Odds and Ends From The MUSEUM!
By Trudy Wyman, Curator, Millinocket Society Museum
It’s been a long wait, but soon the newly remodeled Millinocket Memorial Library will open its doors. It’s been nearly 101 years since the library doors first opened in a small space on Central Street. Then there was the move to Maine Avenue and now a remodel that will make it even more enjoyable to visit. As a reminder, this week the following tells some of the library’s earlier history.
The library became a reality in 1919 when the town voted to raise $2,500.00 “to establish a free library to be dedicated to the memory of those who had died for their country.” In addition, Great Northern Paper Company added $1000.00 and Emma Schenck, wife of Garrett Schenck, GNP president, added $200. Local individuals donated numerous books for this first library. It was located in the Gonya Block next to the Corner Drug Store and faced Central Street. This memorial library opened on Armistice Day, November 11, 1919 and Mrs. Mae Shorey was the first librarian. A bronze plaque honoring the town’s war heroes was placed in the library at its dedication. By 1926, Millinocket’s 25th birthday, the library had over 6000 volumes.
A big change occurred in the 1960’s when the Great Northern Hotel was torn down and the lot was given to the town for public use. A new Millinocket Memorial Library building was constructed at the intersection of Maine Avenue and Hill Street. Opening and dedication ceremonies were held on December 11, 1963 and the new library had space not only for books, but also reading rooms, a lower level children’s room, a reference room, multi-use space as well as office and work space for staff. For more than 50 years that library served the community and the area well.
This writer had a sneak peek at the new interior a few days ago and the “new” library is nearly ready to provide visitors with the chance to renew their relationship with this special place in Millinocket. Can’t wait to get some new books!
The Millinocket Historical Society has provided a few photos of the library “through the years” in the two glass cases in the front entry.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or the Millinocket Historical Society, P. O. Box 11, on the web at www.millinockethistoricalsociety.org or on Facebook.