Many people today depend on social media to share information. A post recently on a Facebook group site called Millinocket, ME History that I follow had mention of original menus from the Great Northern Hotel. Readers responded with comments and suggestions and someone mentioned the museum as a possible caretaker of these items. I then corresponded with the holder of these three menus and as a result they are now in the museum’s collection after being mailed by Juli Pelkey Ratcliffe of Colorado. Her grandfather Joseph Tardy was head chef at the hotel. Julie stated that the typewritten menus were found in her grandfather’s personal cookbook. Each is on what seems like stationary with the words Great Northern Hotel, Today’s Specials at the top.
The earliest menu is for Christmas, 1946. The entire meal had a price of $1.75 and started with a choice of grapefruit juice, tomato juice or cream of mushroom soup. Main dish selections were roast turkey with dressing and giblet gravy or grilled tenderloin steak with mushrooms or grilled sirloin steak with mushrooms. A diner could choose boiled or mashed potatoes and creamed peas or mashed squash or salad. The desserts featured a choice of apple or chocolate cream pie, brownies, plantation cream cookies, date bars or plum pudding with hard sauce. Coffee, tea or milk were the beverage choices. Quite a meal for the price!
The second menu was Thanksgiving, 1949 and the price had risen to $2.00. Again a choice of two juices, but the soup was chicken with rice. Additional choices included oyster cocktail and corn fritters. The main dish options were roast stuffed native turkey with cranberry sauce and giblet gravy or grilled western sirloin steak with mushroom sauce or grilled premium ham. There were nine dessert choices including orange marmalade cookies, cream layer cake and ice cream. The museum would like to have copies of some of those recipes in case we do a volume #2 of our successful cookbook.
The third menu was dated 1/15/1956 with ten entries featuring beef, veal, chicken, pork and lamb dishes plus halibut steak. Prices ranged from $1.80 to $2.85. No sandwiches or other options are mentioned, but perhaps were included on the hotel’s regular daily lunch menus.
*** A Little Taste of History, a cookbook featuring recipes from 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. Now only $5.00 (by mail add $4.00 SH).
***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.
***Contact me, Curator Trudy Wyman, 723-5477 or email@example.com. For groups or appointments, contact the Millinocket Historical Society at P. O. Box 11, on the web at www.millinockethistoricalsociety.org or on Facebook.