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 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.