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

Month: January 2020

2020 New Items

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

A new year! New items being added to the collection! As we have done each year, a complete set of The Lincoln News, Katahdin Region News has been added. Carol Page gave a garment bag that once held a purchase from Peter’s Family Fashions, a clothing store on Penobscot Avenue. Advertisements of all kinds from long gone businesses are always welcome. Ed Hamm stopped in with a photo of the 1971 Millinocket Recreation Department All-star basketball team of which he was a player. He also gave a Stearns & Schenck basketball schedule (1967-68). Also of interest is a booklet for 25 cent U.S. Defense stamps from the WWII era. A person could purchase the stamps (they were available in different denominations) and when the booklet was full, the person could purchase a U.S. Savings Bond. Hamm said the booklet survived a fire.
Every once in a while a box arrives from Randa LaPlante Fiztgerald in Alabama. The latest contained a metal blueberry rake, two sad irons and two child size shoe lasts. Part of the vision for when the second floor becomes available is to have an area on one floor dedicated to some of the many businesses that have been in town. The Millinocket Shoe Hospital is one business that we have a couple of larger pieces from. Also many individuals had shoe lasts for the making/repair of their own family footwear and several people have donated lasts and stands.
Randa’s box had a book, The Big Little World of Doc Pritham by Dorothy Clarke Wilson. This has been added to the museum’s Maine collection. Doc Pritham of Greenville often traveled by early snow sled across frozen Moosehead and other lakes to treat men from the logging camps in the GNP area.
Do you remember the record players that played 78 rpm records? If you wished to play a 45 rpm record in the 50’s or 60’s, they had a big hole in the middle and in order for them to fit on the spindle, they needed an adapter. Some record players had one that stayed on the spindle and you raised it out of the way for a 78 and lowered it for a 45. There were also colorful plastic adapters that one could insert for the 45’s. Randa sent a bagful of metal adapters made by the Webster-Chicago Corporation. One of these could be inserted and left in the record. Now we need one of the small portable record players that used these.

In the Museum Store!
*** Preowned yearbooks – $10.00 each.
*** Matted photos, various prices – GNP mill, Little Italy, river drives, Mt. Katahdin.
*** 2020 Calendars, a few left – 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.

Cemetery Questions

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

Questions keep arising regarding the Millinocket Cemetery and in the past I have researched and written about a few early burials in what would become the park. Recently, there have been some Facebook posts about the cemetery, and museum volunteers have been trying to uncover more information.
Plans for a cemetery in its current location were made early in Millinocket’s development. The museum has two maps showing how the basic blocks and plots would be arranged. They are labeled A-152 and A-550. The first is dated 12/31/1900 and the second 5/11/1912. At least one was drawn by Hardy Ferguson, chief consulting engineer for GNP. His name is on a great many of the early GNP maps.
A Facebook post indicates the existence of map B-4727 dated 1933 Plan of Lots Catholic Cemetery Deed plus three others. The B-4727 shows possible changes through 1958 and was done by GNP Engineering Dept. None of the above mentioned maps indicate any burials.
Another question through Facebook asks about the ownership of the land that would become the cemetery. The person asking states the belief his great-grandfather Boota (later Boutaugh) lived on East Avenue and buried his first wife and child (both died during childbirth) in the field nearby in 1901. There is a gravestone there for them.
Did Boota own the land and donate it for the cemetery as family lore suggests? Did the company own the land and donate it for the town cemetery? Are there records that show who did own this piece of land? If anyone has information on this, please contact the museum. We have also heard other names mentioned as having farmland there. The museum has one small photo showing several cows on the land that would become the nearby airport.
The early town reports have been checked with little resulting information. The museum only has a cover for the 1901 report. The 1902 report in the collection may only be a partial. In those pages, there are two items under the Poor Account where the sums of $28.25 and $27.40 were paid out for the burial of two men. Their names are included as in those early days all monies paid out for food, medical assistance to the poor, etc. were listed. For example, George Stearns was paid $10.70 for taking one of the men who died to Oldtown hospital. The town also paid for the man’s hospital stay, for Dr. C.S. Byant’s “attendance” and a Mr. Leeman for the man’s care.
Stop in at the museum with any information you may have on the cemetery!

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.

Stats, 2019 plus Schenck Plaque

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

On Jan. 6, 1928 a bronze memorial plaque on the front of the GNP administration was unveiled in honor of Garrett Schenck. The unveiling took place on the day of his funeral in Weston, Massachusetts. The plaque reads “To Garett Schenck, Founder and for Thirty Years President of the Great Northern Paper Company. He Planned and Constructed the Paper Mills at Millinocket, East Millinocket, East Madison and Madison, adding Much That Was Original in the Development of the Art of Making News Print Paper. As an Expression of Their Admiration and Friendship this Tablet is Erected by the Employees of the Company. He Died in Service Jan. 3, 1928.”
The unveiling was attended by an assemblage of employees, citizens and school children. The information appeared in a January article in the Bangor Daily News along with photos of the plaque and the crowd at the unveiling.
A few days after the above Schenck plaque unveiling, the Bangor Daily News noted Social Affairs of Interest, Local News of the Community. Included was mention of several group’s activities. The Royal Neighbors of America had a meeting scheduled. The Nollessemic Club were to meet at the Walker Camp. Onawa Chapter, Order of Eastern Star was having a special function. The Child Study Club was to meet with a program presented by Dr. Young. There also meetings of the Congregation Club, Dorcas Circle plus the Daughters of Isabella held a card party at the home of Mrs. Frank Rush. At the museum, we are interested in learning more about these and the numerous other clubs and organizations that once existed in town. Can you provide information/items?
Nearly 800 visitors signed the museum’s guest book in 2019 and there were others who came for a visit but did not sign. The museum continued to be one of few in the state that remained open through the winter months (only missed three or four days due to storms, most came earlier in the week). The Thursday, Friday, Saturday open days seems to work well for most folks, but appointments can be made for visits on other days and times.
2019 saw visitors from thirty-four U.S. states and nine foreign countries (Spain, China, India, Canada, England, Italy, Japan, Germany, and El Salvador). Groups included Cub Scouts, visiting Chinese students, Boy Scout Troop 57 reunion group, Wentworth College architectural students and two classes of Granite Street School fourth graders. Several researchers and genealogy seekers stopped in from as far away as Virginia, Georgia and Spain.
Approximately seventy individual donors added items to the collection. Currently more than 8400 items have been cataloged into the museum’s computer! Still working on items from the old museum.
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.

GNP Telephone System

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

Communication between the Great Northern farms, woods camps and the main office in Bangor was done in the early days by telephone, an amazing system for that time when many of the smaller towns and rural areas in central and northern Maine had no such system available. The following information is from Chapter 21 of John McLeod’s The Greater Great Northern.
In 1901, the same year that Millinocket was incorporated as a town, Great Northern built its first piece of telephone line. It went from Chesuncook Dam to Millinocket. Earlier, in the 1890’s, the Kineo & Northeast Carry Telephone Company was formed and ran a line to serve the hotels on the east side of Moosehead Lake and to Chesuncook Village. Another line was built to Rockwood. Then the New England Telephone & Telegraph Co. took over the Kineo company and added lines as far as Jackman, Seboomook and Pittston Farm.
McLeod states that information is “sketchy” on these early lines. The lines were of the grounded type, using a single iron wire, strung on trees. They were gradually replaced, first with two-wire circuits and later with multiple trunk lines on cross-arms. These main lines ran from Pittston Farm to Grant Farm. One lineman with help from timekeepers from area camps maintained the 100 miles of wire.
About 1911-1913, the system was placed under the Division of Forest Engineering. A second lineman was added. There were no switchboards or operators. If someone wanted to talk with some operation, he called the first place on the line, and the clerk or cook switched the call to the next point and so on. Switchboards and operators may have been added about 1921. By the time the West Branch system was completed, mid 1920’s, there were about 200 miles of pole line along the “turnpikes” and 500 miles of ground line in use. This system was used until about 1952 when the switch was made to a radio system.
A print copy of this Sprucewood chapter 21 may be viewed at the museum.

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.