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 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.