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

Author: Trudy Wyman (Page 1 of 17)

Why Mill Built Here?

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

Why was the paper mill built here where there was no town? That is a question museum volunteers hear on a regular basis. The simple answer given is that in the late 1800’s the demand for newsprint in the larger east coast cities prompted a group of men to choose the northern Maine woods as the ideal place for a paper mill. McLeod’s The Northern, the Way I Remember gives some detail on this topic.
Early paper mills manufactured paper from rags so mills were built close to population centers. Later when wood grinders began being used, water power was needed so mills were built along rivers. Poplar was the first wood of choice in the early days, but then spruce was used as it made a stronger pulp. Therefore, northern New York, New England and eastern Canada became the choice for paper mills.
In Maine, papermaking began in 1731 when General Sam Waldo built a mill near the mouth of the Presumpscot River in Falmouth. Fire destroyed that mill along with many others during the next 100 years.
In 1897, the Maine Legislature chartered the Northern Development Company, with Charles Mullen and other Bangor timberland owners as incorporators and they were to develop the water power on the Penobscot River. In that same year, a group of influential businessmen (Chisholm, Russell and more) brought twenty New England paper mills together as the International Paper Company in an effort to control competition.
A few months later, Garret Schenck, (his Rumford Falls mills was one of the mills absorbed into International Paper), severed his connection with that company. Schenck got together with Mullen and they associated themselves with the Northern Development Company. This then became the Great Northern Paper Co., and in November, 1900, Schenck presided at the opening ceremonies of the GNP’s Millinocket mill. It was a statement against the other group that competition would remain a fact of life in the newsprint industry.
In 1899-1900, the Maine woods were opening up. Horse-drawn and ox-drawn vehicles traveled “highways” and “tote roads” to Medway and north. The B & A RR extended to Houlton” and “sports traveled via train and boat to secluded camps to hunt and fish. The Fowler Farm was situated on what would become the mill site. There was something here, just not a town!
The museum has a few preowned copies of mentioned book, The Northern, for sale.

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, 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; “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 trudy18@beeline-online.net or the Millinocket Historical Society, P. O. Box 11, on the web at www.millinockethistoricalsociety.org or on Facebook.

Millinocket Library

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 trudy18@beeline-online.net or the Millinocket Historical Society, P. O. Box 11, on the web at www.millinockethistoricalsociety.org or on Facebook.

2021 Calendar is Here!

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

In March of 1901, the town of Millinocket was incorporated. Now, nearly 120 years later, the new 2021 Millinocket Historical Society calendar shows a variety of photos from those 120 years. The calendar is all about “changes” and begins with a modern cover photo of the present downtown area. It is a drone photo used with permission of local photographer Josh Linscott. The calendar then depicts collages of photos from the different areas of town including Shack Hill and Little Italy. These two early “residential areas” of Millinocket are represented by three photos each. One is from an early cyanotype (an early photographic process resulting in a blue photo) from the Laverty Collection.
Other calendar pages depict scenes from various neighborhoods. The Highland Avenue/Maine Avenue area shows some of the elaborate homes of the early downtown Millinocket that earned the nickname Society Hill or Snob Hill. Different styles of homes are represented on the pages for The Park Area and in the 1940’s after WWII Medway Road (Eastland Avenue) and in the 1950’s and 1960’s Hillcrest Development. (Note: Looking for early photos of Tin Can Alley at the mill end of Aroostook Avenue. Contact us if you have one!
Other neighborhoods are represented by photos of some of the businesses through the years. Aroostook Avenue (end toward Central Street grew from open spaces and an ice skating area to have a number of garages and hardware stores. One of the calendar pages shows some of these, all gone now. Outer Central street has the car dealerships that sprouted “on the hill” after the street was extended that way.
We did not forget to include: Across the Tracks (piles of logs on the Golden Road, Boddy’s Dairy milk wagon), Outer Bates Street (early KG with totem pole sign and the B & A station with horse-drawn buggies waiting to collect passengers) and The Pines/Iron Bridge Road with Rush’s Sawmill and the old swimming hole. The calendar covers a wide range to photos through the years. Stop in at the museum to get yours, just $12.00. Available by mail $12.00 each plus $5 each SH. Great gifts! Help support the museum…progress is continuing on the second floor display area!
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 trudy18@beeline-online.net or the Millinocket Historical Society, P. O. Box 11, on the web at www.millinockethistoricalsociety.org or on Facebook.

They Came From Europe!

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

Millinocket is nearly 120 years old! Think of the people who were coming to make this their home in that time period with most having no idea what it would be like here in the north Maine woods. In the beginning, they came from Europe.
One of men who came to Millinocket was Olaf Johnson from Sweden. Family members who visited the museum to donate some items of Johnson’s mentioned that many from Sweden went further north to New Sweden, Maine, but Olaf didn’t want to farm, he wanted to work with wood so he came to Millinocket. He worked, raised a family and became part of the community. The family donated several of his Masonic certificates and a Shriner’s certificate plus a pair of wooden skis and ski poles. Swedes, Finns and other northern Europeans long used and (some still do) skis for transportation as well as sport. The museum has a newspaper article from the 1950’s about the foundry that gives some interesting information about Olaf Johnson. He found his chance to work with wood by taking a job at the foundry where he “would fabricate from wood an exact reproduction of the casting desired. He could work from a blueprint or a rough drawing and create anything from a complicated machine part or a common sewer grating.” On his own time, Olaf also made some wood carvings and two examples were donated to the museum. They may be seen in the Research/Genealogy Room.
The 1900 Millinocket US Census shows multiple listings from Canada (English), Sweden, Ireland and Scotland plus one or two from Switzerland and Germany. In many cases only one family member was in Millinocket then, but in other cases there may be mention of a wife and children. One example, John Sandstrom and his wife and seven children are listed from Sweden. As expected there are several pages listing people from Italy. In some cases only a first or a last name is given. Many people in this 1900 census are listed as boarders as private houses were few and boarding houses were erected along the mill end of Katahdin Avenue, Penobscot Avenue. The museum has both a print copy and a digital copy of the Millinocket 1900 census (thanks, Bob Hallett).
Reminder, the museum is open and waiting for you to visit (social distancing and masks, please)!

In the Museum Store!
*** 2020 Calendars are here! Theme: Millinocket, Oh! How We’ve Changed! $12 each, mail orders add $5 SH. 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 trudy18@beeline-online.net or the Millinocket Historical Society, P. O. Box 11, on the web at www.millinockethistoricalsociety.org or on Facebook.

GNP First Aid Room, Part 2

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

Following is the rest of the article (started last week in this column) titled First Aid Rooms- Millinocket Plant, Part 2 from the June, 1922 issue of The Northern magazine.
“The Company doctor, Edward R. Mansfield, has his office hours at the First Aid Rooms each morning from 8:00 to 10:00, during which period he, with the assistance of Miss Pluma Deane, the Company nurse, are very busily engaged.
The nurse is on duty at the hospital from 8:00 to 5:30 PM, ready to render her services to all employees for injuries and sickness which might develop at the mill. Of course, if accidents should occur at any other hours during the day or night, the nurse would be called – but as the greater part of the injuries take place during the regular day, the need of a nurse outside of her hours ‘on duty’ is seldom required.
Records are kept in detail of the number of injuries and dressings – in fact of any and all calls made to the hospital for treatment – the names of the persons to whom services are rendered. Causes, results, etc. Statistics for 1921 develop the following figures: 3172 dressings, 729 cases. In other words, an average of two critical cases per day and about ten dressings.
It is needless to add that the employees of the Great Northern Paper Company and the citizens of Millinocket more than appreciate the advantages afforded by our First Aid Rooms.”
The MHS Facebook page photo of the RN employed by GNP (when Dr. Young was medical director) has been identified. Thanks to those who recognized her as Marguerite “Peg” Dyer, GNP nurse from 1943-1962. The museum now would like to acquire a vintage white enamel basin (approx. 12” diameter) for display with the exam chair described in last week’s column. See photo on the museum’s Facebook page.
Among other items donated by Dr. Blum were two diagrams/plans for the first aid room. Neither is dated. One is labeled “renovated” so we are assuming the other is an older version. This version shows a doctor’s office, waiting room, physical therapy area, exam/treatment room and an operating room. Neither diagram shows a space for the nurse.
Current news from the museum: the 2021 calendars are at the printers and will be available soon ($12 plus $5 for mail orders); this years engraved pavers will be in place soon (later than usual, the virus plus the engraver had a bike accident). Reminder, the museum is open and waiting for you to visit (social distancing and masks, please)!

In the Museum Store!
*** 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 trudy18@beeline-online.net or the Millinocket Historical Society, P. O. Box 11, on the web at www.millinockethistoricalsociety.org or on Facebook.

GNP First Aid Room

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

Coincidence is defined as a “remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances without apparent causal connection.” The coincidence that happened at the museum recently concerned an item donation and a reorganization project that unexpectedly coincided.
Dr. Blum (mill medical director for several years) visited the museum and donated an exam chair and accessories, a photo showing himself and another man next to #11, several forms/other papers from the mill’s first aid room and a metal sign indicating the mill manager’s office and production superintendent’s office.
The exam chair from the first aid room is metal, white and has a removable arm rest, a removable basin holder and place for a removable head rest (missing). With the chair are two white enamel containers and a stainless steel basin (original would have been white enamel). A few days later, Mrs. Blum dropped off a photo showing Dr. Ernest Young (mill doctor), Edward Healey (medical assistant) and an unidentified registered nurse in the mill’s first aid room and in the photo is the white metal exam chair! At first look, this chair was thought to be from the 1940’s or 50’s. Also seen in the photo are a white enamel sink and various white enamel wheeled carts, containers etc. This photo has to be 1978 or prior as Dr. Young died in 1978. (The museum’s Facebook page has a photo of the nurse…please help us identify her!)
The coincidence occurred when Leola (MHS Assistant Curator/Research & Genealogy volunteer) was sorting the museum’s collection of The Northern magazine. There on one page was a story titled “First Aid Rooms-Millinocket Plant.” This issue is #3, volume 2, June, 1922! It begins, “What was formerly known as the Old Pipe Shop at Millinocket plant of the Great Northern Paper Company has recently acquired the new dignity of a young hospital. This hospital, all modern-equipped, consists of a Ward (in which there are beds), a Surgery, a First Aid Room, Doctor’s Office, Waiting Room, Corridors and Bath. The First Aid, Surgery and Bath rooms are finished in white enamel; the Ward in buff, (all the windows in the Ward being hung with attractive two-tone curtains); the Waiting Room and Corridors are finished in gray.”
There are three photos (a bit grainy) accompanying the story and the exact exam chair (or a later one that looks just like the one donated by Dr. Blum) is seen in one of the photos. Other furnishings in the photos (including the sink) appear to be the same as in the photo with Dr. Young. So we are saying that the date on the exam chair is 1922, not the 1940’s or 50’s! More from the story next week!

In the Museum Store!
*** 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 trudy18@beeline-online.net or the Millinocket Historical Society, P. O. Box 11, on the web at www.millinockethistoricalsociety.org or on Facebook.

1921 Town Meeting

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

“A special town meeting will be held in the Armory, July 18th for the following objects: To see if the town will issue bonds to the amount of $150,000 in denominations of $1,000 for the construction of the George W. Stearns High school building, the proposed bonds to bear interest at 4 1/2% percent; to see if the town will increase the salary of the town treasurer, F. W. Rush, $200 for the year 1922; to see if the town will authorize the treasurer to borrow the sum of $1000 to construct sidewalks along such streets as have been designated by the U. S. Post Office as routes to be covered by the free delivery of the mail; to see if the town will authorize the selectmen to cause all houses on the carrier routes to be numbered, and place such numbers on the houses at the expense of the owners.”
The above paragraph describes some of the town business discussed at the Millinocket town meeting in 1921. The article is from one of the scrapbooks at the museum. In July, 1921, Millinocket’s first school building (Millinocket High School and Common School was still standing, but was very crowded so planning was under way for construction of a new high school.) This early planning proved to be a great idea, as later that same year, Millinocket High School and Common School burned to the ground in Nov. 1921.
The third item, regarding sidewalk construction, tells us that in that time period, mail was only delivered to homes on streets where sidewalks existed. I wonder which streets got sidewalks from that $1000? And only on one side or both sides of the street?
The 1921 town meeting was held at the Armory. At that time, a small building on Central Street (later site of Gonya’s Garage) served as the Armory. It was also the community center for plays, dances and boxing bouts. The small building had first existed at the corner of Katahdin Avenue and Cherry Street and was later moved to Central Street. The original had served as the town’s first church (interdenominational.)
The museum will be open on July 2, July 3 and July 4, 11AM to 3PM. Since this year July 4th looks to be a bit different without the usual parade etc., we will be open our regular hours. If there is good traffic, we will stay open a bit longer. The open sign will be lit. You can also call the number below to arrange an appointment at other times!
Remember to wear a mask and social distance! Stay safe!

In the Museum Store!
*** 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 trudy18@beeline-online.net or the Millinocket Historical Society, P. O. Box 11, on the web at www.millinockethistoricalsociety.org or on Facebook.

Questions and Queries!

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

An earlier column stated that in the early days of GNP, Garret Schenck did not want “a typical company town with rowhouses and he determined that the company would retain control and would decide what was to be built and where.” A question has been posed to us by a museum visitor. When were Millinocket residents first allowed to own the land their homes were on? We, at the museum, would like to hear what readers know about this subject.
The two Laverty books discuss this issue briefly and that information follows. Laverty’s first book (the history) says, “As streets became realities, people applied for house lots.” Stearns (land agent) helped the locate their homes (value to be $750-$1000), placed 15 feet back from street and lot payments on pay-as-you-can basis as mill was just beginning production and money not always available. The book states that is it was in the 1920’s when land agent Seelye first started issuing quitclaim deeds when lot payments were completed.
Laverty’s 2nd book, So You Live in Millinocket (available to purchase at the museum) gives some additional information from McLeod’s GNP history. This says, “Between Nov. 1, 1899 and Dec. 31, 1927, Garret Schenck signed, as president, deeds to literally hundreds of lots sold by the Company in Townsites of Millinocket and East Millinocket.” It continues, “This may be a good place to spike the rumor which has persisted for seventy years that conveyances from the company for lots in these towns were not deeds, but 99-year leases…All conveyances of Company-owned land for house lots from the beginning were quitclaim deeds.”
Received information from the recent query regarding William A. Johnston opening a drug store in the Millinocket/East Millinocket area around 1906-07 until about 1918. Jay Robinson (lifelong bottle digger and collector) responded with photos of two Johnston Pharmacy bottles. The pharmacy was in East Millinocket (across from the present credit union) on the corner. At one time, visible on the door stoop, the words Johnston’s Pharmacy were visible. This information was passed on to the person who sent the query who will pass it on to Johnston’s descendant.
Author Brian Huey did a book signing at the former museum here in Millinocket in 2008 when his first book in the Perpetual series came out (three books in all with numbers 4 and 5 in the works). Much of the first novel is set in Millinocket. A recent email from Huey informs us that casting for Matthew and Maria (the two main characters) is in progress for a TV series pilot with filming hopefully to begin in 2021. All three Perpetual books are at the Millinocket Memorial Library when it reopens.
In the Museum Store!
*** 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 trudy18@beeline-online.net or the Millinocket Historical Society, P. O. Box 11, on the web at www.millinockethistoricalsociety.org or on Facebook.

Papermaking Vocab!

By Trudy Wyman, Curator, Millinocket Historical Society Museum

A bit of papermaking vocabulary from John McLeod’s The Northern, The Way I Remember.
1. Back-tender – the “second hand” or No. 2 man on a paper machine crew (museum has pharmacy bottles containing back-tender’s lotion so appears to have been a pain producing job),
2. Blade coater- the worker who applies coating material to the paper web and then scrapes off excess with a metal blade,
3. Bleeding – to draw steam from a boiler,
4. Broke – New paper that has been torn or damaged on its way through a paper machine,
5. Set – When a full width of paper roll is split into narrower rolls for a customer, they are called a set
6. Spear – Long pole with sharpened end used to cut through paper that has wrapped around itself around a roll,
7. Wire – A fine-mesh wire or plastic screen on which paper is formed from pulp as water drains away.

An earlier writing told a brief history of the Millinocket Post Office. It mentioned that for a time (before the post office building was constructed on Penobscot Avenue in 1937) space was rented in several downtown buildings. While viewing a 1916 Sanborn map at the museum, I noted that it showed the Millinocket Post Office on Central Street in what would be called the Decker-Gonya block. It appears to be where the Computer Rehab is currently located next to the alley. It is also where the original Millinocket Memorial Library would be located in 1919. The 1916 map indicates a variety store was next to the post office with a drug store in the corner spot.
The museum had a query recently about a William A. Johnston. He was believed to have opened a drug store in the Millinocket/East Millinocket area around 1906-07 and was in this area until about 1918. A family member has letters mentioning starting a drug store from “scratch” and investing $500.00 for “drug fixtures.” If anyone has knowledge of this person or drugstore, please contact the museum.
The first week of reopening went well with a few people stopping in and two with items to donate. Museum will continue to be open regular days and hours…plan to stop in with mask and social distancing!
In the Museum Store!
*** 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 trudy18@beeline-online.net or the Millinocket Historical Society, P. O. Box 11, on the web at www.millinockethistoricalsociety.org or on Facebook.

Biggest Mill in World

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

“Immense Plant for Great Northern Paper Co. Nears Completion” reads the headline in the Bangor Weekly Commercial dated June 8, 1900. A secondary headline states “Biggest in World”. A copy of this newspaper page can be seen at the Millinocket Historical Society museum. Things happened quickly in 1899 on the Millinocket project once Schenck (founder & first president of GNP), Ferguson (engineer who designed the mill) and others got things started. Construction contracts were signed for a newsprint mill with facilities for groundwood and sulfite production and eight paper machines. It would have a capacity of 240 tons per day. This number would make GNP the largest mill of its kind in the world at that time.
The railroad figured prominently in this new business venture and in February of 1899, a deal was made with the Bangor and Aroostook Railroad. The company gave B & A land for a station, freight house, roundhouse and turntable, yard space and the railroad would build the spur track from the main line to the mill yard.
The bulk of the construction work was done during the winter of 1899-1900. Some of the machinery had arrived in the spring and the 235 foot brick chimney, tallest in Maine at the time, had been completed in June. Work continued through the summer and fall. On Nov.1, 1900, President Schenck opened the gate that turned the water on the turbines. Then he turned on the electricity to the machines, pulled the lever to the log carrier and then moved on to start more of the links in the process. On Nov. 9, the first set of paper was turned up on No. 7 machine and six were running on Jan. 31, 1901. This was the beginning of GNP’s paper production referred to in the Bangor Weekly Commercial and the John McLeod book, The Northern, the Way I Remember.
Men of many nationalities worked on construction of this mill including a large number of Italians. Housing was a problem as there was no established town at first. Tents, boxcars and crude shacks provided shelter. Some barracks type buildings housed engineers and supervisors. Plans for the townsite were drawn up early by the company and some assistance was given by GNP to people who wanted to construct homes (on GNP land). Schenck did not want a typical company town with rowhouses and he determined that the company would retain control and would decide what was to be built and where.

In the Museum Store!
*** 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 trudy18@beeline-online.net or the Millinocket Historical Society, P. O. Box 11, on the web at www.millinockethistoricalsociety.org or on Facebook.