November 15, 2020 at 10:37 am
The Maine Game Warden Class of 2020 was given the honorable task of developing a way to memorialize two fallen Maine Game Wardens: David F. Brown and Mertley F. Johnson. The story behind the two wardens and how they died remains a mystery and is a very controversial topic. The story goes as follows:
Warden Johnson and Warden Brown headed to Big Bog which is located on the North Branch of the Penobscot River to try and catch some well-known poachers. The poachers were allegedly Canadian residents. The wardens never returned home from their law enforcement mission. How the wardens came to their demise is unknown, some believe they were killed and placed under the ice. Some believe that they simply fell through the ice and drowned.
My class received a couple of important items related to the deaths of the two wardens. The first item was a badge. The badge was found by a boy scout troop along around the edge of the water. There was work being done at the dam and it is believed that the disruption might have surfaced the badge that had laid on the bottom since November 14, 1922.
The badge was originally given to a game warden who was unaware of the story originally and had no clue what a piece of history he possessed. The second item we received was an original print of a Down East Magazine telling the story of the two wardens from decades ago.
The warden class consisting of Nicholas Mangino, Marc D’elia, Nicholas Johnson, Corey Cepelak, and myself Steven Milton, wanted to do something great for these Wardens to ensure that they were not forgotten. With help from the Department, Cadre Warden Tom McKenney, and Warden Josh Beal we were able to do just that. As a class, we had a memorial placed at Big Bog. In addition, warden Mangino and myself designed and built a shadow box to showcase the historic items. The shadowbox will be displayed in the Warden room at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy in Vassalboro, Maine.
The memorial reads:
"David F Brown 1870-1922 Mertley F Johnson, 1901-1922
The Maine Warden Service
This spot marks the location of which Maine Game Wardens David F Brown and Mertley F Johnson died in the line of duty
End of Watch
November 15, 1922
Gone but not forgotten"