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

Month: March 2020

Remote Learning

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

This week’s column is for students being remotely schooled at home, their parents and others too. Local history and family history are great topics for parents and caregivers to consider as they take on the role of teacher during this time. Dig out those old family photo albums, scrapbooks etc. Talk about the people in the photos and the events that have been memorialized in old scrapbooks. Not too many years ago the cutting out of news articles and pasting them to scrapbook pages along with event programs, ticket stubs and more was a favorite pastime. Arrange loose photos in some sort of order, label and place in an album or photo box. Work with family members (phone, Skype) to gather information for writing assignments that might include a family tree or family stories. Later, you might consider sharing some of these stories with the museum. Our collection of scrapbooks and stories continues to grow!
Students, you can learn anywhere and everywhere! Dig into family history. What brought the first family members to Millinocket? What work did they do? Where did they live? What activities, organizations etc. were they involved in? Ask your parents and relatives these questions and record (on paper or on video) the answers. Again, anyone who is willing to share family history, the museum can archive it. We get many queries with just a name and the information that a relative came to Millinocket in the early days. They ask if there are records of early GNP employees, they want to know where the relative lived etc. The museum’s collection of GN ledgers does not include mill employee lists. Some of the logging books do name men. The museum has started a file on houses where we add any data we get as to who built the house, location, and list of owners. There is no official information available, just what we have been told.
During America’s bicentennial in 1976, Dorothy Laverty led some student groups on a tour of the Millinocket cemetery and conducted history lessons. A lot of local history can be learned there. On the right (old Protestant section) and on left (old Catholic section) just inside the gate can be found the graves of many prominent early citizens. Much can be learned at this or any cemetery in addition to history. Look at the dates engraved on the headstones and practice math. What are the various stones made of (granite, slate, marble, sandstone)? Do some research! What part of the world does this stone come from? This is science and geography. Some stones have elaborate artwork…trees, angels etc. Draw some pictures! Until an actual visit can be made to the cemetery, visit Find-A-Grave online and type in Millinocket as the cemetery you wish to search. Of the over 3000 memorials, about 40% have been uploaded to the site.
Learning can take place anywhere and under many different circumstances. Take advantage of it!
The museum will remained closed until further notice! We can still be contacted via email, phone or Facebook. See below! Our sales items listed below are still available by mail or via social-distance at museum porch by appointment. Save any items you wish to donate to the museum for when we reopen!
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, $25 for history & $10 for architecture; “No Time for Moss (McKeen) $15.00.
*** 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.

Downtown Blocks

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

Museum closed until further notice! See below for info if you wish to contact us in the meantime.
One hundred years or more ago, buildings in downtown Millinocket were referred to as the Rush Block, Kimball Block or Moore Block rather than by a street address. These blocks were usually large two or three story square buildings. The bottom floor might have a store while offices and/or living quarters would occupy the upper floors. These blocks usually had a few steps leading to the store entrances. As a patron went up the steps, hopefully most of the mud from the street was left behind.
A 1916 letter in the museum collection has in its letterhead H.S.Tibbitts, Investments, Room I, Doctor Block, Box 77, Tel. Connection, Millinocket, Maine. The letter was to a gentleman in New Hampshire regarding timber lots. Other items in the collection also make mention of blocks.
Dentist Dr. MacKay had his office on the second floor of the Decker-Gonya Block. You can see him looking out the window in an old photo. This block on the corner of Penobscot Ave. and Central St. first housed a drug store with William Heebner as druggist. Later this block was Gonya’s Drug Store. The first library was also in this building. At different times Dr. Cody, Dr. Bryant and lawyers Stevens and Stevens all had offices there.
The Masonic Block was at the corner of Penobscot Ave. and Spruce St. Later this would be Emerson’s Drug on the first floor. The HAM Rush Block housed a clothing business and the Charles Rush Block housed a hardware store. The Kimball Block on the corner of Penobscot Ave. and Central St. (by the light, many businesses through the years, last mini-golf) was destroyed by fire. Kimball had had a store early on Shack Hill.
The Moore Block (later known as Bishop Block) was across the Central St. from Kimball Block. Behind it was Butterfield’s Livery Stable. Behind the Kimball Block was the Millinocket Bottling Company building. Other buildings referred to as blocks were the Hayden Block and the McCaffrey Block.
Anyone having more information on any of these blocks or any early Millinocket businesses, please contact the museum.
A query via email is from someone seeking information on a branch of her family tree. Does anyone know of an artist (possibly lost most of her sight or became blind) who used to do paintings of Mt. Katahdin? It is believed she continued painting even after losing sight. Her first name may have been Chrystal. Contact the museum if you can help!
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, $25 for history & $10 for architecture; “No Time for Moss (McKeen) $15.00.
*** All items may be mailed – add $5 SH each item.
***Museum open Thurs., Fri., Sat. Noon – 3PM
*** 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.

Happy Birthday!

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

Happy birthday to the state of Maine and to the town of Millinocket! Maine became a state on March 15, 1820. Millinocket was incorporated as a town on March 16, 1901. At age 119, Millinocket remains one of the youngest towns in Maine.
The museum received a question about boats Virginia and Sequoia owned by Garret Schenck, one of the founders of the Great Northern Paper Company. The question came from Roger Moody, author of Logging Towboats and Boom Jumpers, The Story of O. A .Harkness. (The museum has these books for sale.) Moody stated that Schenck owned property on Moosehead Lake and the two boats may have been used there or possibly on a lake in the Millinocket area. At the museum we were not able to find any information on this topic. If any reader has information, please contact the museum.
The museum recently received a copy of the book Maine Lakes Steamboat Album. In it is a section on the “Great Northern’s Navy.” The first steamer on the West Branch was a towboat, the side-wheeler John Ross. It was built in 1891 at Northeast Carry. It then had to get to Chesuncook Lake. Captain Louis Gill guided her via the river through white water and even over Pine Stream Falls and through the rapids.
The side-wheeler F. W. Ayer was built at Norcross for the Penobscot Log Driving Company and was later added to GNP’s fleet. In 1902, the steamer George F. Dugan was built at Chamberlain Farm and was used to tow pulpwood booms down Chamberlain Lake to Telos Dam. The W. H. Marsh, another steamer, operated along with the George F. Dugan.
A steamer named Tethys (the second of that name) served as a boom hauler on Moosehead Lake and was also a part of the GNP navy. Later it was moved to Canada Falls Deadwater, sometimes under her own power and sometimes overland by sixteen horses (four abreast) on runners on snow. Three years later, two Lombard log haulers towed her to Seboomook where the steam engine was removed. The Steamboat Album book mentioned above has more detail and photos of the various steamboats.
By the 1920’s, GNP’s use of steam powered boats ended as gasoline and diesel-powered boats took over the job of hauling the booms. Another change was the switch to steel hulls from the formerly used wooden hulls.
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, $25 for history & $10 for architecture; “No Time for Moss (McKeen) $15.00.
*** All items may be mailed – add $5 SH each item.
***Museum open Thurs., Fri., Sat. Noon – 3PM
*** 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.

Golfing in Millinocket

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

It seems that golf began to gain in popularity in Millinocket in the 1930’s. Recently the museum was given a vintage wooden golf club by David Levesque. This club has a metal insert with a marking on its base identifying it as spoon. (Research says early wooden clubs often had a lead insert on the back of the head to add weight). The club had been Royden Pratt’s, a founder of Hillcrest Golf Club, and had been given to Levesque when he was twelve years old.
In the late twenties and early thirties interest in the sport of golf in town grew and by the late 1930’s there was a six-hole course operated by the newly-formed Hillcrest Golf Club. The Laverty book states that following difficulties operating as a private business, the town took over (1949) and placed the course under the direction of the recreation commission. With Great Northern’s help, three new greens were added making it a nine-hole municipal golf club. Later, Royden Pratt and others were able to get the club back to private status and membership grew.
The golf course was laid out on high land in the area of town known as Skunk Hollow. The road leading to it was first named Hillcrest Avenue. Today, the golf club uses the street address Golf Course Road. Subsequently, as new houses went up and new streets were named, this area of town was named Hillcrest Development.
Other information about the golf club is from articles by Darrell Pratt, son of Royden Pratt that were printed in The Katahdin Times in the summer of 1998. A few interesting tidbits are included here. In 1932 there were only a few temporary holes in the wild and rough ground. Very few locals had any idea how to play the game as they had never seen the game played and learning from a book was not very satisfactory. By 1933, a golf pro from Bangor came up once a week to give lessons. Pratt father and son took advantage of about six of those half hour lessons at a cost of $1.00 each.
In the museum’s collection are two books, Golf in Maine (1930) and Golf in Maine (1950) donated by Dorothy Pratt. On display with the recently donated golf club is a 1920’s golf club made of hickory.

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, $25 for history & $10 for architecture; “No Time for Moss (McKeen) $15.00.
*** 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.

Museum Resources

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

How did the Golden Road get its name? Is the Great Northern Hotel still standing? The sporting camps on Rainbow Lake, does the museum have information? These are just some of recent questions posed to MHS. The museum’s research/genealogy room has answers to these questions and many more. Here is information on some resources you are welcome to research on your own at the museum or get assistance from our volunteers.
1. Print and digitized copy of 1900 Millinocket census
2. Town reports starting 1902
3. Yearbooks, both SHS and St. Martin’s
4. Obituaries – print copies and indexed on computer (death date, name)
5. Scrapbooks – GNP, sports, military and misc.
6. Files on homes (including blueprints of some homes Eastland Ave.)
7. Business file
8. Town directory 1961
9. Voter registration book (1938-1961)
10. Family trees (some very complete, others may just be info on one person or a few photos)
11. French-Canadian ancestry books
12. Local author books (some contain family stories)
13. Many local newspapers dating from 1902
14. Files of news articles and other misc. items by subject
15. Military lists (WWI and WWII) and miscellaneous files and more!

Also, in the Logging/River Drive Room there is a small library of reference books on local and Maine logging and in the Military Room there are several scrapbooks and reference books on local and WWI military topics. Many photos on all subjects are in the museum collection and copies or scans are available. We do charge a fee or ask a donation for copies or scans of photos.
Everyone is welcome to visit the museum to use any of these resources and there will be volunteers to assist you in your search. If you cannot visit, contact us via postal mail, email or Facebook.

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, $25 for history & $10 for architecture; “No Time for Moss (McKeen) $15.00.
*** 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.