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

Month: July 2020

2021 Calendar is Here!

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

In March of 1901, the town of Millinocket was incorporated. Now, nearly 120 years later, the new 2021 Millinocket Historical Society calendar shows a variety of photos from those 120 years. The calendar is all about “changes” and begins with a modern cover photo of the present downtown area. It is a drone photo used with permission of local photographer Josh Linscott. The calendar then depicts collages of photos from the different areas of town including Shack Hill and Little Italy. These two early “residential areas” of Millinocket are represented by three photos each. One is from an early cyanotype (an early photographic process resulting in a blue photo) from the Laverty Collection.
Other calendar pages depict scenes from various neighborhoods. The Highland Avenue/Maine Avenue area shows some of the elaborate homes of the early downtown Millinocket that earned the nickname Society Hill or Snob Hill. Different styles of homes are represented on the pages for The Park Area and in the 1940’s after WWII Medway Road (Eastland Avenue) and in the 1950’s and 1960’s Hillcrest Development. (Note: Looking for early photos of Tin Can Alley at the mill end of Aroostook Avenue. Contact us if you have one!
Other neighborhoods are represented by photos of some of the businesses through the years. Aroostook Avenue (end toward Central Street grew from open spaces and an ice skating area to have a number of garages and hardware stores. One of the calendar pages shows some of these, all gone now. Outer Central street has the car dealerships that sprouted “on the hill” after the street was extended that way.
We did not forget to include: Across the Tracks (piles of logs on the Golden Road, Boddy’s Dairy milk wagon), Outer Bates Street (early KG with totem pole sign and the B & A station with horse-drawn buggies waiting to collect passengers) and The Pines/Iron Bridge Road with Rush’s Sawmill and the old swimming hole. The calendar covers a wide range to photos through the years. Stop in at the museum to get yours, just $12.00. Available by mail $12.00 each plus $5 each SH. Great gifts! Help support the museum…progress is continuing on the second floor display area!
Reminder, the museum is open and waiting for you to visit (social distancing and masks, please)!

In the Museum Store!
*** 2021 Calendars are here! Theme: Millinocket, Oh! How We’ve Changed! $12 each, mail orders add $5 SH each calendar. Each page has several photos from different areas of town (Society Hill, park area, Medway Rd., Outer Bates St., Across Tracks, Aroostook Ave., and more).
*** Preowned yearbooks – $10.00 each.
*** Matted photos, various prices – GNP mill, Little Italy, river drives, Mt. Katahdin.
*** 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.
*** 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.

They Came From Europe!

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

Millinocket is nearly 120 years old! Think of the people who were coming to make this their home in that time period with most having no idea what it would be like here in the north Maine woods. In the beginning, they came from Europe.
One of men who came to Millinocket was Olaf Johnson from Sweden. Family members who visited the museum to donate some items of Johnson’s mentioned that many from Sweden went further north to New Sweden, Maine, but Olaf didn’t want to farm, he wanted to work with wood so he came to Millinocket. He worked, raised a family and became part of the community. The family donated several of his Masonic certificates and a Shriner’s certificate plus a pair of wooden skis and ski poles. Swedes, Finns and other northern Europeans long used and (some still do) skis for transportation as well as sport. The museum has a newspaper article from the 1950’s about the foundry that gives some interesting information about Olaf Johnson. He found his chance to work with wood by taking a job at the foundry where he “would fabricate from wood an exact reproduction of the casting desired. He could work from a blueprint or a rough drawing and create anything from a complicated machine part or a common sewer grating.” On his own time, Olaf also made some wood carvings and two examples were donated to the museum. They may be seen in the Research/Genealogy Room.
The 1900 Millinocket US Census shows multiple listings from Canada (English), Sweden, Ireland and Scotland plus one or two from Switzerland and Germany. In many cases only one family member was in Millinocket then, but in other cases there may be mention of a wife and children. One example, John Sandstrom and his wife and seven children are listed from Sweden. As expected there are several pages listing people from Italy. In some cases only a first or a last name is given. Many people in this 1900 census are listed as boarders as private houses were few and boarding houses were erected along the mill end of Katahdin Avenue, Penobscot Avenue. The museum has both a print copy and a digital copy of the Millinocket 1900 census (thanks, Bob Hallett).
Reminder, the museum is open and waiting for you to visit (social distancing and masks, please)!

In the Museum Store!
*** 2020 Calendars are here! Theme: Millinocket, Oh! How We’ve Changed! $12 each, mail orders add $5 SH. Each page has several photos from different areas of town (Society Hill, park area, Medway Rd., Outer Bates St., Across Tracks, Aroostook Ave., and more).
*** Preowned yearbooks – $10.00 each.
*** Matted photos, various prices – GNP mill, Little Italy, river drives, Mt. Katahdin.
*** 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.
*** 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 First Aid Room, Part 2

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

Following is the rest of the article (started last week in this column) titled First Aid Rooms- Millinocket Plant, Part 2 from the June, 1922 issue of The Northern magazine.
“The Company doctor, Edward R. Mansfield, has his office hours at the First Aid Rooms each morning from 8:00 to 10:00, during which period he, with the assistance of Miss Pluma Deane, the Company nurse, are very busily engaged.
The nurse is on duty at the hospital from 8:00 to 5:30 PM, ready to render her services to all employees for injuries and sickness which might develop at the mill. Of course, if accidents should occur at any other hours during the day or night, the nurse would be called – but as the greater part of the injuries take place during the regular day, the need of a nurse outside of her hours ‘on duty’ is seldom required.
Records are kept in detail of the number of injuries and dressings – in fact of any and all calls made to the hospital for treatment – the names of the persons to whom services are rendered. Causes, results, etc. Statistics for 1921 develop the following figures: 3172 dressings, 729 cases. In other words, an average of two critical cases per day and about ten dressings.
It is needless to add that the employees of the Great Northern Paper Company and the citizens of Millinocket more than appreciate the advantages afforded by our First Aid Rooms.”
The MHS Facebook page photo of the RN employed by GNP (when Dr. Young was medical director) has been identified. Thanks to those who recognized her as Marguerite “Peg” Dyer, GNP nurse from 1943-1962. The museum now would like to acquire a vintage white enamel basin (approx. 12” diameter) for display with the exam chair described in last week’s column. See photo on the museum’s Facebook page.
Among other items donated by Dr. Blum were two diagrams/plans for the first aid room. Neither is dated. One is labeled “renovated” so we are assuming the other is an older version. This version shows a doctor’s office, waiting room, physical therapy area, exam/treatment room and an operating room. Neither diagram shows a space for the nurse.
Current news from the museum: the 2021 calendars are at the printers and will be available soon ($12 plus $5 for mail orders); this years engraved pavers will be in place soon (later than usual, the virus plus the engraver had a bike accident). Reminder, the museum is open and waiting for you to visit (social distancing and masks, please)!

In the Museum Store!
*** Preowned yearbooks – $10.00 each.
*** Matted photos, various prices – GNP mill, Little Italy, river drives, Mt. Katahdin.
*** 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.
*** 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 First Aid Room

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

Coincidence is defined as a “remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances without apparent causal connection.” The coincidence that happened at the museum recently concerned an item donation and a reorganization project that unexpectedly coincided.
Dr. Blum (mill medical director for several years) visited the museum and donated an exam chair and accessories, a photo showing himself and another man next to #11, several forms/other papers from the mill’s first aid room and a metal sign indicating the mill manager’s office and production superintendent’s office.
The exam chair from the first aid room is metal, white and has a removable arm rest, a removable basin holder and place for a removable head rest (missing). With the chair are two white enamel containers and a stainless steel basin (original would have been white enamel). A few days later, Mrs. Blum dropped off a photo showing Dr. Ernest Young (mill doctor), Edward Healey (medical assistant) and an unidentified registered nurse in the mill’s first aid room and in the photo is the white metal exam chair! At first look, this chair was thought to be from the 1940’s or 50’s. Also seen in the photo are a white enamel sink and various white enamel wheeled carts, containers etc. This photo has to be 1978 or prior as Dr. Young died in 1978. (The museum’s Facebook page has a photo of the nurse…please help us identify her!)
The coincidence occurred when Leola (MHS Assistant Curator/Research & Genealogy volunteer) was sorting the museum’s collection of The Northern magazine. There on one page was a story titled “First Aid Rooms-Millinocket Plant.” This issue is #3, volume 2, June, 1922! It begins, “What was formerly known as the Old Pipe Shop at Millinocket plant of the Great Northern Paper Company has recently acquired the new dignity of a young hospital. This hospital, all modern-equipped, consists of a Ward (in which there are beds), a Surgery, a First Aid Room, Doctor’s Office, Waiting Room, Corridors and Bath. The First Aid, Surgery and Bath rooms are finished in white enamel; the Ward in buff, (all the windows in the Ward being hung with attractive two-tone curtains); the Waiting Room and Corridors are finished in gray.”
There are three photos (a bit grainy) accompanying the story and the exact exam chair (or a later one that looks just like the one donated by Dr. Blum) is seen in one of the photos. Other furnishings in the photos (including the sink) appear to be the same as in the photo with Dr. Young. So we are saying that the date on the exam chair is 1922, not the 1940’s or 50’s! More from the story next week!

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