Millinocket Historical Society

Preserving Millinocket’s heritage, one story at a time.

Month: October 2017

World War I Letters

Odds and Ends From The MUSEUM
By Trudy Wyman, Curator, Millinocket Historical Society Museum

Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11, was originally called Armistice Day and marked the end of World War I. Millinocket had men who fought in that war. One was Murray Morgan who joined a Canadian infantry company and fought in France and Belgium. He was a student at Colby College when he enlisted and was one of a number of Maine men who joined the Canadian army before the U. S. entered the war. While in Europe, Morgan sent several letters to an acquaintance in Waterville, a Captain Harold Pepper. Copies of these have been received by the museum recently. The originals will be part of a show of WWI letters at the Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine in Augusta. MHS was contacted for photos or possible contact with Morgan relatives.
Morgan was killed in action in Belgium in February of 1916. Following are a few excerpts two of his long letters. “Jan. 13, 1915, the trenches in Belgium. First the scene, a valley just below our trenches which are on the crest of a ridge and which have cost many a life to take.” He talks of the Germans being 400 yards away, firing howitzers called ‘lazy Eliza’ for the sound their shells made. “Next imagine a great hole in the ground, in the side of a hill, reinforced by numerous sand bags, the hole inhabited by numerous rats, more numerous lice and a couple dozen men grouped around a few braziers filled with burning coke and you have a dim picture of my habitation tonight.”
“Jan. 27,1915, somewhere in Belgium. Am still on the firing line, but will be out in a few days for a short rest. Had a close call today, a shell dropped about 25 ft. from me. I don’t mind the rifle fire when iron foundry is hurled at you it gets on one’s nerves a bit. It was pretty cold last night, was on guard just before daybreak, gazing over the parapet trying to get a look at Fritz at that time in the morning is enough excitement for most anyone.” He mentions standing in the mud watching for the enemy, smelling for gas, no feeling in his feet due to cold and being sleepy. “A new sentry takes your place, you cook and eat enough for a dozen and retire to your dugout and hit the flea nest for a few hours.” He describes it as one of the joys of a soldier’s life that must be experienced to be appreciated.
This is only a tiny part from the eight letters and some post cards. More later.

*** A Little Taste of History, a new cookbook featuring recipes from many Millinocket pioneer families and their descendants (wives of mill employees, businessmen, school and town employees and more. Includes some photos and personal notes. 200 pages. Each cookbook is $15.00 (mail orders add $5.00 SH each book). At the museum, Memories of Maine Gallery, Steel Magnolias, Katahdin General & by mail.

*** 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 trudy18@beeline-online.net. For groups or appointments, contact the Millinocket Historical Society at P. O. Box 11, on the web at www.millinockethistoricalsociety.org or on Facebook.

Halloween, 1922 Style

Odds and Ends From The MUSEUM
By Trudy Wyman, Curator, Millinocket Historical Society Museum
The cookbooks are ready for purchase! Called Remember Our Heritage, A Little Taste of History, it is available at the museum, $15.00 each (by mail, add $5.00 each for SH). The cookbook (nearly 200 pages) has recipes from many of Millinocket’s pioneer ladies and their descendants plus some photos and other tidbits. They are from older local cookbooks 1900-1960 and are written as they were originally used by the various cooks.
Charming functions with attendees in attractive costumes! These were the words in the newspaper describing Halloween activities in Millinocket (Bangor Daily News,1922). Perhaps other less charming events occurred, but they didn’t make the newspaper. Described as “the most important of the charming functions” held during Halloween week were the socials sponsored by the Congregational and Baptist churches.
At the Congregational Church, a crowd gathered to watch a delightful play, The Bachelor’s Dream, followed by a piano solo and a reading. A social completed the evening “with games and Halloween stunts. Apple blossoms containing fortunes were sold. Refreshments of sandwiches, cake and coffee were served. All agreed the evening had been a most delightful one.”
That same year, at the Baptist Church, a large crowd gathered to celebrate All Saints Eve. A masquerade social and a play titled The Haunted Gate was presented by the choir and orchestra. The article states this play was presented on the “new platform of the spacious basement with its fine footlights.” Later, Halloween stunts were enjoyed and sandwiches, coffee and doughnuts were served. Money raised went to the piano fund.
The Thimble Club had a Halloween party as their first meeting of the year. Held at the Simon Gagnon home, this group celebrated in a bit more lively fashion. “The guests were received at the door in darkness by weird witches who led the way to the ghost room above. The remains of John Brown’s body were discovered and examined amid many blood-curdling shrieks.” Each guest told a “hair-stirring ghost tale” and there was a ghost telling fortunes. “A skeleton danced, even more denuded than Isadora Duncan” (a famous vaudeville dancer). Refreshments included sandwiches, salad, pumpkin pie, marguerites (a sweet treat on a cracker), coffee and sweet cider.
In 1924, Barbien’s Hall was the site of the Baptist Church party where the costumes were described as attractive and varied. Eighty dollars was raised.

***MHS is now part of the Amazon Smile program. When shopping there, choose smile, select MHS, and the museum will receive a small amount. Every little helps!

*** 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 trudy18@beeline-online.net. For groups or appointments, contact the Millinocket Historical Society at P. O. Box 11, on the web at www.millinockethistoricalsociety.org or on Facebook.

Incident in Little Italy, 1907

Odds and Ends From The MUSEUM
By Trudy Wyman, Curator, Millinocket Historical Society Museum

Bits and pieces of our town’s history keep coming to light as people share some parts of their family stories. Recent columns told pieces of Clark and Galvin stories that were shared with the museum. This week, here’s an account of an incident occurring in Little Italy in 1907. A squabble between a young resident of Little Italy and three young men from the town side of the bridge led to the shooting and death of one of the town men. The cause of the argument is unclear, but the shooting took place in the “dooryard” of Peluso’s place. The shooter (the Little Italy resident) was charged with murder. However, after the shooting, he ran and apparently escaped into Canada.
This story is supported by documents shared with museum volunteers during a recent visit by a descendant of the shooter who asked that we treat the story with sensitivity as the facts seem fairly clear that it was more of an accident or self-defense rather than a brutal murder. Documents shared with the museum include a statement by Police Chief Fred Gates and statements by the other two town men. The shooter, indicted for murder, appeared in Millinocket Court in front of Judge George Stearns. As the shooter had fled, extradition papers were sent to Washington, D.C. where they were signed by President Roosevelt and returned to Bangor to be delivered to New Brunswick where the shooter was believed to be. Eventually the defendant was convicted of self-defense/manslaughter and spent fifteen months in Thomaston state prison. He did not return to Millinocket.
The descendant in this story visited the museum and Little Italy where she took several photos. She wished that there was some way to discover which home her relative had lived in with his wife and young son.
There are so many stories…we hope you continue to share with us. All the information, photos and copies of documents find a place in the research/genealogy room.

***The museum’s heritage cookbook will be ready soon. Watch for details!
***MHS is now registered as part of the Amazon Smile program. When you shop online at Amazon, go to smile.amazon.com and choose Millinocket Historical Society from the list and 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products will be sent to MHS. It is a small amount, but it all adds up.
***At Hannaford through October, purchase one of the specified blue and gold reusable bags and MHS will receive $1.00 for each one sold.

*** 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 trudy18@beeline-online.net. For groups or appointments, contact the Millinocket Historical Society at P. O. Box 11, on the web at www.millinockethistoricalsociety.org or on Facebook.

Post cards, Abstract & Katahdin Rangers

Odds and Ends From The MUSEUM
By Trudy Wyman, Curator, Millinocket Historical Society Museum

In any discussion of Millinocket’s history, the name Charles W. Mullen is sure to be mentioned. As a civil engineer and contractor for the B & A Railroad, he was familiar with the general area. Mullen is the one who made contact with Garret Schenck (paper mill expert). Together, they along with Hardy Ferguson and others set out to build the company that came to be known as the Great Northern Paper Company.
In recent weeks, a descendent of Charles Mullen has visited the museum and donated some items including several local area vintage post cards from the 1920’s and 1930’s. One has the printed caption Poowookamous Falls, West Branch. We assume that may be a misprint. Should it be Pockwockamus? Another item donated by Ronald Mullen is an original abstract (collection of documents) of the title to lots 1, 2 and 3, block 24 on Penobscot Avenue. These papers begin when Charles Mullen, Schenck and a man named Haskell gave title of those lots to GNP in 1899. The papers continue through the ownership by Charles Rush (Rush’s Hardware store) down to PE Ward in the 1950’s.
Bobbie Allen brought the museum two check writing machines and a collection of frames that came from other donors. Phyllis Gardner sent in a double size Ripogenus Dam post card with the caption 700 ft. long, 65 ft. high, 45 ft. wide, built1916. Jean Morse dropped off a large, original handmade flag used by the Katahdin Rangers and three photos of the group. Another donor sent in a St. Martin of Tours graduation ball dance card. It is from the class of 1964. Such cards were popular at dances years ago. High school students today would not know what a dance card was!

MHS is now registered as part of the Amazon Smile program. When you shop online at Amazon, go to Amazon.com:smile, choose Millinocket Historical Society from the list and 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products will be sent to MHS. It is a small amount, but it all adds up.
At Hannaford through October, purchase one of the specified blue and gold reusable bags and MHS will receive $1.00 for each one sold.

Information coming soon on the museum’s new heritage cookbook! Price, shipping information and availability will be announced. We can’t wait to see it (it’s at the printer’s now) and is expected in plenty of time for Christmas ordering.

*** 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 trudy18@beeline-online.net. For groups or appointments, contact the Millinocket Historical Society at P. O. Box 11, on the web at www.millinockethistoricalsociety.org or on Facebook.

New Items, Smiles & Bags

Odds and Ends From The MUSEUM
By Trudy Wyman, Curator, Millinocket Historical Society Museum
Fall has arrived, but new items for the collection are still arriving. We continue to add photos and documents to the genealogy collection so anyone doing family tree searches, maybe the museum has something for you. We are working to get the family names into our computer program to assist in the search. Recent additions are from the Poirier/Jandreau/Levasseur families (photos) and the Morgan/Carroll families (photos).
Sue Jandreau donated a B & A Railroad time table from 1958 and other railroad papers. Alice Miller brought in a series of penmanship books for teaching cursive writing. They were from the 1930’s from Aroostook Avenue School. The museum has several advertising booklets from some of the old sporting camps. A local lady (wants not to be identified) brought in one from Togue Pond Camps (c1925). The museum already had a newer version of the same booklet. Camping in the 1920’s- 1940’s was quite different than today.
A Sno-Land Dairy half pint bottle is now displayed with other local milk bottles. It joins bottles from Rush’s, Keeley’s, Mulroney’s, Boddy’s, Sno-Land plus Grants and Footman’s dairies. Looking for a bottle from Jones’s Dairy! The half pint bottle was brought in by PI Perry along with a folding Eastman Kodak Brownie camera. Perry also gave the museum framed photos of the GNP crews of paper machines #8 and #5 rebuilds (1926 & 1954).
MHS is now registered as part of the Amazon Smile program. When you go online to shop at Amazon, go to Amazon.com:smile, choose Millinocket Historical Society from the list and 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products will be sent to MHS. It is a small amount, but it all adds up.
Hannaford has again chosen MHS for its Hannaford Helps program. Purchase one of the specified blue and gold reusable bags during October and MHS will receive $1.00 for each bag sold.
This time of year, more hikers and hiker’s families stop by the museum. On the Saturday of the Trails End Festival, we saw folks from Minnesota, New Hampshire and Virginia. We directed hikers to local eateries and lodging places and one of our volunteers gave a young couple a ride to McDonald’s and then back to their camping spot at Abol Campground!
Information coming soon on the museum’s new heritage cookbook! Price, shipping information and availability will be announced. We can’t wait to see it (it’s at the printer’s now) and is expected in plenty of time for Christmas ordering.

*** 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 trudy18@beeline-online.net. For groups or appointments, contact the Millinocket Historical Society at P. O. Box 11, on the web at www.millinockethistoricalsociety.org or on Facebook.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén