Millinocket Memorial Library story, part 2. “By 1926, Millinocket’s 25th birthday, the library had over 6000 volumes and a circulation of over 42,000 books. Information from early 1920’s town reports tell of the library’s importance to the community. The report for 1921 states, “The modern public library is not only a source for supplying light reading matter, a sufficient excuse for its existence, but a modern library is a place where information from the purely technical to the simplest may be obtained.”
As part of the town’s 50th anniversary activities (1951), a construction committee was formed to make plans for a new larger library. A plot of land opposite the Millinocket Trust Company on Penobscot Avenue was acquired from the Great Northern Paper Company. Each year, monies were voted at town meetings for the new library and committees were formed. (Note: the museum has a blueprint of the exterior of this proposed library). When the Great Northern Hotel was demolished, the town exchanged the Penobscot Avenue lot with GNP for the former hotel lot and new plans moved forward.
The new Millinocket Memorial Library was constructed at the intersection of Maine Avenue and Highland Avenue. Opening and dedication ceremonies were held on December 11, 1963 and the new library had space not only for books, but also reading rooms, a lower level children’s room, reference room, multi-use space as well as office and work space for staff. The cost was $160,000.
The Memorial Room honors those who fought and sacrificed in World War I and houses a good collection of WWI, WWII and Vietnam era volumes. The dedication plaque from the original library can be seen near the main entrance. It has the names of Murray Morgan, Harry Boynton, Donald Henry and Lawrence Bradley, local men who gave their lives in WWI.”
The original Memories of Maine article (Spring, 2016) told of the community groups that helped the library (Teacher’s Club, Literary Club, Art Society, Garden Club and others. An old town report stated the schools taught “the proper care and regard for a book, and a very noticeable improvement has been made as the results of the ‘Library Etiquette’ suggestions which have been posted in each school room.”
The Children’s Room has been the center for many activities throughout the years including book swaps, craft days and preschool story time. The summer reading club still continues and usually revolves around a theme.
We can’t forget the efforts of the Friends of the Millinocket Memorial Library and the volunteers who kept the doors open through difficult times. It has truly been a community effort!
The museum has the Gilbert desk and a wooden newspaper rack from the original library plus photos.
***Available at the museum store………
1. “Within Katahdin’s Realm, Log Drives and Sporting Camps” by Bill Geller – $30.00 ($5.00 each SH);
2. “Tales of Little Italy” DVD, $15.00 ($2.50 each SH)
3. Taste of History cookbooks – $15.00 ($5.00 each SH on mail orders);
4. “Spirits of Katahdin” DVD – $10.00 ($2.50 each SH);
5. 2019 MHS Calendars, “Sports for All Ages”- $10.00 ($5.00 each SH);
6. Engraved pavers, $100.00 each, contact MHS for details and form;
***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.