Millinocket Historical Society

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

Month: December 2017

2017 Summary

Happy New Year to all the museum’s visitors, supporters, volunteers and members! It’s been a great year with many donations to the collection, the new sign out front, the expansion of the paver project and progress on the second floor display space. The museum had nearly 1000 visitors who signed our guest book and there were others who did not sign, Visitors came from thirty-one states and Washington, D.C. in addition to Maine. There were visitors from Canada and China (the Chinese students attending Stearns HS and the large group here from SHS’s sister school). Other visitors stopped in from England, Morocco, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Okinawa and the Philippines.
Larger groups in addition to the Chinese students were the local 4th grade students, students from Millinocket Middle School and the entire eight grade from Medway Middle School. Other groups included the local Red Hatters, a group of quilters, several Friends of Baxter State Park, America Corps participants and some ghost hunters. The museum has something of interest for everyone!
The new sign out front has helped attract visitors. It was designed and constructed by MHS president and volunteer David Cyr. The paver fundraising project is on-going and more pavers were placed in 2017. Get your orders in now for placement by early summer. Some work was accomplished on the second floor display area late last winter and into the spring. More will be done during the remainder of this winter. Sheet rock placement is the next step. David, Mark and Stan have done most of this work on the upper floor.
More than seventy-five people have donated items to the collection with several of them donating multiple times. They have brought in photographs, newspapers and a wide array of artifacts. Our genealogy section with photos, stories and ephemera has expanded a lot. Items have come by mail, been found stuck in the museum door and handed to museum volunteers at various locations.
The final donation list for 2017 includes a photo of early GNP firemen (Bob Leet), a metal bedpan (Jerry Bulley), a signed copy of Georgia Manzo Joachim’s cookbook and photos and post cards (Don Howard). Rod Williams emailed interesting photos/papers about his lifelong interest in drawing and his military service. Joan Guimond donated the WWII Navy nurse uniform of Verna Guimond.
Thanks to volunteers Anna, Leola, Jane and Susan for all they do assisting visitors, organizing displays, cataloging and more!

*** 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, Gracie’s Aunt’s Emporium & by mail.
***2018 Calendar with vintage photos –still available. Just $10.00 (by mail add $4.00SH). Get your orders in for one of the laser engraved pavers. Cost $100.00 each. Up to 3 lines with up to 15 letters, symbols, spaces per line. Contact museum for form or more details. Another group of pavers will be in before July 4.

*** Museum HOURS…. Open Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays from noon – 3 PM. The new OPEN sign will be lit. Weather permitting!
***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.

Movie Star in Town

The Millinocket Journal headline, January 10, 1940 was: Visiting Movie Star to Be Given Keys to City Saturday Morning. The lead article complete with photo begins as follows: Excitement runs high in Millinocket this week as the town prepares to greet the first and only active moving picture star ever to appear here in person during the playing of a picture in which he starred.” Known as The Lonely Cowboy, Tex Fletcher was at that time a radio star for station WOR in New York, had appeared in several Broadway plays and recorded western songs for Decca Records.
Many activities were planned for Tex’s day in Millinocket beginning with his arrival at 10:00 AM. A cavalcade of cars furnished by Freeman Murphy (local Pontiac/Chevrolet dealer) met Tex at the town line. A tour of the town followed with first stops at the three hospitals (Millinocket General Hospital, Dr. Morey’s Hospital, Wyman Memorial Hospital) where he sang for the shut-ins and convalescents. The keys to the city were presented by the chairman of the Board of Selectmen Mrs. Bernice Buck. This took place on the Opera House steps. Next a tour of downtown with three minute stops at local businesses, many who had special deals for the day. Mr. Walker at the Singer Sewing Machine store had silhouettes of Tex for him to sign for people. Newberry’s offered a Range Rider sundae and Whalen’s Drug Store had a fountain special. Miss Hardy’s Gift Shop had Tex Fletcher autographed five-year diaries for sale.
Shortly after 12:00 noon, the star arrived at the J. J. Newberry store and was guest of honor at the new lunch counter. Afterward, Tex returned to the Opera House to rest before his first appearance at the matinee showing of his movie “Six Gun Rhythm.” Following the matinee, Tex was treated to a spaghetti dinner at Peluso’s restaurant in Little Italy. Another appearance was made at the theater’s evening performance.
Many autographs were signed throughout the day and the newspaper stated that “Tex Fletcher Day” will be long and happily remembered. One citizen said he hoped Tex would return to Hollywood and report Millinocket as “the friendliest and most hospitable town in America.”

*** 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, Gracie’s Aunt’s Emporium & by mail.
***2018 Calendar with vintage photos – don’t forget to get one before the New Year. Just $10.00 (by mail add $4.00SH). Get your orders in for one of the laser engraved pavers. Cost $100.00 each. Up to 3 lines with up to 15 letters, symbols, spaces per line. Contact museum for form or more details. Another group of pavers will be placed before July 4.

*** Museum HOURS…. Open Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays from noon – 3 PM. The new OPEN sign will be lit. Weather permitting!
***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.

1908 Local Businesses

The program booklet from the Union Parade in 1908 featured advertisements from many local businesses. Two weeks ago, I listed some of them and hoped to get some information. One local man came in and said Mr. Rachon (store on Medway Rd.) was a family member. I’m hoping that some other grandchild or great-grandchild will recognize a name from their family tree and recall a story or two passed down the line that they can share with us at the museum. Here are some more of the ads from that program.
1. Morris and Holt – Our cigar and tobacco department will be open all day. Any day you want a SHAVE we can do the job – in union hours.
2. Regis Cyr – Manufacturer of Harness, Moccasins, Boots and Shoes, prompt attention given to repairing.
3. Allen & Morris LUNCH CART – Open all hours of the day and until 12:30 at night. Your patronage solicited. Union Men.
4. McCaffrey Bros. Wood and Ice, Penobscot Ave.
5. W. M. DeVoe Pool and Billiard Hall, Barber Shop, Cigars, Tobacco and Pipes, Fruits, Confectionary and Soft drinks.
6. Millinocket Candy Kitchen – B. B. Stinchfield, 2500 New Souvenir Post Cards just received. All the latest novelties. Ice cream specialties for the week Chocolate, Caramel and Vanilla.
7. Henry S. Brown – dealer in Milk, Cream, Butter, Eggs and Country Produce. Oxford St., No. 29.
8. King Bishop – Barber Shop, Tobacco and Cigars, Refreshments of all kinds. Bishop Block corner Penobscot Avenue & Central Street.
9. J. D. Walker, Merchant Tailor, Doctor’s Block over Moran’s Clothing Store.
10. Mackin & Moreau’s New Tonsorial Parlor at the John Simon Building. Good work guaranteed. Come in & go out happy. Also 1st class massaging. Razors honed and set a specialty. We take orders for special designs for shaving mugs.
Several of these ads include the word Telephone or Telephone Connection but do not give a number. This program booklet and the old newspapers give evidence that the early years of Millinocket had plenty of pool halls, bowling alleys, tobacco shops and barber shops and other gathering places for the gentlemen of town. We are seeking photos and information for the museum’s business files.

Do you remember those wooden cutouts with pictures of local buildings made by a company called Fernwood of Maine? The museum is seeking those of local buildings for our museum store. We are able to resell them to benefit the museum. If you have some tucked away that you no longer want, drop them off at the museum. Thank you!

*** 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, Gracie’s Aunt’s Emporium & by mail.
***2018 Calendar with vintage photos – don’t forget to get one before the New Year. Just $10.00 (by mail add $4.00SH). Pavers still available also.

*** Museum HOURS…. Open Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays from noon – 3 PM. The new OPEN sign will be lit. Weather permitting!
***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.

A Busy Time of Year

Have had a couple of busy weeks at the museum! The museum table at the craft fair at the American Legion hall was successful and then this past weekend Millinocket was bustling with the runners and their families and friends for the marathon. Many of the runners and their support groups were seen walking or jogging past the museum on their way to the park for the start of the race. Later, quite a few of the supporters stopped in at the museum. One small boy commented, “Wow! I’ve never been to a museum before!” He and his brother liked listening to the wind-up Edison phonograph. Cookbook sales at the craft fair, at the museum and by mail have been brisk.
A gentleman contacted the museum recently seeking information on a car Dr. Young once owned. He stated it was a 1940 LaSalle coupe that spent much of the time stored in a garage. The doctor did his medical rounds in a Packard automobile. The person seeking the information is a Mr. Williams who as a local boy was interested in cars and grew up drawing many pictures of different automobiles. This led to an adult career as a drawer/designer. He would like to hear from anyone who remembers Dr. Young’s vehicles. Did Dr. Young have any children who might provide details? Contact me, Trudy, and I’ll pass on the information. He also mentions a 1948 Packard convertible (he says it was spectacular) owned by a Daigle family. They had a garage somewhere near the Opera House. He would like to hear from anyone that remembers that car.
Other questions frequently asked at the museum are in reference to the Great Northern Hotel. They see the large photo on display and many visitors do not know what it was. Others ask, “Where was it?” “What happened to it?” It was constructed by Great Northern Paper Company as a place to accommodate company officials when they visited from the company offices in Boston. Construction started in 1899 and was finished in two years. It was a grand structure and was nicknamed “The Palace in the Woods.” It was located on the lot where today the Millinocket Memorial Library and St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church stand. In 1961, the hotel closed, its contents auctioned off and the building was torn down. Some museum visitors have mentioned there was a fire, but the Laverty town history does not mention this. More information on this subject would be welcome.

*** 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, Gracie’s Aunt’s Emporium & by mail.
***2018 Calendar with vintage photos – don’t forget to get one before the New Year. Just $10.00 (by mail add $4.00SH). Pavers still available also.

*** 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.

Union Parade 1908

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

On September 7, 1908 there was a big parade in Millinocket in honor of Labor Day. As in those early days, this was the largest parade and celebration to be held each year in town. All the mill’s union groups (referred to as the C. L. U.) marched as well as other groups. The following information is from the program booklet for that day.
The parade participants gathered at 8 AM at Union Hall and from there proceeded along Penobscot Ave., to Central Street to Katahdin Street and on to the depot to meet all trains. On the return march, the parade went to the mill office and back down Penobscot Ave. and from there to the Pavilion.
The booklet gives the names of all the union’s members at that time, making it a great genealogical resource. Some of the unions listed are: Firemens’ Union #69, Office & Papermakers’ Union, Federal Trades #11311, Carpenters & Joiners #1707, Electricians’ Union, Teamsters” Union #205 and Log Workers’ Local # 10.
One page lists sporting activities for the day and the prizes. Included were a 100 yard (for age 17 and up), a100 yard dash for boys under 16 and a two mile run (prize was $20.00). There was also a potato race, three legged race, fat men’s race (1st place $3,00, second place $2.00), a ball game, a canoe race, tug of war, greased pole ($5.00), horse race (3 bags of oats) and boxing in barrels ($5.00).
A Labor Day ball took place in the evening with a grand march, round dances, waltzes, contra dances and the two-step. The program also lists the Portland Fancy, the Boston Fancy and a Barn Dance.
The advertisements provide a wealth of information as to some of the early businesses. A few unfamiliar names included which the museum would like to learn more about include:
1. Don’t forget to visit THE GEM, continuous change of pictures from 8 AM to 10 PM;
2. W. D. Rachon Dealer in Family Supplies, New store to be located on Medway Road, Cottage Hill;
3. For a Good Time go to Tapley’s Dancing Pavilion, Just across the Iron Bridge;
4. H.W. Howard, Horseshoeing & General Jobbing, Carriages Repaired, Central St.;
5. Leo S. Warren, Jeweler & Optician, Engraving of all Kinds;
6. Powers’ Livery Stable, Carriage at depot with Great Northern Hotel upon back seat, Stable on Central St.;
7. H.F. Bragdon, For 1st class laundry work of all descriptions, Orders taken for Cut Flowers.

And more for 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, Gracie’s Aunt’s Emporium & by mail.
***2018 Calendar with vintage photos – don’t forget to get one before the new year. Just $10.00 (by mail add $4.00SH). Pavers still available also.

*** 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.

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