Early Millinocket businesses included those that provided millinery, confectionery items, furnishings and clothing. Last week this column told about Rosalie Rush Ryan, local milliner (lady’s hat designer and maker). A confectionery was a store or small shop that sold candy and other sweets that might include cakes and more. The maker of these candies and sweets was called a confectioner. If a store sold clothing particularly for men and boys, the owner was called a clothier. A furniture seller who also provided other household decorative items such as curtains and carpets was said to sell furnishings. Businesses from early years advertised in newspapers, yearbooks and other ways.
The 1928 Stearns HS yearbook includes the following ads. A fruit and confectionery store was run by R.V. Fowler who also sold ice cream. Mrs. J. Simon offered a “quick lunch and confectionery.” Hobb’s advertised a candy kitchen.
Listed as a clothier was H.A.M. Rush. His message to young male students and graduates was “get the fine appearance habit. It will be one of your greatest assets in years to come.” His brother Eugene Rush had a women’s and children’s store next door. His ad does not use the word “clothier” rather it says “ladies’ and children’s furnishings.” Moran’s was a well-known store for men’s wear including the popular 1920’s straw hats for men. Harry Carroll’s business, Carroll the Tailor, could alter, mend and otherwise repair men’s clothing. He also did cleaning and pressing.
Fuller Furniture Company could supply the home owner with many of the needed home furnishings and also sold refrigerators, paint, varnishes and wall papers. They also gave out green stamps. Another milliner in addition to Mrs. Ryan was Blanche Stevens who had a Hat and Art Novelty Shop. She advertised “millinery and fancy work, Butterick patterns and Belding Dress Silks (silks referred to silk sewing threads).
Other local businesses long gone from Penobscot Avenue that have ads in this yearbook are: The S.& S. Bowlerdrome, Mabel Hardy’s gift and baby shop, S.J. Hikel’s pool room and barber shop, Millinocket Bottling Company and Bouchard’s Shoe Hospital. There are many more and all have an interesting history. Help the museum create a file on these businesses and others through the years by providing information and/or photos, items and signs related to these businesses and their owners.
The museum is sending out its annual fundraising letters. If you did not yet receive a letter and wish to donate to help preserve Millinocket’s history and aid in the completion of the 2nd floor display space, see contact information below. Thank you!

***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;
…and more.
*** Museum open Thursday, Friday, Saturday, noon – 3PM weather permitting.
***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.