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 firstname.lastname@example.org or the Millinocket Historical Society, P. O. Box 11, on the web at www.millinockethistoricalsociety.org or on Facebook.