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 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.