“We have a story to tell you!” Those words were spoken by a young man as he entered the museum a few days ago. He went on to tell the tale of a man who came to Millinocket in 1902 to work in the mill. The story teller, Maximo Plo Seco and his sister Isabel had driven to Millinocket from Massachusetts to learn more about Angel Corral Seco, their great-grandfather. Note that Maximo and Isabel (both in their twenties) live in northern Spain. Maximo spent this last school year at Harvard completing a master’s degree and Isabel came over to his graduation. They have been traveling around New England and drove to Millinocket before returning home.
They knew that Angel Seco traveled alone by boat to America in 1902. Angel’s boat arrived at Ellis Island, NY where some of his boat mates (a group of Italians) convinced him to travel with them to Millinocket, Maine where they were going to work in the new mill. Angel agreed. It is known he arrived here and that he was here in the area until sometime after 1910. It is also known that Angel returned to Spain briefly, married and then returned to this area late in 1912. His wife refused to come to America, so Angel returned with his brother Tomas. Supposedly, they were on a boat on the Atlantic Ocean when the Titanic sank.
Maximo and Isabel’s and those of us at the museum spent the next two hours trying to find out about Angel and Tomas time here, but the museum’s resources from this time period are limited. The family believed Angel was in the fire brigade at GNP. They shared a photo of Angel Seco, and a photo of Angel Seco’s union badge/ribbon. A clue!! I brought out the September, 1908 booklet from Millinocket’s C.L.U. Labor Day Celebration which lists GNP union members. Although, Seco’s name isn’t listed, a page on local union #69, International Brotherhood of Stationary Firemen matches information on the badge the family has. And we clarified, fireman, in this case meant stocking the mill’s fires, not putting out fires! A picture in the Labor Day booklet was shared with our visitors.
With assistance from Leola (museum volunteer) info from the 1910 US census on line revealed Angel Seco at that time resided in a boarding house owned by W. Scott & Margaret Ham on Main St. in East Millinocket. Maximo and Isabel left to return home to Spain pleased with their new information and promised to let us know if they found more. Anyone know of others from Spain who came here??
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. Booklet -1903 Report on Millinocket & mill – interesting statistics – $7.00 at museum;
3. Millinocket by David Duplisea – $20.00 ($5.00 SH);
4. “Tales of Little Italy” DVD, $15.00 ($2.50 each SH);
5. “A Little Taste of History” cookbooks – $15.00 ($5.00 each SH on mail orders);
6. “Spirits of Katahdin” DVD – $10.00 ($2.50 each SH);
7. Engraved pavers, $100.00 each, contact MHS for details and form.
*** Museum open Thursday, Friday, Saturday, noon – 3PM.
***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.