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