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

Month: October 2020

Millinocket Land Co./Medway Road

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

The Millinocket Land Company…this came up while researching a question about Medway Road. It appears that in the early days of Millinocket, that company is listed as owner of land on Medway Road. If any reader knows anything about that company, please contact the museum.
As early as 1901, Penobscot County Commissioners were contacted by town authorities about making a road from Central Street that would follow the old trail to Medway and Mattawamkeag. At that time Central Street crossed Millinocket Stream (first bridge can be seen in large photo displayed at museum) and continued past by what would be State and Congress Streets (the Flat). From there, the new road would follow the old trail to Medway. The first town dump was located near the bridge. Beyond the bridge, the road curved south and downstream over the high land that backed Little Italy. Many French families settled there. The town also planned for a burying ground on the high land there. Over time, new houses were built and Charles Tapley built a building that housed several things. There was a Chinese laundry in the basement, a social hall for parties and dances and rooms and board were available. Later the building was purchased by Mr. Barbian and eventually it became the original Hotel Terrace. (Information from Laverty book, Millinocket, Magic City of Maine’s Wilderness, available at museum.)
A bit of local election trivia! In 1943 Millinocket accepted the provisions for absentee voting in regard to town elections. This made it possible for WWII men and women to vote while away serving their country. And a timely piece of election news from a Nov. 3, 1924 news article. “It is desired that the citizens of Millinocket show the same amount of loyalty and cast an equally number of votes at the polls this week in the presidential election as characterized in the gubernational contest for their own state. Let us have no slackers.” FYI…in that presidential election, incumbent Calvin Coolidge won over Democratic opponent John W. Davis. In the governor’s race that year, incumbent Percival Baxter won over Ralph Owen Brewster.
Looking for mannequins (especially male w/head) and wig stands for future displays! Also could use a couple of two-drawer file cabinets.

In the Museum Store! Start Thinking Christmas shopping!!!
*** Get your 2021 Calendars! 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, Little Italy Part 1 and Part 2 available at the museum ($15 each) or mail order ($15 each).
***Books: “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 history & $10 architecture; “Our Real World,” (M. Murphy); “No Time for Moss (McKeen) $15.00 and several preowned books (out of print) by local authors.
*** 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.

The Fruit Store

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

Several late 1940’s issues of The Millinocket Journal featured articles on local businesses. One is titled “Fruit Store Building One of Oldest Landmarks.” Many remember this business being run by the Matangelo family and being the place to go to purchase penny candy. However, there is an interesting history before that time.
The original building was constructed about 1899 (on the right side of the current town parking lot on Penobscot Avenue). It was originally the location of Hayden’s Photo Studio. In 1928 the building was sold by Mrs. Bowler to David Drago who came to town from Castine. He named his business Millinocket Fruit Company and operated it until about 1940 when he sold to Michael Matangelo. Chester Matangelo worked as clerk there as he had for Drago (seven years). During WWII, while Chester and John Matangelo were in the service, the Matangelo girls managed the business.
When the Journal article was written in 1946, it stated that there had been improvements to the building, but it “still stands as one of the familiar landmarks of the town, being considered the second oldest building on the main street.” This building burned in 1958 and was replaced by a similar size building on the opposite side of the parking lot (now Living Innovations). The “Fruit Store” continued in business for many more years.
The 1946 article mentions a few of the store’s offerings at the time included Hood’s Ice Cream, a full line of confectioneries and Schrafft’s, Donna Deane’s and Johnston’s Chocolates. There were fresh fruits, roasted peanuts, soft drinks and a miscellaneous line of cookies and pastry as well as the Pastene brand of groceries and macaroni. At that time there was a new model Dry Cool beer container and everything in tobacco and smokes. The article mentions that beer was in scarce supply since the end of the war, but they hoped to have a plentiful supply soon.
The original cash register that David Drago brought with him to Millinocket in 1928 is on display at the museum along with a copy of a photo of the original store. The Journal article states that as of 1946 Drago was living in Edgecomb, Maine and operating a filling station and night cabins.

In the Museum Store!
*** Get your 2021 Calendars! 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, Little Italy Part 1 and Part 2 available at the museum ($15 each) or mail order ($15 each).
***Books: “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 history & $10 architecture; “Our Real World,” (M. Murphy); “No Time for Moss (McKeen) $15.00 and several preowned books (out of print) by local authors.
*** 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.

Queries

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

When did Fuller Furniture begin business in Millinocket? This is an example of a question posed recently to the museum and this week I write about this and several other questions that have arisen recently.
Fuller Furniture was in business early on Penobscot Avenue (site later of JJ Newberry) and started by Charles Fuller. Fuller genealogy at the museum has Charles Fuller’s occupation as “store owner, Fuller Furniture Co., 1910-1920” and son Almon as “clerk, furniture store” in 1930. In 1922 the store was purchased by Gerald Comstock and the name stayed the same. Later the business moved to the corner of Penobscot Avenue and Central St. where it remained until recent years. The building now houses an art gallery.
A small tintype donated by Dan Morrison shows Edwin Adams as a child. His name is written on the back of the paper frame. The museum already had an old photo labeled as the Edwin Adams house, 420 Katahdin Avenue. The question arose, “Is that house still standing?” A ride down Katahdin Avenue shows no 420 (two houses in the right area show no numbers) and one does have some of the photo’s features, a front bay window, correct roof line and two windows on second floor. The overall footprint is smaller today, but it could be the house.
Also donated by Morrison were a pair of early eyeglasses with wire earpieces. They are in a black case with Charles K. Sleight, Optometrist, Millinocket, Maine embossed on the case. The eyeglasses appear to be from the 1920’s or earlier. A tattered copy of The Merchant’s Bulletin (Dec. 1925) has an ad for this service. It was located opposite the fire station, upstairs. Sleight was an optometrist and optician and examined eyes and fitted glasses.
The museum also received a punch card from Munson’s Lunch. It was sold to Philys Barr on 3/22/1947. In five and ten cent increments, when fully punched, the card entitled the owner to $3.30 in lunch items for a cost of only $3.00. The states “no discount unless paid in advance.”
We are searching for photos of the B & A Millinocket roundhouse (another question posed by a visitor) as well as information/photos on any of the above topics. Thanks!

In the Museum Store!
*** Get your 2021 Calendars! 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, Little Italy Part 1 and Part 2 available at the museum ($15 each) or mail order ($15 each).
***Books: “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 history & $10 architecture; “Our Real World,” (M. Murphy); “No Time for Moss (McKeen) $15.00 and several preowned books (out of print) by local authors.
*** 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.