Odds and Ends From The MUSEUM
By Trudy Wyman, Curator, Millinocket Historical Society Museum
Here continues the story of the adventures of young John Galvin, substitute lamplighter. He finally got Old Bill saddled and made ready to climb aboard. With left foot in the left stirrup, left hand on the saddle horn and reins in his right hand, Galvin tried to get his right leg over Old Bill’s back. Old Bill decided to dance around in a circle. Galvin then made the decision to walk the route leading Old Bill and using the sawed off pool cue with wire hook to turn the valves. After tending to a few lights, they were at the light by the Congo Church on Katahdin Avenue. Galvin decided to out-fox Old Bill. “I gave him some sugar cubes and backed him over to the church sidewalk steps. My plan was to mount at the highest step and catch Old Bill unaware and be on his back before he knew what happened. It almost worked. I got my left foot in the stirrup and my left hand on the horn. As I threw my right leg over, Old Bill jumped sideways and I found myself clinging to the horn and the reins, one leg in the stirrup, the other under Bill’s belly.” Galvin states he got out of the predicament when Bill stopped moving.
They continued walking and tending the lights until arriving at Oxford Street School (today site of VFW). Another high set of steps, but these had a “big flat railing that anyone could stand on and drop on an unsuspecting horse’s back.” Galvin got ready and just as he jumped “Old Bill moved gracefully aside and I found myself flat on the ground.” Back to walking! Eventually they were at a spot opposite the Baptist Church where there was a vegetable garden and gooseberry patch with a flat-topped fence. Again Galvin tried to get from the fence to Old Bill’s back and as you’ve guessed, he landed in the gooseberries! Gooseberry bushes have thorns. That was the last try. They finished the walk and finally Old Bill was back in his stall.
Later, Mr. Crommett, the lamplighter, came to the house to pay Galvin his fifty cents and thank him for helping. When asked how he liked riding, Galvin replied that he had decided to walk. Crommett replied that “he was glad, because he had forgotten to tell me that Old Bill would never let anyone mount him from the left-hand side!”
*** Stearns and Schenck yearbooks for sale, $10.00 each, good condition!
*** The 2018 calendars at the museum, Levasseurs, Save-a-Lot, Katahdin General Store, Rideout’s Market. Just $10.00 each. Add $4.00 SH each for mail orders.
*** Orders for the next group of pavers now being taken. Contact MHS for specifics. The pavers are $100.00 each (tax deductible) and may be in honor or in memory, for a school or team, business, organization, family, your own name or other wording.
*** Visit the museum store for local books, calendars, DVD (legends of Mt. Katahdin) and more or contact us for details including prices and shipping information.
*** Museum HOURS…. Open Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays from noon – 3 PM. The new OPEN sign will be lit.
***Contact me, Curator Trudy Wyman, 723-5477 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For groups or appointments, contact the Millinocket Historical Society at P. O. Box 11, on the web at www.millinockethistoricalsociety.org or on Facebook.