Millinocket Historical Society

Preserving Millinocket’s heritage, one story at a time.

Month: December 2019

End of Year News!

Odds and Ends From The MUSEUM!
By Trudy Wyman, Curator, Millinocket Historical Society Museum

Happy New Year! Hope to see you at the Millinocket Historical Society museum during 2020! The museum is open all winter (excepting really stormy days) so drop in and check out the exhibits. We will be making a few changes, swapping out some of the photos and bringing out some of the interesting artifacts that have not been on display as yet.
We are getting closer to starting work again on the second floor display area. Grant funding was received earlier in 2019 for that, but have been met with some delays due to “red tape” approvals needed. Once work commences, grants will be sought for completing handicapped accessibility to the new display area and to finish exterior improvements (roof, siding, etc.). We are also happy to announce that we have been awarded a Gloria C. MacKenzie grant to update our museum computer and software (Past Perfect 5). The grant will also allow us to purchase a new scanner and photo printer.
We just received reprints (softcover) of the Dorothy Bowler Laverty book Millinocket, Magic City of Maine’s Wilderness. The museum has had copies of this book (the only history of the town written to date) for several years, but were nearly sold out. The reprints are great and are available at $25.00 each (plus $5.00 SH). Most local families had a copy of the original book, but through the years, the younger generations have come seeking a copy and newcomers to the area find the book is a great way to learn about their new community’s history thru the 1970’s. Anyone out there want to take on the writing of the sequel? The museum has a great many photographs that could be used.
Research questions continue to arise from visitors, via emails and letters. We are looking for information on the Rainbow Lake area and Rainbow Lake Camps through the years. The museum has some old brochures on the camps and have looked through reference books in the collection. Contact MHS if you can help!
An earlier column mentioned an inquiry about an early GNP fire (1901) and a fire at the GNP Engineer’s House. With information from the inquiry, three Maine Memory Network photos online and the help of one of our MHS members, a clearer picture has emerged. The Engineer’s House was on the mill site, and shows in many of the early photographs (from a different angle and appearing a bit different than in the Maine Memory Network photo). That building was the engineer’s workplace until some unknown date. At some point engineers were located at the old Oxford Street School (school closed 1943) and then moved to the new Engineering and Research Building which opened 1962.

In the Museum Store!
*** Preowned yearbooks – $10.00 each.
*** Matted photos, various prices – GNP mill, Little Italy, river drives, Mt. Katahdin.
*** 2020 Calendars – Beyond the Mill ($10)
*** DVD’s from both Little Italy Part 1 and Part 2 are available at the museum ($15 each) or mail order ($15 each).
***Books available: “Within Katahdin’s Realm, Log Drives and Sporting Camps” (Bill Geller) $30.00; “Logging Towboats & Boom Jumpers” (Moody) $18.00; “Tanglefoot,” (Edwards) $15.00; “Millinocket” (D. Duplisea) $20.00; “A Little Taste of History” cookbooks – $15.00; both Laverty books.
*** All items may be mailed – add $5 SH each item.
***Museum open Thurs., Fri., Sat. Noon – 3PM, weather permitting.
*** For information, groups or appointments, contact Curator Trudy Wyman, 723-5477 or trudy18@beeline-online.net or the Millinocket Historical Society, P. O. Box 11, on the web at www.millinockethistoricalsociety.org or on Facebook.

End of Year Items Donated

Odds and Ends From The MUSEUM!
By Trudy Wyman, Curator, Millinocket Historical Society Museum

With 2019 nearing its end, it’s time to catch up with all the end of year donations to the museum. Thank you to those who have donated directly to MHS or through the on-line fundraiser as part of the Marathon/Half weekend. And a huge thank you to the seventy people who brought in, had someone else bring in or mailed items for the museum’s collection. Several of those folks have donated multiple times!
Rodney Gagnon visited with a collection of news articles, programs, etc. from his Graham family relatives. He also donated a great 1920’s Boy Scout campaign hat plus photos of himself and several classmates who spent time in the military. The museum is always looking to add to the photo/info collection of local military men and women. A group of items donated by Marian and Al Fowler included photos of the construction of Granite Street School in the mid 1950’s. Another group of photos show various buildings around town that were taken as part of a school project for students in the gifted-talented program (grades 1-5). A third group of photos donated by the Fowlers shows third graders participating in the “Great Spring Clean-up” and fourth graders with tree seedlings. Senior photos from the 1940’s were given also.
Jean Plourde brought in a panoramic photo (framed) of local area men at Camp Edwards (1948). This National Guard camp in Massachusetts was a training area for National Guardsmen during WWI and after. Most of the men in the photo are named. Sandy Haynes stopped in with a box of news articles from the 1963 basketball team’s success, a number of 2003 local newspapers with articles about the mill and several issues of Snoops and Scoops.
Added to the Girl Scout collection are two dolls (Junior Girl Scout and Cadette Girl Scout) in proper uniforms donated by Beth Eyles. They are from the 1960’s. Nadine Webster added more Girl Scout badges plus a poster from SHS spring sports 1986 and one from the SHS Thespians production of Oliver, 1971. Dick Labby gave an article about the recovery of his truck from an unexpected dunk in a local lake a few years ago. He also identified many of the first graders in a photo on display!
To finish, the Dexter Historical Society mailed a nice photo of SHS and Bruce Leavitt uncovered items in the walls of his home. Included were a bottle cap from Boddy’s Dairy and one that says Jones Baby Milk from TB Tested Cows. Would this bottle cap be from Jones Dairy? Randa LaPlante Fitzgerald sent a box that included her dad’s Navy hat (to go with his uniform on display) and several more household items.
We appreciate all the things that are donated through the year! Keep them coming!!

In the Museum Store!
*** Preowned yearbooks – $10.00 each.
*** Matted photos, various prices – GNP mill, Little Italy, river drives, Mt. Katahdin.
*** 2020 Calendars – Beyond the Mill ($10)
*** DVD’s from both Little Italy Part 1 and Part 2 are available at the museum ($15 each) or mail order ($15 each).
***Books available: “Within Katahdin’s Realm, Log Drives and Sporting Camps” (Bill Geller) $30.00; “Logging Towboats & Boom Jumpers” (Moody) $18.00; “Tanglefoot,” (BW Edwards) $15.00; “Millinocket” (D. Duplisea) $20.00; “A Little Taste of History” cookbooks – $15.00.
*** All items may be mailed – add $5 SH each item.
*** For information, groups or appointments, contact Curator Trudy Wyman, 723-5477 or trudy18@beeline-online.net or the Millinocket Historical Society, P. O. Box 11, on the web at www.millinockethistoricalsociety.org or on Facebook.

Marathon, Donations & Christmas

Odds and Ends From The MUSEUM!
By Trudy Wyman, Curator, Millinocket Historical Society Museum

The Millinocket Marathon and Half weekend was a great success! The museum saw a good crowd of runners, family members and friends. Many were interested in learning about this unique town and how it magically sprouted up here in the wilderness of early 1900’s Maine. A group also stopped in Sunday morning after a short Sunday Fun Run that brought them past the museum. Some in this group were instrumental in getting the word out about the online fundraiser for the museum. Anyone interested in participating in the fundraiser may go to Facebook, The Millinocket Historical Society page and scroll down a ways to the Dec. 1 posting. Click on the photo of last year’s oversize check presentation and it will take you directly to the site where you may donate. Or you may donate directly to MHS at the address below. Thank you!
Some tidbits of Christmas season goings-on from the newspaper scrapbooks of Carl Hull, Millinocket librarian 1921-1928, a brief look into Christmas in the Katahdin area.
1. Congo Church sale to benefit bell fund;
2. Young people and elders making wreathes at the Baptist Church;
3. Small fire at Gonya Clothing Store where “a dainty little cottage with its tissue paper and cotton snow caught fire in some way and its beauty was destroyed in short order. The force of clerks extinguished the blaze without outside help.”
4. Sale at Friendly Hall (where??) with chance to buy wonderful Christmas gifts and no need to go home for supper as the ladies are serving many good things from beans to oysters;
5. “Do not forget the Junior Exhibition in the rush of Christmas. Admission only 35 cents, not 50 cents as ticket accidently states;”
6. The Sunday before Christmas found Millinocket in the “intense throes” of winter;
7. And among many other mentions, “This year for the first time, the Post Office windows will be closed on Christmas Day in common with all offices in U. S.”

In the Museum Store great gifts for Christmas!
*** Preowned yearbooks – $10.00 each.
*** Matted photos, various prices – GNP mill, Little Italy, river drives, Mt. Katahdin.
*** 2020 Calendars – Beyond the Mill ($10)
*** DVD’s from both Little Italy Part 1 and Part 2 are available at the museum ($15 each) or mail order ($15 each).
***Books available: “Within Katahdin’s Realm, Log Drives and Sporting Camps” (Bill Geller) $30.00; “Logging Towboats & Boom Jumpers” (Moody) $18.00; “Tanglefoot,” (BW Edwards) $15.00; “Millinocket” (D. Duplisea) $20.00; “A Little Taste of History” cookbooks – $15.00.
*** All items may be mailed – add $5 SH each item.
*** For information, groups or appointments, contact Curator Trudy Wyman, 723-5477 or trudy18@beeline-online.net or the Millinocket Historical Society, P. O. Box 11, on the web at www.millinockethistoricalsociety.org or on Facebook.

GNP Engineer’s House

Another search is on! Ever hear mention of the GNP Engineer’s House and a fire that possibly occurred there. Here’s what we know. A letter from Garret Schenck dated June 13th, 1901 was sent to Oscar Nickerson, Esq., Millinocket, Maine thanking him “for his promptness and willingness to act in an emergency and in successfully protecting the company’s property at a considerable risk to yourself.” A watch was sent to Nickerson as a thank you. Nickerson’s grandson Stan emailed a copy of the letter to the museum and asked if more information was available. Oscar, the company’s chief electrician (engineer), was injured in the event which is believed to have been a fire.
More recently, another communication from the Nickerson grandson, made mention of a fire at the company’s Engineer’s House and noted that three photos of this building are on the Maine Memory Network site. The building is shown near railroad tracks and there are power poles. However, as the Schenck letter to Nickerson is dated 1901 and the Engineer’s House fire occurred c1910, then the injury to Nickerson could not be from that fire. But as Nickerson was chief electrician (engineer), could the Engineer’s House contained his living quarters and/or work space? Any further information would be appreciated and shared with the Nickerson grandson.
Donations to be added to the collection continue to arrive at the museum. Nadine Webster brought in a 1920’s era “flapper” dress that belonged to her mother. A Girl Scout belt, three sad irons, a 1943 map of the Millinocket townsite and two mysterious black books were also give. The black books contain many names and addresses (many states, unknown purpose).
Peter Walsh brought in a framed photo of Albert Myshrall, Millinocket Fire Dept. Two 1905 maps from Stan Waterhouse appear at first glance to be identical, but he pointed out that one has both Millinocket and East Millinocket, but the other has only Millinocket. Both are dated 1905, so one must have been a second printing at a later date and therefore shows the new town of East Millinocket.
Scrapbooks were received from Linda Pangburn and Bill Campbell. The first contains photographs from the Thanksgiving dinners hosted by the Pangburn and Ellis IGA stores from 1994-2003. The second scrapbook was compiled by Helen (Farquahar) Campbell when she was a member of the Katahdin Rangers and it contains many news articles and other memorabilia of that drum corps travels and performances in the 1960’s. Also donated were recordings of the Katahdin Rangers and Girl Scout hat and sash. Phil and Peg Sturman gave a Reed’s Real Estate Agency sign that was placed in front of a house for sale. Bunny Pray donated a Millinocket phone book, 1984, that was a project of Boy Scout Troop #57.

In the Museum Store great gifts for Christmas!
*** Preowned yearbooks – $10.00 each.
*** Matted photos, various prices – GNP mill, Little Italy, river drives, Mt. Katahin.
*** 2020 Calendars – Beyond the Mill ($10)
*** DVD’s from both Little Italy Part 1 and Part 2 are available at the museum ($15 each) or mail order ($15 each).
***Books available: “Within Katahdin’s Realm, Log Drives and Sporting Camps” (Bill Geller) $30.00; “Logging Towboats & Boom Jumpers” (Moody) $18.00; “Tanglefoot,” (BW Edwards) $15.00; “Millinocket” (D. Duplisea) $20.00; “A Little Taste of History” cookbooks – $15.00.
*** All items may be mailed – add $5 SH each item.
*** For information, groups or appointments, contact Curator Trudy Wyman, 723-5477 or trudy18@beeline-online.net or the Millinocket Historical Society, P. O. Box 11, on the web at www.millinockethistoricalsociety.org or on Facebook.

1920 Northern Lights Yearbook

Northern Lights, the Stearns High School yearbook has been published since1924. Previously, Northern Lights was the annual publication of Millinocket High School. The museum has a 1912 issue plus originals from1920 to the present (missing a few of the latest).
A copy of the 1920 book was brought to the museum by Sandy Haynes. The book has a soft cover and is 6” x 9” and has no photographs. Only a few photos appear in the issues from the 1920’s. Senior photos didn’t show up in Northern Lights until 1930.
The first portion talks of “school spirit and class spirit, for these are lessons to learn even before your Mathematics and Latin.” It says, “One way to increase and strengthen our loyalty to M.H.S. is to learn the songs and then sing the songs written in her praise.” Other paragraphs mention school pride, library behavior and good manners “in the home, the school and elsewhere.”
A few pages of “Literary” follows and includes student written essays, poems and more. Special mention is made of the resignation of school janitor Mr. Galvin. George, as he was called by the children, had been janitor for many years and also a mentor in the school sports programs. The Senior class presented the three act comedy, The Dutch Detective,” at the Opera House and also traveled to Brownville Jct. High School for a presentation there. The high school also had a boys’ quartet and presented the operetta “Sylvia” in the spring.
Sports were deemed important and all students were encouraged to participate in baseball, basketball or football even though there was no hall in which to play basketball and no sports available for girls. The baseball team played twelve games against teams from Milo, Brownville Jct., Patten, Ricker, Island Falls and Houlton. (Note that semi-pro baseball teams were active at that time.) Fernald Hodgdon was elected cheerleader and “promises to have an effective bunch of noise-makers on the side lines at the opening game.” Although they had no hall for practice, they played away games at Patten, Sherman, Smyrna and against the U. of M. Rovers. Scores varied from MHS 6 –Patten 4 to a high of MHS 39 – Sherman Athletic Assoc. 43. The outlook for the football team was discouraging, but a five game schedule was arranged.
The advertisements provide a snapshot into 1920’s Millinocket. You could eat at William Hickel (candies, lunches, soft drinks) or purchase everything from groceries and dry goods to a bale of hay at J. F. Kimball Trading Post. If your home didn’t yet have electric lights, you could stop in at J. C. Smith Appliances & Supplies in the Bishop Block. Spring clothing was from N. Liss and Phil Connors Barber Shop had two chairs for a shave or haircut.

In the Museum Store great gifts for Christmas!
*** Preowned yearbooks – $10.00 each.
*** Matted photos, various prices.
*** 2020 Calendars – Beyond the Mill ($10)
*** DVD’s from both Little Italy Part 1 and Part 2 are available at the museum ($15 each) or mail order ($15 each).
***Books available: “Within Katahdin’s Realm, Log Drives and Sporting Camps” (Bill Geller) $30.00; “Logging Towboats & Boom Jumpers” (Moody) $18.00; “Tanglefoot,”(BW Edwards) $15.00; “Millinocket” D. Duplisea) $20.00; “A Little Taste of History” cookbooks – $15.00.
*** All items may be mailed – add $5 SH each item.
*** For information, groups or appointments, contact Curator Trudy Wyman, 723-5477 or trudy18@beeline-online.net or the Millinocket Historical Society, P. O. Box 11, on the web at www.millinockethistoricalsociety.org or on Facebook.

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