A mystery solved! The location of the flags raised at sunrise atop Mt. Katahdin to mark the occasions of Alaska and Hawaii becoming states has been discovered. They are in the Memorial Room at the Millinocket Memorial Library. As we know, Mt. Katahdin is the first location in the U.S. to receive the sun’s rays and as such, an appropriate spot to be the first locations for the new 49 and 50 star flags to see the light of day on July 4,1959 (for Alaska’s new statehood) and on July 4th, 1960 (for Hawaii’s statehood).
Last year, the museum received a photograph of the new 49 star flag raising in 1959. Present on the mountain were members of American Legion Post and Boy Scout Troop 58. Shown with the flag are Alfred Jenkins, Everett Barnes, Scoutmaster Herbert Tucker, Frank Perry and Dana Burleigh (holding a small Alaska flag). Boy Scouts shown are Wayne Kidney, Bob Ellis, and John Barker.
Recently a donation of several items was made to the museum by Janice (McCauslin) Watson. Among the donations was a card with words spoken by John McCauslin as he presented two flags to the local library. Actual date of the donation is unknown. The card says, in part, “At this time I would like to present to the Millinocket Memorial Library the first 50 star United States flag to greet the sunrise July 4th,1960 at monument peak Mt. Katahdin. I would also like to present the official state of Hawaii flag which was given to Francis E. Elliot Post by Gov. Wm. F. Quinn of Hawaii, which also took part in the flag raising ceremony. The Francis E. Elliott Post would be honored to have these placed in the Memorial Room of this Library.”
I checked at the library, and yes, all three of these flags can be found in the Memorial Room high atop the shelves housing many of the library’s collection of military related books. Each flag is in an appropriate flag case and there is a label on each container. If anyone has photos from either of these occasions, the museum would be pleased to have copies or scans.
Copies of Within Katahdin’s Realm, Log Drives and Sporting Camps by Bill Geller is available at the museum. Cost is $30.00 and if mailed, shipping charges will be added. The new 2019 “Sports for All Ages” themed calendars are available at the museum, Save-a-Lot, Steel Magnolias and Katahdin General Store, $10.00 each (by mail add $4.00 SH).
***Books by local authors (gently used) plus other items of interest. 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 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.