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

Month: December 2020

Library Story Time

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

Carl Hull was the librarian at the Millinocket Memorial Library at one time. At some point he undertook the project of cutting out and gluing into three brown scrapbooks “all items in the Daily News” that pertained to the happenings in Millinocket. The print is tiny, the articles are crowded together on each page of the three books and each date’s entry includes all the news run together as if it were one story…obits, birthday parties, organizations events, sports and more. The three scrapbooks cover the years 1921-1928. The scrapbooks are at the museum, have been scanned and are computer searchable (thank you Leola and Frank)!
The library is often mentioned and there are a number of informational bits about children’s story time. In February of 1923, Mrs. Weldon was the new storyteller. In the two Saturdays prior to the news article, an average of 50 children were “entertained and kept interested.” Another mention from 1926 states “the library will be open on New Year’s Day from 10-11 o’clock in the morning for the first Children’s Story Hour. Mrs. Evans will tell two stories, Fairy New Year’s Bracelet and a Kipling tale, The White Seal.” In January of 1927, Mrs. Ewings will share the story Jackanapes and a tale from Shakespeare. (Note the discrepancy … 1923 Mrs. Weldon the new storyteller and 1926 Mrs. Evans the first Children’s Story Hour.
Other library mentions…“Library will be open Sunday from 2-4 and time will be given to reading. No books to be returned or taken out. Time given to reading and it will be determined how many take advantage of these two hours of quiet reading.” Another…“Feb. 1924, the children’s collection is being added to and “many old favorites are just back from the bindery ready to be reread and enjoyed.” And a final reminder to those early patrons… “If any wish to borrow a book not in the collection, we have available books from the State Library in Augusta and constantly are sending to them for books on anything from Autosuggestion to how to take the smell out of cabbage.”

Museum open Thursday, Friday, Saturday Noon-3PM, weather permitting!
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.

Armory & Opera House Stars

Odds and Ends From The MUSEUM!

The “new” Company I, 103rd, Infantry, National Guard Armory held a formal opening and military ball on Tuesday evening, January 16, 1940. An invitation to this event is in the collection of the MHS museum. The event was to begin at 9 PM. The invitation stated that “uniforms with slacks should be worn. Kindly advise whether or not you can be present.” Ernest A. Perrow, Captain, 103rd, Infantry issued the invitation. The museum also has a dance card from this event.
Another event at the armory (date unknown) was a production called “Windmills of Holland” presented by the Junior Philharmonic Club. The program describes two acts with almost twenty musical numbers. Among the cast were: Ralph Jackson, Rita Thorne, Margaret Tippens, Catherine Jacobs, John Cotter, Stanley Seaver, Howard Tibbitts and Madeline Wilson.
Introducin’ Susan, a rollicking three act farce, was presented at the Armory. Sponsored by the Millinocket Elks, the performance featured a cast of all local doctors and dentists. Included were Drs. Grumley, Young, Stevens, Santoro, Harrigan, Brown, MacKay and Morey.
Down Penobscot Avenue at the Opera House, some well-known performers appeared. In 1927, Godfrey Ludlow, violinist performed assisted by Madame Lolita Cabrera Gainsberg, pianist. Ludlow, with his Stradivarius, had played before the King and Queen at Buckingham Palace. His Millinocket appearance was sponsored by the Philharmonic Club of Millinocket.
Rubinoff and his violin (a 1731 Stadivarius) also performed at the Opera House (1963) sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Katahdin. Programs for each of these violinist’s performances are in the museum’s collection. Taped inside the Rubinoff program appears to be a small piece of a violin string.
The museum has a photo post card depicting Rudy Vallee and the Venitian Melody Boys. A mega-star in the 1920’s, Rudy was a student for a time at the University of Maine before transferring to Yale. In 1930, Rudy had the #1 hit song in the country, The Maine Stein Song. Did he perform in Millinocket? Maybe…or perhaps someone from Millinocket knew him at UMaine or had attended one of his performances and acquired the post card.
These represent just a few examples of the many performances of all kinds that took place in Millinocket at the armory, Opera House, pavilion and grandstand at the ball field and at the schools and churches.

Museum open Thursday, Friday, Saturday Noon-3PM, weather permitting!
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.

The Armory

Odds and Ends From The MUSEUM!

“Old Millinocket Armory To Be Torn Down” reads a Bangor Daily News item found at the museum. Date not given (probably late 1930’s or early 1940’s), but possibly after “new” armory came into use in 1939. The news item shows a photo of the old armory and gives this information. “The old Millinocket armory, a landmark in the Magic City, has been sold at public auction, and will be torn down for lumber. The building, originally near the Great Northern Paper mill but later moved to its present site on Central Street, has been used as a community center, a schoolhouse when the high school burned in 1922, plays, dances, roller skating rink, etc.”
The building’s first use was as an interdenominational chapel near the corner of Cherry Street and Katahdin Avenue. It was used for all churches and also as the town’s first attempts at a school. Shortly before WW1, the building known as Union Chapel was moved to Central Street behind the Bishop Block. This was done to accommodate Company I of the Third Maine Regiment. It was large enough to house military equipment and be a meeting place large enough for drill. The building became known as the armory.
After the high school fire, grades 9-12 were jammed into the armory. It was partitioned into four rooms with theater type seats (chairs attached in units of six) set up and plywood pieces served as desks.
The Armory also served as a community center and it hosted local plays, dances and boxing matches. The museum has a program from a variety show titled Henry’s Wedding, performed there October 19-20, 1931. The show was presented by 125 local people who “can’t put on a poor show.” Admission for reserved seats was 50 cents. Children’s non-reserved seats were 25 cents.
The “new” National Guard armory (1939) was built on Spring Street near Aroostook Avenue School in the area that had once been the site of a ball park with pavilion and grandstand. The old armory was eventually sold to Oville Gonya who operated a garage on the site for many years. Later a fire destroyed much of the original Union Chapel/Armory structure. Gonya then constructed another garage building on the site.

Museum open Thursday, Friday, Saturday Noon-3PM, weather permitting!
In the Museum Store! Think 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.

GNP’s Hardy Ferguson

Odds and Ends From The MUSEUM!

Hardy S. Ferguson…that name keeps popping up in reference to the beginnings of the Great Northern Paper Company. A photo of Ferguson as a young man was recently rediscovered in the Laverty Collection at the museum.
Ferguson, born Chelsea, Massachusetts in 1868, was a young engineer who had just started his own business when he became resident engineer on the Rumford Falls Paper Company construction project. Five years later, he set up his own consulting business specializing in pulp and paper mill design. A year later (1898), Schenck hired him to make surveys for the water power development and to prepare preliminary designs for the new mill planned for Millinocket. His first bill to GNP was for $6.00 a day.
Ferguson worked for Great Northern drawing plans for various parts of the mill. The McLeod book states that it was also Ferguson who designed many of the barns, stables and other buildings at the company farms. An example, at Pittson Farm, the middle barn with a gambrel style roof followed Ferguson’s design and cost approximately $10,000. At Seboomook, in 1910, he designed two large 50 horse barns with storage for 275 tons of hay and portable pig pens in the basement.
Many of the early GNP maps have Ferguson’s name on them. The museum has copies of several including one titled Proposed Scheme for Development of Water Power on West Branch of Penobscot River, 10/1898, HS Ferguson. A December, 1900 plan shows the lay-out of a proposed cemetery for the town of Millinocket.
Another thing Ferguson probably had a hand in designing was his family’s home on Highland Avenue, currently the Knights of Columbus building. He moved his family there from the Great Northern Hotel where they had been living. Ferguson and his young family lived there until 1911when he left the company and they moved to New York City. The Laverty book states that Frank Rush then purchased the home, lived there until 1952 when he gave it over to the Knights of Columbus. During a later renovation, it was discovered that some of the house had been insulated with seaweed.

In the Museum Store! Think 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.