Millinocket Historical Society

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

Author: Trudy Wyman (Page 1 of 2)

Blueberry Story

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

Bryan Seeyle, does the museum have any information on him? This was asked by a recent visitor and, as often happens, I turned to the Dorothy Laverty book on Millinocket’s history. There are pages about the Great northern Hotel where Mr. Seelye and his wife lived during their time in Millinocket. It states the Seelyes came to town in 1912 just after the GNP administration building was completed. Seelye was hired to set up the mill’s accounting department. The couple made their home at the hotel and later Mrs. Seelye became the housekeeper.
That sums up the information the museum has on Bryan Seelye at this time. A visitor, Jane Rideout Jones asked the above question and then proceeded to share a story about Mr. Seelye. She gave permission to share the following.
Some years ago, seventeen year old Jane worked in the dining room of the hotel. At that time, Bryan Seelye, widowed and elderly, lived on the top floor of the hotel and was cared for by a nurse, Mrs. Grumley (Dr. Grumley’s wife). Every evening, Mr. Seelye ate his meal at an assigned table, the big table by the bay window. No one else was allowed to sit there. One evening, Jane asked the gentleman, “May I help you?” Mr. Seelye asked for “fresh blueberries and cream and little cakes.” Jane placed the order and then went to bring the food through the swinging doors from the kitchen carrying the tray up in the air with one hand as required. Just as she started to pass through the door, someone pushed it from the other side and the tray and food landed on the floor. An embarrassed Jane scrambled to pick up the mess and hurried to the kitchen to replace the order. When she returned to serve Mr. Seelye his meal, he said to her, “I see you like to pick blueberries!”
The museum has an elegant black top hat complete with leather storage case that belonged to Mr. Seelye. The hat is made from a beaver pelt (as was the custom of the day) and it has his initials inside. The leather case also has his initials on the outside and it is lined in red silk. It is in wonderful condition!

*** The 2018 calendars are now available at the museum, Levasseurs, Save-a-Lot, Katahdin General Store and Rideout’s Market. Still just $10.00 each. Add $4.00 SH each for mail orders.
*** A new paver order has been placed in front of the museum. Orders for the next group are being taken. Contact MHS for the specifics. The pavers are $100.00 each (tax deductible) and may be in honor or in memory, for a school or team, business, organization, family or in your own name.
*** Visit the museum store for local books, calendars, DVD (legends of Mt. Katahdin) and more or contact us for details including prices and shipping information. We have copies of the 2010 alumni book, some Fernwood items, dishcloths and more.
*** Museum HOURS…. Open Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays from noon – 3 PM. ***Contact me, Curator Trudy Wyman, 723-5477 or trudy18@beeline-online.net to arrange for groups or appointments. Contact the Millinocket Historical Society at P. O. Box 11, on the web at www.millinockethistoricalsociety.org or on Facebook.

“Getting Out of Town”

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

Going out of town? Just take Route 157 to the interstate, Route 11 toward Brownville or even the road Rip Dam and on to Greenville. Not so easy 70+ years ago. For several years, talk was happening about the need for a road to the Brownville-Milo area. In 1934, GNP built a road as far as North Twin. Petitions were made to the State Legislature by the towns of Millinocket, Milo and Brownville to consider a road. Passable sections were being built by the 1940’s and a traveler could (not easily) get from Milo to Millinocket. This trip included crossing the dam at North Twin as no bridge spanned the West Branch.
In 1945, Gov. Horace Hildreth came to the area on a hunting trip. He also met with Chamber of Commerce members at the Great Northern Hotel where his party was was staying. The Chamber planned to pitch the idea of a bridge over the West Branch. The Governor was treated to a rather bumpy ride and saw for himself the condition of the existing “road.” Shortly thereafter, the State Legislature appropriated money for a bridge and for additional work on the road.
The museum has one of the three pens that the Governor used to sign the Bridge Resolve. This pen was then presented to Speaker of the House John F. Ward of Millinocket. This pen, currently on display at the museum was donated in 1981 by Robert Speed. Frank Speed had been one of the men working to get this road and bridge done for many years, along with William O’Connell, Frank Bowler and Robert Hume. Donated to the museum at the same time as the pen was an ornate inkwell with a pen rest. We do not know if this was also used by the governor. The museum also has two photos showing a crew of men at work building a section of the road. In a side note, the new MHS calendar has a very early photo looking toward Central Street hill before a road was constructed up the hill. It takes us back to a time when “getting out of town” took some planning and could not be done easily. The train was often the easiest option.

*** The 2018 calendars are now available at the museum, Levasseurs, Save-a-Lot, Katahdin General Store and Rideout’s Market. Still just $10.00 each. Add $4.00 SH each for mail orders.
*** A new paver order has been placed in front of the museum. Orders for the next group are being taken. Contact MHS for the specifics. The pavers are $100.00 each (tax deductible) and may be in honor or in memory, for a school or team, business, organization, family or in your own name.
*** Visit the museum store for local books, calendars, DVD (legends of Mt. Katahdin) and more or contact us for details including prices and shipping information. We have copies of the 2010 alumni book, some Fernwood items, dishcloths and more.
*** Museum HOURS…. Open Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays from noon – 3 PM. ***Contact me, Curator Trudy Wyman, 723-5477 or trudy18@beeline-online.net to arrange for groups or appointments. Contact the Millinocket Historical Society at P. O. Box 11, on the web at www.millinockethistoricalsociety.org or on Facebook.

Many Visitors Over 4th!

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

So much has happened in the three years since the museum opened its doors at the Central Street location on July 4th, 2014! Hundreds of new historical items have been donated, exhibits have been added to or changed and the Genealogy/Research Room has added much material and has been used by people from all over the country. The paver fundraiser project continues and the engraved pavers can be seen placed around the new MUSEUM sign. Work is progressing on the second floor display space although there is still much to do there plus improving the look of the end and rear outside walls and roof.
Mid -June through the July 4th week, the museum had the greatest number of visitors ever in that four week period and we expect the numbers to continue. They came from California, Montana and Arizona, from Kansas, Michigan and Texas and from all over the East Coast. We saw four year old twins and a 92 year old gentleman and a 96 year old lady. A gentleman from England stopped in and a relative of Charles Mullen, one of the founders of Great Northern spent time at the museum. And we have to mention the local people who come by, many of whom have made multiple visits while other have stopped in for the first time. Thank you all for your support!
On July 1, the museum hosted Greg Westrich, author of the guide book “Hiking in Maine’s Baxter Park.” He showed wonderful slides of the trails and talked about them. He signed copies of his book. A few of the books are available at the museum. His family accompanied him for the presentation as they have accompanied him on his exploration of the park trails. A nice crowd was present for his talk.
New items include a note pad from Millinocket Fabrication & Machine (Dianne Bilodeau); copy of WWII letter from Bangor Daily News column “A Soldier’s Diary by Carrol Folsom (Carol Folsom Page); and two 1940’s Millinocket Journals (Beverly LaPlante). Carole Howard donated a small bell from Aroostook Avenue School. It was one of several placed throughout the building and probably was used to signal start and end of school, recess and such. It is now on display in the museum’s school area.

*** The 2018 calendars are now available at the museum, Levasseurs, Save-a-Lot and Katahdin General Store. Still just $10.00 each. Add $4.00 SH each for mail orders.
*** A new paver order has been placed in front of the museum. Orders for the next group are being taken. Contact MHS for the specifics. The pavers are $100.00 each (tax deductible) and may be in honor or in memory, for a school or team, business, organization, family or in your own name.
*** Visit the museum store for local books, calendars, DVD (legends of Mt. Katahdin) and more or contact us for details including prices and shipping information. We have copies of the 2010 alumni book, some Fernwood items, dishcloths and more.
*** Museum HOURS…. Open Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays from noon – 3 PM. ***Contact me, Curator Trudy Wyman, 723-5477 or trudy18@beeline-online.net to arrange for groups or appointments. Contact the Millinocket Historical Society at P. O. Box 11, on the web at www.millinockethistoricalsociety.org or on Facebook.

1917 Newspaper

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

Suffrage victories of 1917 in the U.S., difficulty securing high boots
probably will affect the length of skirts, and penalties will be assessed for men who have not registered for selective service were all hot topics in The Millinocket Times, June 15, 1917 recently received at the museum. This fragile copy of the 100 year old newspaper printed just two months after the United States entered WWI, reminds us that life was changing for Americans.
An ad on the front page from Millinocket Insurance Agency states Explosion Insurance was available and that it was “essential in these disturbed days.” Also available was windstorm, fire, plate glass, and automobil (no e on the end) insurance. Another front page ad asks, “Who Does My Vulcanizing? Why? A local could go to the Millinocket Vulcanizing Co. where they would “repair all kinds of blow outs, tread and rim cuts, splicing tubs and repairing of all kinds.”
The Millinocket Times and Weekly Exchange was published every Friday by the Reliance Publishing Company with Burdette D. Miller, manager and editor. According to the publication information, this paper was first approved for mailing at the Millinocket Post Office on April 23, 1915 so the Miller’s had been publishing from that date.
Much of the paper is filled with articles received from other entities. One of the inner pages has a section titled “Locals” and is followed by a smaller section of “East Millinocket Notes.” The following were deemed important enough for publication. “Geo. Stearns went to Norcross Wednesday on business. S. Hagerman, L. Dyer and B.D. Miller spent Sunday at Sandy Stream fishing, all report a good catch. The fire department was called out on Wednesday night about 11:15 to a fire at the Moore house.” There are a couple of names mentioned for being in court on charges of intoxication. They were given fines of $10.00 plus court costs. One noteworthy event rated one of the longest paragraphs in this section. “A railroad car of mixed vinegar and bulk pickles was unloaded on Monday. This is the first time that a car of this kind has been shipped to Millinocket merchants.” These old newspapers are a fun read!

*** The 2018 calendars are now available at the museum, Levasseurs and Save-a-Lot. Still just $10.00 each. Add $4.00 SH each for mail orders. Info on the great vintage photos next week!

*** A new paver order has been placed in front of the museum. Orders for the next group are being taken. Contact MHS for the specifics. The pavers are $100.00 each (tax deductible) and may be in honor or in memory, for a school or team, business, organization or in your own name.
*** Visit the museum store for local books, calendars, DVD and more or contact us for details including prices and shipping information.
*** Museum HOURS…. Open Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays from noon – 3 PM. ***Contact me, Curator Trudy Wyman, 723-5477 or trudy18@beeline-online.net to arrange for groups or appointments. Contact the Millinocket Historical Society at P. O. Box 11, on the web at www.millinockethistoricalsociety.org or on Facebook.

Holiday Event and Extra Hours

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

Stop in at the museum on Saturday, July 1, between. 1PM and 3PM and meet author Greg Westrich. His new guide book, Hiking in Baxter State Park will be on sale. He will be showing slides, discussing some lesser known trails and signing his book. Visit for all or part of the afternoon.
Another reminder, the museum has added extra hours and days around the July 4th holiday. Stop in with your relatives, friends and returning classmates! We have copies of the 2010 alumni book for sale, only $5.00. The new MHS 2018 calendar is expected to be on sale for the 4th weekend also.
Thurs., June 29, 12 noon – 3PM
Fri., June 30, 12 noon – 3 PM
Sat., July 1, 11 AM – 4 PM
Sun., July 2, 11 AM – 4 PM
Mon., July 3, 11 AM – 4 PM
Tues., July 4, 10 AM – 4 PM
Wed., July 5, 12 noon – 4PM
Thurs., Fri., Sat., July 6, 7, 8 open regular hours, 12 noon – 3PM

Great news! The new Millinocket Bangor Savings Bank has opened and as you enter from the parking area, you will see a photo wall featuring Millinocket Historical Society photos. We were approached for this project a month ago and now seven photos grace this wall. Check them out…if you are unable to visit, see the MHS Facebook page.
Two large framed photos (GNP’s Millinocket and East Millinocket mills) have been donated by Lynn Crosby. The Millinocket photo (color) is now in the logging room, replacing an almost identical one that was black and white. Another donation came from Celeste Sturman Poulin who gave a 1979 SHS Music Booster’s calendars. Such calendars featuring music and sports (by SHS Sports Boosters) were common in the ‘70’s. Bob Herrick of New Jersey mailed the museum several vintage post cards. One not previously in the collection shows the GNP Madison mill’s log pile. This card is postmarked 1911.
Other donations came from Leo Bulley, GNP belt buckle and military button and from Bill Geller. Bill sent the latest copy of Appalachia magazine. It contains another article by the donor titled “The Guides All Knew Each Other, 1890-1935,” and is about the West Branch guides of that era. The magazine is in the museum’s Logging Room and visitors may stop in and read this article and others. This room has other magazines and books with local logging area information that you may peruse.

*** Another batch of pavers have arrived and will be in place soon (hopefully by the 4th) and orders for the next group are being taken for placement in the fall. Contact MHS for the specifics. The pavers are $100.00 each (tax deductible) and may be in honor or in memory, for a school or team, business, organization or in your own name.
*** Visit the museum store for local books, calendars, DVD and more or contact us for details including prices and shipping information.
*** Museum HOURS…. Open Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays from noon – 3 PM. Watch for the sandwich board sign out front.
***Contact me, Curator Trudy Wyman, 723-5477 or trudy18@beeline-online.net to arrange for groups or appointments. Contact the Millinocket Historical Society at P. O. Box 11, on the web at www.millinockethistoricalsociety.org or on Facebook.

Holiday Hours and More!

Add the museum to your to-do list for the 4th of July and days before and after. The museum will be open extra days and hours. Watch for the new OPEN sign to be on. In addition, appointments for other times are available too. Contact information below.
Thurs., June 30, 12 noon – 3PM
Fri., June 29, 12 noon – 3 PM
Sat., July 1, 11 AM – 4 PM
Sun., July 2, 11 AM – 4 PM
Mon., July 3, 11 AM – 4 PM
Tues., July 4, 10 AM – 4 PM
Wed., July 5, 12 noon – 4PM
Thurs., Fri., Sat., July 6, 7, 8 open regular hours, 12 noon – 3PM

“Hiking from a Comfortable Chair!” is what we are calling an event being held at the museum on Saturday, July 1, 1PM-3PM. Maine author Greg Westrich, author of the newly published guide book “Hiking Maine’s Baxter State Park will present a slide show and talk about some of the lesser known park trails. Please join us for all or part of the afternoon! No charge, donations to MHS welcome.
Student visitors to the museum are always welcome! A group of five students and adult supervisors from SHS stopped by early one morning. They were given a tour and had a chance to browse the exhibits. Items in the military room caught the attention of the boys. Others in the group were interested in the school and sports displays. On another day, two girls from Camden visited as part of a school project. They had selected Millinocket and had questions about the mill and town’s history and how things had changed. As with all young people today, one recorded their interview with two of us (volunteers, correct term docents) while the other went through their list of questions on her tablet.
Visitors include the first AT hikers of the season, southbound to Georgia (they live in Georgia) and our first foreign visitors of 2017, two students (China) currently enrolled at SHS. The museum’s 2017 visitor’s map is starting to be filled in. We color in each state and country whose citizens drop in.
A small label from a prescription bottle or other container was donated to the collection by Susan Jandreau. It is from the 1940’s and prescribed by Dr. E.T. Young and says: For pain, one if needed after 4 hours. No patient’s name is given. The doctor’s hours were 2-4 and 7-8. It does not say which days, so I assume it was seven days a week. Both his office phone number and home phone are given (288-2 and 288-3).

*** A new paver order has been sent, but orders for the next group are being taken. Contact MHS for the specifics. The pavers are $100.00 each (tax deductible) and may be in honor or in memory, for a school or team, business, organization or in your own name.

Hiking Baxter Park, Author Visit July 1

“Hiking from a Comfortable Chair” is an event happening at the museum on Saturday, July 4 from  1 PM-3 PM. Maine writer Greg Westrich, author of the newly published guide book “Hiking Maine’s Baxter State Park will present a slide show and talk on some of the parks lesser known trails. Please join us for all or part of the afternoon. No charge, donations to MHS welcome!

Odds & Ends from the Museum

“Hiking from a Comfortable Chair!” is what we are calling an event being held at the museum on Saturday, July 1, 1PM-3PM. Maine author Greg Westrich, author of the newly published guide book “Hiking Maine’s Baxter State Park will present a slide show and talk about some of the lesser known park trails. Please join us for all or part of the afternoon! No charge, donations to MHS welcome.

Lots of people are savers! They save every ticket, program and news article that has anything to do with their family, their team, their town or just anything that catches their fancy at the moment. It’s lucky for the museum that some folks do this. One example is Bobbie Allen. A few years ago she donated 30+scrapbooks of “Memories” to the museum. These included many photos and a whole lot more. Just recently she brought in a collection to be added to the “Memories” books. Some were added to the cataloged collection individually. Being a supporter of all the school musical events, she donated more than a dozen programs from plays and concerts. There were photos of the Katahdin Rangers with one showing them in the early days before they had their uniforms. The museum already had copies of this photo, but this one appears to be an original. There are photos of Junior Pro basketball and a 1991 tournament basketball program and a news article describing the “last hurrah” of the old iconic Stearns gym. Among older items in this collection are two GNP photos of three workers receiving watches at their retirement in 1959. They are D. Civiello, S. Fairley and P. Cyr. Another older item is a card presented to Helen Pound from Onawa Chapter, Eastern Star for outstanding service. Her service began in 1921. No date given for when it was presented.

Check out the new museum sign recently completed by MHS president David Cyr and others. The portion of the sign with the word “MUSEUM” was made from a sheet of stainless steel from the original Millinocket Community Hospital. Cyr did some of the work when all the renovations were done there a few years ago (Millinocket Regional Hospital). He said the stainless steel came from shelving in the kitchen area at that time. It still had labels on the edge indicating what was kept on the shelf. So part of the new museum sign was made from a piece of Millinocket’s architectural history!

Odds and Ends from the Museum

It’s spring! The warmer weather is starting to bring more visitors to the museum.  Recently five people with the group Friends of Baxter State Park stopped in as did a recent transplant from Oregon and folks from Boston, Washington County, Brunswick and Vermont. The 2017 U.S. map we use to keep track of where visitors are from is starting to show lots of color.

Someone recently asked what the museum had on the Medway Road area. There are winter photos of trucks and houses and one showing the CCC camp near where the Airport Cabins are today. The museum also has photos of the other CCC camps in the area.

Dorothy Laverty’s book revealed interesting pieces of information. Early on town leaders realized that other than the train, there was little access to this new town. You could travel by water up the West Branch or by land over the old Sourdnahunk tote road. Penobscot County commissioners were petitioned (1901) to consider a road to connect with Medway and Mattawamkeag. Central Street was extended and a bridge constructed over Millinocket Stream. A large picture (c1911) on display at the museum shows this bridge. The new road was continued and followed the old trail to Medway. Everyone referred to it as Medway Road. Just beyond the bridge was the original town dump. Later on, the Millinocket Cemetery was established on a plateau about a mile from the center of town. This street was also the location of a “Pest House” built circa 1917 to house quarantined individuals during the smallpox epidemic.

*** Still time to get your paver orders in for the next group to be placed later this year. Contact MHS for the specifics. The pavers are $100.00 each (tax deductible) and may be in honor or in memory, for a school or team, business, organization or in your own name. Once the snow melts, come view the pavers already in place.

***In the Museum Store: Millinocket, Magic City of Maine’s Wilderness  and So You Live in Millinocket, both by Dorothy Laverty; Millinocket by David Duplisea; Our Real War by Mike Murphy; No Time for Moss by S. McKeen (story of author’s mother, Verna Thorpe who grew up in Millinocket). Other local books for sale include: Katahdin Fantasies by Marian W. Smith plus her other books on local Native American legends and her books on Thoreau’s journey to Katahdin; The Northern by John McLeod and booklets from the town’s 50th and 100th birthday. We sometimes have an extra copy of Sawtelle’s Coach & His Boys; Sylvio Caron’s book on lumbering in the area and others. A great DVD titled Spirits of Katahdin researched and compiled by Colleen McLaughlin with music by Jude Ippoliti is available. Additional items include a few Fernwood pieces, vintage postcards, dishcloths and several things in our mini-yard sale display. As always, copies of the MHS calendars from 2009-2017 are on sale. Most items also available by mail. Contact me via email or phone for prices and SH info.

*** Museum HOURS…. Open Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays from noon – 3 PM. Watch for the sandwich board sign out front.

***Contact me, Curator Trudy Wyman, 207-723-5477 or trudy18@beeline-online.net to arrange for groups or appointments. Contact the Millinocket Historical Society at P. O. Box 11, on the web at www.millinockethistoricalsociety.org or on Facebook.

Fundraising Activities

See the Store page for information on books, calendars and other items for sale at the museum!

Paver Fundraiser

We’re off to a good start!

That describes the Millinocket Historical Society’s new fundraising project. Below is a brief explanation.  Please contact the museum for further details, to see a sample of what the paver will look like, to pick up an order blank, or to have one mailed to you.


Help the Millinocket Historical Society complete the renovation of the second floor, basement, and exterior of the new museum at 80 Central Street by purchasing your engraved paver.

Purchase a paver in memory of a loved one, your children, your family or yourself.  Buy a brick for your business, organization, or high school class. These engraved pavers will be placed in the space between the museum’s front porch and the sidewalk, along with a new permanent sign for the museum.

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