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