The Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust is proud to name the recently acquired property on the Magalloway River, the “John J. McDevitt Woods".
Far off in the western corner of Maine, speckled by Aziscohos and Parmacheene Lakes and defined by the Magalloway River, Aziscohos Mountain, and the Diamond Peaks, lies the tiny Village of Wilsons Mills. Certainly not a metropolis for outlying, smaller communities, but rather the pivotal connection to some of Western Maine’s mosaic natural features, sportsman’s tales, and homage to traditional New England family values.
Thanks to the vision and generosity of the John J. McDevitt Family, the Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust is honored to support these traditions through the acquisition of 230 acres on the Magalloway River.
Influenced by an Allagash Fire Warden as a child, “Jack” McDevitt spent his adolescence years navigating the remote forests and waters of Downeast and Northern Maine. In his early adulthood, Jack enlisted in the United States Navy, serving in the European theatre in World War II throughout the Mediterranean. Shortly after his tour, Jack returned to Maine, rekindling his love of the mountains and waters that eventually bonded his family for the generations to come.
In spring 1948, Jack married Pauline Garvey, eventually raising five boys, all of whom shared his affection for the outdoors and inherited his values and work ethic, put to work in the family business, “McDevitt Trucks”. In 1974, following decades of raising his children in Downeast Maine, Jack leased a parcel on Parmacheenee Lake from the Brown Paper Company, eventually building a family camp still owned by the McDevitt family. They still recall those days when a trip “upta camp” brought peace, joy, and excitement with many laughs, great food, and adventures in the woods.
In early 2001, Jack and his son, Kevin, acquired Bosebucks Camps on Aziscohos Lake. During their ownership, they transitioned the camps to four-season use and worked to connect snowmobile trails from New Hampshire to Maine via the Bosebuck trail circuit. In 2008, they sold the camps to the Yates Family, who established the gold standard for adventure vacationing in the western mountains of Maine today.
Today, nearly 80 years since Jack took to the woods, the Wilsons Mills area hasn’t changed much. The Magalloway River is still one of the best native brook trout streams in Maine, snowmobile trails still integrate Maine and New Hampshire tourism, the landscape is abundant with wildlife and glistening bodies of water. Most importantly, it continues to make memories that instill family values, sense of place and the memories of a lifetime.
Thank you, John J McDevitt. You were the “finest kind” of person and have left your family and community a priceless legacy forever.