Millinocket Historical Society

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

Month: June 2018

Beans and Book

Museum holiday hours from Thursday, June 28 everyday through Saturday, July 7 will be 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM. On Wednesday, July 4, times will be 10:00 AM to 4 PM.
Queries come to the museum by email or telephone and usually it is someone wishing to learn more about a person, family history, home or business. The topics vary, but a recent phone query was a bit unusual. A lady is attempting to track down some heirloom bean seeds. Yes, bean seeds! This is her story. Members of her family lived in Millinocket in the 1920’s-1930’s. Somehow they had obtained seeds for green pole beans that grew long, flat, wide green beans. She mentioned that there was an old story associated with the beans, something about an old hunter shooting a duck and the duck had beans inside. Perhaps this was where the family first obtained the bean seeds. She went on to say that her family had grown these beans and saved seeds from them for many years, until a few years ago the saved seeds did not germinate. She hopes someone in the Millinocket area may have information/seeds from this line of pole beans. The final bit to this story….the lady’s last name is Bean!!
Bill Geller’s book, Within Katahdin’s Realm, Log Drives and Sporting Camps, has been well-received. During his time in Millinocket (first week of June), he presented copies of the book to a number of people who provided him with information and research for the book. In addition, he kindly donated ten copies to the museum. Those copies were all purchased within a few days. Because of the interest, Geller has placed an order for a reprint and the museum will be the location for the sale and distribution of these books. Geller’s original intent was not to be a “seller of books,” as the project was a personal endeavor. The museum is currently taking names and contact information for those who would like to purchase a book. Cost is $30.00 and if mailed, shipping charges will be added. Stop in at the museum or contact me (see phone, email below) to be added to the list. There is a copy of the book at the museum so you can see what it is.
The new 2019 “Sports for All Ages” themed calendars are available for purchase at the museum, at Save-a-Lot, Steel Magnolias and Katahdin General Store, $10.00 each (by mail add $4.00 SH).

*** Stop by the museum for calendars, books by local authors (some are gently used) plus other items of interest. We have several sets of GNP/Bowater drinking glasses donated to use as a fundraiser. Sets of four in original boxes sell for $10.00 (if mailed, SH to be added). Some matted 8” x 10” and 5” x 7” photos for sale.
*** A Little Taste of History, recipes from Millinocket pioneer families and their descendants. 200 pages. Each cookbook is $15.00 (mail orders $5.00 SH each). At the museum, Memories of Maine Gallery, Steel Magnolias, Katahdin General, Gracie’s Aunt’s Emporium & by mail.
*** Engraved pavers are $100.00 each. Up to 3 lines, 15 letters, symbols, spaces max per line. Contact museum for form or more details.
***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.

2019 Calendars are available!

“Sports for All Ages” is the first themed calendar from the Millinocket Historical Society! Available now, this calendar contains vintage photos from the museum’s collection with photos dating from the early 1900’s through the 70’s and eighties plus tidbits of trivia scattered throughout the pages. Basketball photos fill several of the pages as that was the major sport in town for many years. Also included are football, baseball, bowling, golf and local soap box derby entrants.

The calendar can be found at the museum (Thursday, Friday, Saturday Noon-3PM), at Save-a-Lot, Steel Magnolias and Katahdin General Store. Cost is $10.00 (mail orders add $4.00 SH). Send mail orders to Millinocket Historical Society, PO Box 11, Millinocket, ME 04462. Checks made out to Millinocket Historical Society.

Author Visit & Additions

The first week in June, the museum hosted a visit by Bill Geller, author of Within Katahdin’s Realm, Log Drives and Sporting Camps. This book, the result of years of research and interviews, was introduced at the museum to those whose help made the book possible. A number of those involved in the project met with the author and received a copy of the book. Mr. Geller followed his two day visit to the museum with a presentation at the Millinocket Memorial Library. At this time, this book is not available to the public, but some copies expect be made available in the near future. Contact the museum regarding a waiting list.
New items in the museum’s collection include a small antique Victorian chair and doll given by an anonymous donor. Phil Sturman sent in a brass GNP paperweight in the shape of Maine and Bob Weisskerchen donated a GNP and a Great Northern Nekoosa stock certificate. One is dated 1966 and one 1971. Each is for 100 shares.
The museum’s genealogy section is growing by leaps and bounds. Sally and David Field brought in photos and information on Olaf and Annie (Anderson) Sandstrom, early Millinocket residents. Olaf died tragically in a mill accident in 1912. Due to the isolation of Millinocket, he had to wait several hours until the next train could transport him to Bangor where he died from his injuries. His obituary describes the funeral as “the largest ever seen in Millinocket.” A quartet composed of Mrs. Hinton, Mrs. Stearns, Judge Stearns and Dr. MacKay sang two selections. Many Masons were present and they “marched from the Masonic Hall to the residence, then to the church (Congregational), then to the cemetery, and back to the hall.” Mr. Sandstrom and some other family members are buried locally. Mrs. Sandstrom’s burial place is unknown. The museum continues to receive queries about genealogy.
Also added to the genealogy collection by Judy Donley Page are old photos from the Donley and Bishop families.
The new 2019 “Sports for All Ages” themed calendars are available for purchase at the museum, at Save-a-Lot, Steel Magnolias and Katahdin General Store, $10.00 each (by mail add $4.00 SH).

*** Stop by the museum store for calendars, books by local authors (some are gently used) plus other items of interest. We have several sets of GNP/Bowater drinking glasses donated to use as a fundraiser. Sets of four in original boxes sell for $10.00 (if mailed, SH to be added). Some 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.

2019 Calendar is Here!

It’s here! The new 2019 Millinocket Historical Society calendar is now available and for the first time in twelve years, it has a theme, Sports for All Ages! All the photos and trivia are related to local sports, the earliest being 1909. The cover is a collage of several of the museum’s sports artifacts including a bronzed 1963 New England champ’s sneaker, an antique golf club and more.
To no one’s surprise, basketball is featured on many of the pages. One page is dedicated to SHS Coach Jimmy Stevens and shows two of his 1930’s teams (girls’ basketball, 1936-37 and boys’ basketball 1933-34). As mentioned in an earlier column, Stevens (who preceded George Wentworth as coach) is thought to have first used the term Minutemen for the SHS teams. St. Martin’s varsity and JV basketball teams from the 1950’s appear in the calendar as well as a group of St. Martin’s cheerleaders. A photo from a collage on display at the museum shows the Emerson Pills semi-pro team of 1940-42 along with tickets showing they played the Globetrotters and Boston Goodwins (later Celtics) at the SHS gym.
As the calendar enters the summer months, warm weather sports are featured. Young golfers (dates unknown) are shown on the May page. It is not known if these are from a school or recreation department activity. Three baseball teams come next. The 1909 Millinocket Baseball Club was coached by Dr. Cody, an early town physician. This page also has photos of the 1935 SHS team and a 1954 Pony League team. Four winners from Millinocket of the NE division of the Chevrolet Soap Box Derby are on the July page followed by a GNP machinists bowling team.
The fall and winter pages show a 1920’s SHS football team, another boys’ basketball team (1940’s) and a 1920’s SHS girls’ basketball team. Check out those uniforms! The December page has two photos of more recent vintage, the SHS cheerleaders from the mid-seventies and the early eighties.
These new calendars are available for purchase at the museum, at Save-a-Lot, Steel Magnolias and Katahdin General Store. The cost is $10.00 (by mail add $4.00 SH).

*** Stop by the museum store for calendars, books by local authors (some are gently used) plus other items of interest. We have several sets of GNP/Bowater drinking glasses donated to use as a fundraiser. Sets of four in original boxes sell for $10.00 (if mailed, SH to be added). Some 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.

The Boarding Houses Near the Mill

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By June of 1900, Millinocket (not as yet incorporated as a town), had about 100 homes. These were said to be “solid, substantial structures” that gave “an air of prosperity to the settlement.” However, since the mill construction began, living quarters for workers were in short supply. Boarding houses and hotels appeared along Katahdin Avenue and on the mill end of Penobscot Avenue. In 1899, Shine and Curran of Bangor built the Mountain View House (today, location of phone company building).In 1900, the Little Northern was built by Barney Kelley on Katahdin Avenue. It was destroyed by fire on July 4, 1901. The company erected the massive 52 room Great Northern Hotel in the center of town. J. P. Randall was the first proprietor. Other boarding houses on Katahdin Avenue were the Windsor, the Eureka (also known as the Katahdin House) and the Brunswick House. The Mountain View and the Windsor also had fires.
On Penobscot Avenue, across from the present park, were several more boarding houses with the site selected because of easy walking distance to the mill. Levasseur’s Boarding House was run by members of the Levasseur family until a few years ago when it was sold and new owners transformed it into the AT Lodge. Bossie’s Boarding House was in business until 1969. Mrs. Isabelle Atherton rented rooms and packed lunches for mill workers from her home across from the park. A Mr. and Mrs. John Sandstrom had a boarding house in this same area according to information accompanying an old photo printed in the Millinocket Journal, 1940’s. Other accommodations were provided by families named Moore, Hanley, Abbott, The Club House and the Riverside. No information available on the latter group.
Most of the above information is from Judge George Stearns address on the occasion of Millinocket’s 25th birthday, the Dorothy Laverty book Millinocket, Magic City of Maine’s Wilderness and from a copy of the Bangor Daily News, 6/2/1900.
The museum would like to collect photos, information and stories related to any of these establishments. Anything you are willing to share would be appreciated.

*** 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.

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