people locally, and from around the world, who had an interest in the Town of Corinna.
The entire content of the original site is still available. To view it click on “The Old Cattail Press Site” link in the gray bar at the top of the page.