The Tales of Little Italy event was a great success and there is talk already about another event next year! Mention has been made of attempting to involve not just descendants of Millinocket’s early Italian population but those of other ethnicities as well. A walk through the Millinocket cemetery reveals names from many parts of the world. At the time of the Bicentennial in 1976, Dorothy Bowler Laverty and others visited the local schools as part of the celebration and shared stories of early Millinocket. Mrs. Laverty and fifth graders and their teachers at Granite Street School visited the cemetery where she walked us through the oldest sections telling us stories as we passed certain gravestone. Then she walked down along several sections where the immigrant names were prominent. And again, she had stories about many of them.
In the Laverty book, she lists the country of origin of some of these early residents. Mentioned are the French-Canadians from Quebec and the St. John River Valley. Many English, Scotch, Irish and Welsh came from Maritime Canada thanks to the Canadian Pacific Railroad that came through Maine. Eastern Europeans, “a strong and hardy lot” did construction. From Greece, Albania, Syria and Lebanon came several to open stores and become merchants as did some Jewish families. Some of these already had businesses in Bangor or knew tradesmen there. Some Swedes and Finns came here from the Kennebec area. Somehow the news that a great new mill was being constructed here spread to the far corners of the globe. There were also one or two Chinese laundrymen and at least one Spaniard (we learned about him this summer when his great-grandchildren visited the museum).
We encourage you to contact the museum if the idea of a multi-cultural Tales of Early Millinocket would be of interest next summer!
Currently the museum has Little Italy photos and other memorabilia on display as well as an expanded Boy and Girl Scout display. Thanks to Dianne Tinkham Bilodeau for donating Girl Scout and Brownie items! Copies of the group photo from the Tales of Little Italy, Part 2 is available at the museum.
*** New 2020 calendars available! The theme “Beyond the Mill” was chosen to highlight the wide reach of the Great Northern Paper Company. At the museum, Gracie’s Aunt’s Emporium, Steel Magnolias, and Katahdin True Value. $10.00 each, by mail add $5.00 SH.
*** At the Museum Store:
1. “Within Katahdin’s Realm, Log Drives and Sporting Camps” by Bill Geller – $30.00 ($5.00 each SH);
2. “Logging Towboats & Boom Jumpers” by Roger Moody – $18.00 ($5 SH);
3. “Tanglefoot,” historical novel set 1920’s Chesuncook Village by BW Edwards – $15.00 ($5 SH);
4. Millinocket by David Duplisea – $20.00 ($5.00 SH);
5. “Tales of Little Italy, Part 1,” DVD, $15.00 ($4.00 each SH);
6. “A Little Taste of History” cookbooks – $15.00 ($5.00 each SH on mail orders);
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 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.