Millinocket Historical Society

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

Month: August 2018

Tales from Little Italy, Upcoming Program

Stories by descendants of Little Italy is the planned topic for the afternoon of Sept. 20 at the museum. Between 1PM and 3PM several local residents will talk about the history and people, their traditions, food and many other interesting tales of this historic area of Millinocket. More later! Please plan to join us at the museum that day!
Remember the days in the 1950’s and beyond when there were planned and supervised activities at all the local playgrounds? The recreation department was responsible for these activities. The museum received three sturdy checkerboards (no checkers) that were used by children at the Little Italy Playground and perhaps at others. They were brought in by Kendra Pelkey.
Bruce Haines donated a copy of a 1939 Bangor Daily News with the front page story on Donn Fendler, still lost in the Mt. Katahdin area. The museum does not have any local papers with the Fendler story. Peter Fitzpatrick sent in two photos of the Katahdin Rangers, one showing the group on the steps of the original Stearns High School. This Drum and Bugle Corps had many members during its tenure and many museum visitors relive memories as they look at KR uniform on the mannequin at the museum.
Margot McDonald donated a photo of a large group of Boy Scouts, c1950’s. Close ups of sections of this photo may be viewed on the museum’s Facbook page. We are trying to pinpoint the year and identify all the young scouts. Thank you to all who have responded on Facebook.
A visitor from Pennsylvania (Liliane St. Peter Wasmund amd husband) here for her 50th SHS reunion, came with a collection of items to donate. Among them were her parents HS diplomas (large, framed) and her dad’s Millinocket Grammar School diploma (Phillip St. Peter). This is only the second grammar school diploma in the museum’s collection. Also donated were a 1957 zoning map of Millinocket and two vintage post cards (Togue Pond Camps and a team of horses pulling several long logs.
This summer has been our busiest at the museum…stop by, you never know who or what you might see there!

***Now available, copies of Greg Westrich’s guidebook, Hiking in Baxter State Park ($20.00 at the museum). It describes numerous park trails.

***Copies of Within Katahdin’s Realm, Log Drives and Sporting Camps by Bill Geller is available at the museum. Cost is $30.00. By mail add $5 SH. The new 2019 “Sports for All Ages” themed calendars are available at the museum, Save-a-Lot, Steel Magnolias, Katahdin General Store, Trailside Country Store and Spoiled Hair Salon, $10.00 each (by mail add $4.00 SH).

***Books by local authors, sets of GNP/Bowater drinking glasses & some matted 8” x 10” and 5” x 7” photos for sale. We have SHS and St. Martin’s yearbooks for sale ($10.00 each).
*** A Little Taste of History, recipes from Millinocket pioneer families and their descendants. 200 pages. $15.00 (mail orders $5.00 SH each). At the museum, Memories of Maine Gallery, Steel Magnolias, Katahdin General, Gracie’s Aunt’s Emporium, Trailside Country Store & 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.

Company E and Company I

Company E and Company I were National Guard groups once located in Millinocket, Maine. The museum’s copy of National Guard, State of Maine (1939) states that in 1916 an act of Congress allowed for the raising of a regiment of field artillery. It would have three battalions with two batteries each, the closest being headquartered in Bangor. By 1918, permission was granted by the War Department for an infantry regiment to be formed for the protection of the state of Maine. To be known as the 103rd Infantry, twelve new companies were formed. One was Company E in Millinocket.
The Union Chapel had been erected (c1899) near the corner of Cherry Street and Katahdin Avenue to provide a place for religious services and meetings. As denominational churches were constructed, the Union Chapel was then moved to Central Street behind the Bishop Block (currently K &M Motors). This became the Millinocket Armory and was also used for meetings, dances and other events.
Millinocket’s Company E became official 8/31/1918 with Wm. Glenn as Captain. Other officers were 1st Lt. H.B. McMillian and 2nd Lt. Lawrence Gregson. When Gregson was called into Federal service, Burdette D. Miller succeeded him. Recently, this column told of a visit to the museum by B.D. Miller’s son Frank and grand-daughter June. They donated a photo of three men in uniform, one being B.D. Miller. According to Frank Miller, B.D. Miller was instrumental in getting the National Guard company here. Also donated was a copy of the Maine National Guard certificate naming Miller 2nd Lt. Two photos at the museum show Company E at Camp Keyes, Augusta in 1919 and at Fort Devens in 1920. The book mentions that “a beautiful monumental stone” was erected by the company in 1934 in memory of its first commander Capt. Wm. E. Glenn. Does it still exist?
Millinocket’s Company E was re-designated Company I in 1921 as Third Maine Infantry and in 1922 it was changed to 103rd Infantry. Company I would go on to serve well for many years including participation in WWII. The “new” armory was constructed on Spring Street in 1939.

***Just received for sale, five copies of Greg Westrich’s guidebook, Hiking in Baxter State Park ($20.00 at the museum). It describes numerous park trails.

***Copies of Within Katahdin’s Realm, Log Drives and Sporting Camps by Bill Geller is available at the museum. Cost is $30.00. By mail add $5 SH. The new 2019 “Sports for All Ages” themed calendars are available at the museum, Save-a-Lot, Steel Magnolias, Katahdin General Store and Trailside Country Store, $10.00 each (by mail add $4.00 SH).

***Books by local authors, sets of GNP/Bowater drinking glasses & 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. $15.00 (mail orders $5.00 SH each). At the museum, Memories of Maine Gallery, Steel Magnolias, Katahdin General, Gracie’s Aunt’s Emporium, Trailside Country Store & 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.

Genealogy and More

A rare rainy day lately brought several AT hikers, campers or family members of hikers to the museum. They shared stories of their experiences and appeared eager to learn of the area and the history of this town at the end of the AT.
At some point, the museum will curate an exhibit relating to the topic of medicine. The museum has numerous vintage (and scary) medical instruments from local doctors and dentists. We have Dr. Ryan’s medical bag (1st doctor) and signs from Millinocket General Hospital and Dr. Morey’s practice. We even have a hand-made model of the Millinocket Community Hospital (it’s currently in storage). A recent addition is a tiny t-shirt that a newborn baby wore home from the hospital. It was donated by Margie King along with a copy of a history of the hospital auxiliary. Also in the donation from Margie were several copies of the Granite Street School newspaper, The Echoes.
Robin Burgess brought in an office chair that originally resided at the Great Northern Hotel probably in the 1940’s. It has a very sturdy metal base with brass trim. It was possibly used by one of the managers of the hotel or perhaps by guests seated at a writing desk.
The museum’s genealogy section continues to expand as more family tree information and photos are added. Frank Miller and daughter June Miller Ouellette made their annual visit to the museum and contributed several Miller family photos. Burdette Miller and wife Emma were owners of The Millinocket Times over 100 years ago. The museum has two copies of this newspaper, both dated 1917. Burdette Miller sold this newspaper in that year with expectations of enlisting in the military when the U.S. entered WWI. However, he was turned down as he had too many children. Frank Miller was one of these children. He does not recall who purchased the newspaper and the museum has been unable to determine if there was a local newspaper after 1917. The next paper at the museum is dated 1939.
Other photos added to genealogy are from Sandra Lyons (photos of Archibald Lyons) and from Linda (York) Hardy. The Lyons photo is in a National Geographic magazine and shows him poling wood into a mill debarker. The Hardy photos are of Russell York (WWII and Air Force Reserve).

Just received for sale, five copies of Greg Westrich’s guidebook, Hiking in Baxter State Park ($20.00 at the museum). It describes numerous park trails.

Copies of Within Katahdin’s Realm, Log Drives and Sporting Camps by Bill Geller available at the museum. Cost is $30.00. By mail add $5 SH. The new 2019 “Sports for All Ages” themed calendars are available at the museum, Save-a-Lot, Steel Magnolias, Katahdin General Store and Trailside Country Store, $10.00 each (by mail add $4.00 SH).

***Books by local authors, sets of GNP/Bowater drinking glasses & 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. $15.00 (mail orders $5.00 SH each). At the museum, Memories of Maine Gallery, Steel Magnolias, Katahdin General, Gracie’s Aunt’s Emporium, Trailside Country Store & 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.

Tree Cookie and More!

New treasures have been arriving at the museum all summer! It’s hard to keep up with them, so here’s more of what arrived recently. Another small piece of the former “Palace in the Woods” (otherwise known as the Great Northern Hotel) now resides at the museum. A small round container (is it for sugar or something else?) that matches a creamer and oval plate that has been in the collection for years. All three items have the same blue pattern on white. This was donated by Janice McCauslin Watson. We appreciate having this item as such things from the interior of the hotel are difficult to find. The museum has many photos of the outside of this structure (torn down in the early 1960’s). Does anyone have photos of the hotel’s interior?
Watson donated a photo of her dad, John McCauslin, in uniform for the museum’s military display. Along with the photo are a uniform hat, a helmet and a roll-up canvas toiletry kit that still has original items in it. These are all WWII era as is a German helmet. A SHS jacket, a program from the town’s 50th birthday and SHS class of 1943 senior photos and reunion photos were donated.
Some young museum visitors know what a “tree cookie” is. It’s a section or slice of a tree cut so that the rings show. An interesting one was donated by John York. It was found in the water at Dolby and it has a log stamp on it. It is stamped LAD. The mark is faint and worn, but still legible in the right light. It is on display in the logging room. In the early days of the log drives, the end of each log needed a mark to identify it so that the company or logger would get paid at the end of the drive. Many different log stamps had to be noted and tallied in a ledger at the end of each day. Very early on, the marks were made with an ax and they could be quite intricate. Later, as in the one with LAD, a tool was used. Several can be seen at the museum as can an early ledger noting the log stamps on all wood passing through Stone Dam around 1904-05. As many as twenty stamps a day are tallied.
Dana W. Brown, 95, donor of the museum’s Native American collection and many of the logging era tools passed away recently. When able, he enjoyed visiting the museum and talking about the river drives and telling us about how he acquired the items.
Copies of Within Katahdin’s Realm, Log Drives and Sporting Camps by Bill Geller available at the museum. Cost is $30.00. By mail add $5 SH. The new 2019 “Sports for All Ages” themed calendars are available at the museum, Save-a-Lot, Steel Magnolias, Katahdin General Store and Trailside Country Store, $10.00 each (by mail add $4.00 SH).

***Books by local authors, sets of GNP/Bowater drinking glasses & 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. $15.00 (mail orders $5.00 SH each). At the museum, Memories of Maine Gallery, Steel Magnolias, Katahdin General, Gracie’s Aunt’s Emporium, Trailside Country Store & 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.

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