The Crosby Steam Gauge and Valve Company was the maker of the piece of the small steam whistle mentioned in this column a few weeks ago. The same company was the maker of the original GNP steam whistle on display at the museum. The large GNP whistle was from the original steam plant and is remembered by countless museum visitors as the 5 o’clock signal to return home for supper. Recently, an MHS member provided additional information on this company. Crosby was born in Bangor, grew up in Albion and then went to work in New Brunswick at a company building engines and machinery. Then he moved to Boston and became an apprentice machinist at the Boston Locomotive Works and then foreman at a steam gauge company. In 1876, Crosby started the Crosby Steam Gauge and Valve Company. As an inventor, he held over thirty patents, mostly steam engine accessories. Upon his retirement to Albion, Crosby built a palatial mansion equipped with steam heat. This background information is from “Two Feet to Tidewater,” by Jones and Register. It is always good to have additional information on any artifact in the museum’s collection.
Another book(on loan to the museum), A Day’s Work, A Sampler of Historic Maine Photographs 1860-1920, tells the tale of an Italian immigrant who came to a Bangor employment agency and was offered work in a logging camp. He took the train to Norcross (in 1902) with no idea where he was going or what would be expected of him. Leaving the train at the station (a small shack with a wood sign signifying Norcross), the man boarded a small steamer. The man proved unsuccessful as a lumberman and after one winter “escaped” to Boston. The book details this man’s journey and tells that all turned out well for him. This story does not directly relate to Millinocket, it is possible the piece of the small steam whistle donated earlier may have been on the steamer that took this man across the lake from Norcross. The man’s name was Constantine Panunzio. A copy of this story will be added to the museum’s logging collection and the Little Italy collection as side stories.
At the start of each year, a new US map is placed on the table near the museum’s entrance. It is used to note where our visitors are from. In 2018, visitors from thirty-six states plus Washington, D.C. Foreign countries were also represented with visitors from Japan, Germany, Mexico, Taiwan, Wales, Italy, England and Canada. Where will 2019 take us?
***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. “A Little 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;
*** Museum open Thursday, Friday, Saturday, noon – 3PM weather permitting.
***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.