Millinocket Historical Society

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

Month: May 2018

Notable Headlines

Newspaper headlines, there have been many notable ones and many people have saved them. Recently the museum received a number of Bangor Daily News issues with memorable headlines. They were donated by William Gallant (saved by his mother). Included were papers from the assassinations of JFK and RFK, early space exploration 9/11 and more. The museum previously had many of these same papers, but for many the condition was questionable. In this recent donation, the papers were never folded and kept wrapped in a dry location making them suitable for framing/display at some future time.
In 2013, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the 1963 SHS basketball team’s New England championship, a reunion was held. Patsy Huston donated a CD and several photos of the gathering. The museum has several scrapbooks containing news articles from the games. Another donor brought in a photo of the Baptist Church choir (date unknown) and several other small items. Susan Burke brought in a group of SHS senior photos and donated them in memory of Bill Burke. As most of these do not have the graduation year or student name on them, research will be done using yearbooks. It appears most are from the 1940’s.
The museum received a banner from the Rowdy Riders Riding Club (4H). It was found and saved during demolition of a building at the hovel. This location has a lot of history for 4H and others in the area. A reminder to those involved in area organizations that have disbanded or are thinking about it. The museum is willing to become a depository for historical memorabilia from any local group. We already have materials from several groups that no longer exist here. We are especially interested in photos, membership lists, a written history of the group, regalia and other smaller items. As the museum prepares to expand to the second floor, more space to display such things will be available. Currently, the museum has materials from the following: Navy Mother’s Club, Masons & Eastern Star, Odd Fellows & Rebekah’s, Rainbow Girls, Boy & Girl Scouts, American Legion, Literary Club, Millinocket Players and some items from a number of other groups.

*** Stop by the museum store for calendars, books by local authors (most are gently used) plus other items of interest. We recently received several sets of GNP/Bowater drinking glasses to use as a fundraiser. Sets of four in original boxes sell for $10.00 (if mailed, SH to be added). Some copies of matted 8” x 10” and 5” x 7” photos for sale.
*** A Little Taste of History, 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.
***Orders 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.
*** 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.

Building a mill!

On Friday, May 18, visitors to the Millinocket Historical Society had the chance to participate in Can you find it? and/or Where is it? activities. Some were unsure whether to try or not, while others went for it. We plan to keep the activities available for a while and hope others will give it a try. It’s a different way to learn about unique items at the museum or to test your knowledge!
It is impossible to imagine the physical labor the men who worked constructing the mill had to do. The 1900 reproduction of the Bangor Daily Commercial gives a few statistics related to this endeavor. At the newspaper’s publication date (June 2), over 100,000 yards of soil had been excavated and a total of three times that will need to be moved. This number includes the canals. The article states, “Just think how many shovelfuls of dirt that means and how many blows of the pick.” Over 6 million bricks had been laid plus 40,000 to 50,000 barrels of cement used. It says that when finished, over one million feet of hard pine, over one and a half million feet of hemlock and spruce, and about 900,000 feet of white pine will have been used. And it all would have been cut, sawed and moved by men and horses.
“Approximately 25,000 cubic yards of masonry was used in the foundation. Other statistics include 2,800 tons of structural steel, 1,600 tons of steel in the penstocks, about six acres of gravel roofing, some ten acres of concrete floor, and about 1,400 windows. Such a mass of material cannot be correctly placed in a minute and the wonder grows that so vast an undertaking of construction could so nearly be completed in a year.” The article goes on to say that there was more to be done. After “operations commence at the works, the company will use annually 40,000 tons of coal, 46,000,000 feet of spruce logs, 4,500 tons of sulphur and about the same amount of lime.”
The museum has many photos available for viewing of the construction of both Millinocket and East Millinocket mills. Many were donated by Roger Boynton and others by other individuals throughout the museum’s existence in the community (since 1979).

*** Visit the museum store for calendars, books by local authors (most are gently used) plus other items of interest. Some copies of matted 8” x 10” and 5” x 7” photos for sale.
*** A Little Taste of History, 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.
***Orders 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.
*** 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.

Getting to town, 1900!

A reproduction of a portion of an issue of the Bangor Daily Commercial for June 2, 1900 makes for an interesting read. One is on display at the museum. My attention was caught by the statement “Millinocket is the next station north of Norcross on the Bangor and Aroostook Railroad. About 80 miles from Bangor.” In this day and age, it is inconceivable to imagine not getting into a vehicle and driving out of town. However, in the summer of 1900, that was not possible. The construction underway at the Great Northern Paper Company meant many people were making their way to this area even there was no official town yet. If you took the train from Bangor to Norcross, you still had to find a way to get to Millinocket. If you stayed on the train to its nearest point to Millinocket where there was no station at first, you were still a mile and a half from the mill, boarding houses etc. You would either walk or perhaps find someone to convey you by horse and wagon. In the first days, even a horse and wagon could not be used as Katahdin Avenue had to be cleared of trees to allow a rough dirt path to emerge. All supplies had to come in the same way. Eventually a 1 1/3 mile spur track was built thanks to the B & A RR. The museum has photos of Katahdin Avenue early on with many tree stumps and then, later, as the houses began to appear.
This newspaper has a great deal more information about the beginnings of the GNP. You are welcome to visit the museum and read this interesting account.
New items donated to the museum include: 1944 SHS orchestra and Glee Club photos (Peter Pasanan); a WWII War Bond stamp book plus two French francs brought back by a soldier from WWII (Mary Ellen Haugen); and two blueprints for East mill oil containment, 1977 (Sandy Haynes).
Visit the museum on International Museum Day, Friday, May 18. The MHS museum will feature a special activity for visitors between 12 noon and 3PM. Test your knowledge of some of the museum’s local artifacts. Identify the items on the “What is It?” table and other mystery items scattered throughout the displays. Try your hand at “Can You Find It?” Come in and give it a try! Light refreshments available!

*** A Little Taste of History, 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 – still available. Now only $5.00 (by mail add $4.00 SH).
***Orders 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.
*** 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.

International Museum Day at MHS

International Museum Day will be celebrated world-wide on Friday, May 18. The MHS museum that day will feature a special activity for visitors between 12 noon and 3PM. Come in and test your knowledge of some of the museum’s many local artifacts. See if you can identify the items on the “What is It?” table and other mystery items scattered throughout the displays. Try your hand at “Can You Find It?” Pick up a list of items and try to locate them in the museum. Come in and give it a try! Light refreshments available when you complete the task!
The Good Samaritan Shop donated a collection of local property maps from the 1970’s.These show most of the built-up sections of town at that time and clearly show all the streets, and the various house lots. These were thought to be a better fit for the museum than the than the downtown thrift shop.
Gaile Nicholson dropped off another box of items mostly related to GNP and later. Included were numerous booklets, pamphlets and the small novelties that the company used to give away. Anna Sears donated several photos of reunions of the class of 1937. It was her mother’s class. Mary Lou Monteith Libby sent the museum a nice old photo of the Millinocket Fire Department. It shows several of the firemen in uniform on and around the horse-drawn fire wagon in front of the Penobscot fire station. It is similar to other photos in the collection, but we did not have an original copy of this particular one. On the back are some names (don’t know how they match to the photo) and two or three names are missing. Libby also sent a photo of a priest. Written on the back was “Father Riley, first Catholic priest, 1901” and the names of a couple he married. We would like more information, as this is first hearing this name.
Recently, two volunteers from the Lincoln Historical Society visited. They were interested in learning more about the Past Perfect museum software we use for tracking the museum’s collection. This is used by many of the small museums in Maine as well as being suitable for the very large museums. One of its best features is that it is searchable by keywords and really helps locate an artifact. The only catch is, all the items need to be in the program’s database. At MHS, new items are added as they come in, however, the more difficult part is adding the several thousand older items that were in the collection prior to 2007 when the museum reopened.

*** A Little Taste of History, 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 – still available. Now only $5.00 (by mail add $4.00 SH).
***Orders 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.
*** 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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