Millinocket Historical Society

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

Category: Curator (Page 1 of 9)

Millinocket 1903

Millinocket is often referred to as the “Magic City.” Dorothy Laverty used this term in the title of her 1973 book, Millinocket, Magic City of Maine’s Wilderness. There is no reference available as to when this term first came into use, but it seems appropriate.
In 1899, there was a farm house, a barn and several outbuildings, with a few acres of land, all located within the bounds of what became the town of Millinocket. The Bangor and Aroostook Railroad tracks did pass nearby, but otherwise it was wilderness. However, by 1903 there were about 3000 inhabitants. A report filed by the Bureau of Industrial and Labor Statistics for the State of Maine gives this information and a great deal more and is a very interesting read. Much of the report is about the development and growth of GNP, but some tells of the town itself.
In 1903, Millinocket was one of only four incorporated towns in northern Penobscot County. The others were Medway, Patten and Mount Chase. The report states, “the town has large, neat and comfortable dwelling houses, and many of them, in architectural beauty, would do credit to any town or city in the state. It has one hardware store or firm that carries on plumbing in all its branches, one tin smith and plumber, two drug stores, thee grocery, meat and provision stores, one general store, one bakery, one boot and shoe store, five clothing stores, two dry goods stores with millinery connected, one jewelry store, three confectionery and fruit stores, one department store, one furniture store, three barbers’ shops, three hotels, several boarding houses, one restaurant and three livery stables. There is also a good photographer, and his fine views taken during the development of the plant, a good idea of the progress made in the building of the town.” An interesting project would be to identify and map out these businesses. The museum has some newspapers from that time period and the advertisements would give clues. It would be a good student project or a task for anyone else interested!
Recently, a Bangor middle school student (with Millinocket ties) visited for information for a class project. Also, the museum has just been contacted by a Maryland college teacher who is coming to the area doing research. Historical societies, along with libraries, are the go-to places for historical and genealogical research.
The museum is sending out its annual fundraising letters. If you did not yet receive a letter and wish to donate to help preserve Millinocket’s history, see contact information below. Thank you!

***Available at the museum store………
1. “Within Katahdin’s Realm, Log Drives and Sporting Camps” by Bill Geller – $30.00 ($5.00 each SH);
2. “Tales of Little Italy” DVD, $15.00 ($2.50 each SH)
3. “A Little Taste of History” cookbooks – $15.00 ($5.00 each SH on mail orders);
4. “Spirits of Katahdin” DVD – $10.00 ($2.50 each SH);
5. 2019 MHS Calendars, “Sports for All Ages”- $10.00 ($5.00 each SH);
6. Engraved pavers, $100.00 each, contact MHS for details and form;
…and more.
*** Museum open Thursday, Friday, Saturday, noon – 3PM weather permitting.
***Contact me, Curator Trudy Wyman, 723-5477 or trudy18@beeline-online.net. For groups or appointments, contact the Millinocket Historical Society at P. O. Box 11, on the web at www.millinockethistoricalsociety.org or on Facebook.

Local Books

Some interesting folks have called Millinocket home! A few have been written about and others have written about topics other than themselves. A package arrived in the mail recently for the museum. It contained ten copies of the book No Time for Moss and a note stating that perhaps the museum could sell them as a mini-fundraiser. Published in 2014 and written by Sid McKeen, it is the story of his mother, Verna Thorpe McKeen, born 1910, whose early life was in Millinocket (and many other places). The book states that a family log indicates Verna, her husband and children changed addresses no fewer than sixty times by the time Verna was sixty years old with fourteen of them being in Millinocket. Some of the story is in her own words from the audio cassette tapes and diaries Verna kept and the remainder of the story is memories of some of her children. It’s a good read! The museum has a couple of copies available to look at in the Research/Genealogy Room as well as the copies for sale.
The Research/Genealogy Room has a section with all the books by/about Millinocket people and topics. All are welcome to visit and look at or read these books here at the museum. They include books by Katy Perry, Dorothy Laverty, Marion Whitney Smith, Jane Rideout Jones, Dr. Morey, Rick McAtee, Joel Dearing, Tim Caverly and more. We are looking for more local authors to add to this section.
In the museum store, we have a small selection of used local books for sale. Did you know that in addition to Katahdin Fantasies (tales of the spirits of Katahdin), Marion Whitney Smith wrote two books about Thoreau’s travels in this area plus two works of fiction? The Northern by John McLeod is a great brief history of early GNP.
Availability varies on these used books depending on what becomes available. Books written by Sylvio Caron, Sawtelle’s story of Coach Wentworth, Timber by McCann quickly disappear from the sales shelf. The museum gladly accepts your unwanted copies. Available for purchase (not listed below) include Mike Murphy’s Our Real War and Westrich’s Hiking in Baxter State Park.
Some of you know, there is always a jigsaw puzzle in progress on the back table and we invite visitors to sit and put in a few pieces. A large collection of these are available for purchase (50 cents each). Stop in and take a look!
The museum is sending out its annual fundraising letters. If you did not yet receive a letter and wish to donate to help preserve Millinocket’s history, see contact information below. Thank you!

***Available at the museum store………
1. “Within Katahdin’s Realm, Log Drives and Sporting Camps” by Bill Geller – $30.00 ($5.00 each SH);
2. “Tales of Little Italy” DVD, $15.00 ($2.50 each SH)
3. “A Little Taste of History” cookbooks – $15.00 ($5.00 each SH on mail orders);
4. “Spirits of Katahdin” DVD – $10.00 ($2.50 each SH);
5. 2019 MHS Calendars, “Sports for All Ages”- $10.00 ($5.00 each SH);
6. Engraved pavers, $100.00 each, contact MHS for details and form;
…and more.
*** Museum open Thursday, Friday, Saturday, noon – 3PM weather permitting.
***Contact me, Curator Trudy Wyman, 723-5477 or trudy18@beeline-online.net. For groups or appointments, contact the Millinocket Historical Society at P. O. Box 11, on the web at www.millinockethistoricalsociety.org or on Facebook.

Confectioners, Clothiers & Furnishings

Early Millinocket businesses included those that provided millinery, confectionery items, furnishings and clothing. Last week this column told about Rosalie Rush Ryan, local milliner (lady’s hat designer and maker). A confectionery was a store or small shop that sold candy and other sweets that might include cakes and more. The maker of these candies and sweets was called a confectioner. If a store sold clothing particularly for men and boys, the owner was called a clothier. A furniture seller who also provided other household decorative items such as curtains and carpets was said to sell furnishings. Businesses from early years advertised in newspapers, yearbooks and other ways.
The 1928 Stearns HS yearbook includes the following ads. A fruit and confectionery store was run by R.V. Fowler who also sold ice cream. Mrs. J. Simon offered a “quick lunch and confectionery.” Hobb’s advertised a candy kitchen.
Listed as a clothier was H.A.M. Rush. His message to young male students and graduates was “get the fine appearance habit. It will be one of your greatest assets in years to come.” His brother Eugene Rush had a women’s and children’s store next door. His ad does not use the word “clothier” rather it says “ladies’ and children’s furnishings.” Moran’s was a well-known store for men’s wear including the popular 1920’s straw hats for men. Harry Carroll’s business, Carroll the Tailor, could alter, mend and otherwise repair men’s clothing. He also did cleaning and pressing.
Fuller Furniture Company could supply the home owner with many of the needed home furnishings and also sold refrigerators, paint, varnishes and wall papers. They also gave out green stamps. Another milliner in addition to Mrs. Ryan was Blanche Stevens who had a Hat and Art Novelty Shop. She advertised “millinery and fancy work, Butterick patterns and Belding Dress Silks (silks referred to silk sewing threads).
Other local businesses long gone from Penobscot Avenue that have ads in this yearbook are: The S.& S. Bowlerdrome, Mabel Hardy’s gift and baby shop, S.J. Hikel’s pool room and barber shop, Millinocket Bottling Company and Bouchard’s Shoe Hospital. There are many more and all have an interesting history. Help the museum create a file on these businesses and others through the years by providing information and/or photos, items and signs related to these businesses and their owners.
The museum is sending out its annual fundraising letters. If you did not yet receive a letter and wish to donate to help preserve Millinocket’s history and aid in the completion of the 2nd floor display space, see contact information below. Thank you!

***Available at the museum store………
1. “Within Katahdin’s Realm, Log Drives and Sporting Camps” by Bill Geller – $30.00 ($5.00 each SH);
2. “Tales of Little Italy” DVD, $15.00 ($2.50 each SH)
3. “A Little Taste of History” cookbooks – $15.00 ($5.00 each SH on mail orders);
4. “Spirits of Katahdin” DVD – $10.00 ($2.50 each SH);
5. 2019 MHS Calendars, “Sports for All Ages”- $10.00 ($5.00 each SH);
6. Engraved pavers, $100.00 each, contact MHS for details and form;
…and more.
*** Museum open Thursday, Friday, Saturday, noon – 3PM weather permitting.
***Contact me, Curator Trudy Wyman, 723-5477 or trudy18@beeline-online.net. For groups or appointments, contact the Millinocket Historical Society at P. O. Box 11, on the web at www.millinockethistoricalsociety.org or on Facebook.

A Million Hats by a Local Milliner

At the time of Millinocket’s 50th birthday in 1951, a number of its citizens received Pioneer Badges. To receive a badge, the person had to have lived in Millinocket since it was incorporated in 1901 and register at the new municipal building. Many of these pioneers were featured in the Bangor Daily News special edition, August 18-19, 1951.
One of the ladies on the list was Rosalie Rush Ryan, famed local milliner. Recently, I found a 1963 BDN article titled “Millinocket Milliner Retires after 54 Years in Business.” Rosalie and husband Dr. Matthew Ryan came from Rumford and built a home on Highland Avenue. It was one of the first homes and was constructed by her brother Frank Rush, contractor and owner of a saw mill.
Unfortunately Dr. Ryan died two years later & Mrs. Ryan was left with two young children to raise. At this time, women rarely entered the business world, but Mrs. Ryan decided to start a millinery business. The news article details Mrs. Ryan’s journey. She placed her children in a convent so she could travel to Portland and learn to make hats. Then she traveled to New York for a six month stay to learn more. Having learned the skills of a milliner, she returned to Millinocket with her children and started a hat business in her home and hired a woman to care for the children.
Later, Mrs. Ryan moved her business to brother Eugene Rush’s women’s and children’s store on Penobscot Avenue. During the next few years, many millinery businesses came and went in Millinocket, but Mrs. Rush continued on. Women today do not realize the importance hats were to women in those days. The article states that Mrs. Ryan made two trips yearly to wholesale houses to copy new styles. The proper lady of that era would only wear a hat for a season and would need to update as the styles changed. Mrs. Ryan’s first hats sold from $8 to $25 and might be trimmed with large plumes, birds of paradise, feathers, beaver etc. Hats from past seasons would sell for $5. Attempts to train several girls to make hats, failed as they said it was too difficult.
When Mrs. Ryan retired at age 86 after 54 years in business, she claimed to have sold over one million hats. Visit the museum to see one of these creations. It is a black hat, round with a label RM Ryan, Millinocket and was probably suitable for someone in mourning to wear.
The Ryan home, demolished several years ago, was located near the Great Northern Hotel facing Highland Ave. (across from former Dr. Shippee office).

***Available at the museum store………
1. “Within Katahdin’s Realm, Log Drives and Sporting Camps” by Bill Geller – $30.00 ($5.00 each SH);
2. “Tales of Little Italy” DVD, $15.00 ($2.50 each SH)
3. “A Little Taste of History” cookbooks – $15.00 ($5.00 each SH on mail orders);
4. “Spirits of Katahdin” DVD – $10.00 ($2.50 each SH);
5. 2019 MHS Calendars, “Sports for All Ages”- $10.00 ($5.00 each SH);
6. Engraved pavers, $100.00 each, contact MHS for details and form;
…and more.
*** Museum open Thursday, Friday, Saturday, noon – 3PM weather permitting.
***Contact me, Curator Trudy Wyman, 723-5477 or trudy18@beeline-online.net. For groups or appointments, contact the Millinocket Historical Society at P. O. Box 11, on the web at www.millinockethistoricalsociety.org or on Facebook.

Bits & Pieces

A little bit of everything this week! People have been contacting the museum with queries, the first item donations for 2019 have been received and Facebook users have been busy posting interesting Millinocket photos.
I found an interesting black three-ring binder by the museum’s front door recently. It contains many news articles about George Wentworth and his basketball teams plus other articles from the same era. Wish the donor would email or Facebook message so we would know who to list as the donor.
Volunteers have been busy preparing and sending out the museum’s annual appeal letters. This is a major part of the fundraising efforts to keep the museum’s doors open year round. These letters will continue to go out over the next several weeks. Options include a money donation, the purchase of an engraved paver, buy something from the museum store or become an MHS member. If you do not receive a letter, we would still like to hear from you!
This column appears weekly on the MHS Facebook page and on our website. Recently on the Facebook page Millinocket, East Millinocket & Medway, ME History page, people have been posting many interesting area photos. Just want to let you know that many of these can also be seen at the museum. In particular, we have several of the Millinocket 50th birthday albums (1951). The photos were done by Millinocket photographer Crowell. Most of the albums have photos of all the parade floats, but the albums differ slightly as to other photos. Apparently, families could choose which photos they wanted included. Other recent Facebook photos are from John McLeod’s The Northern, The Way I Remember. This is the condensed version of the much larger work. The museum has several used copies of this book for sale ($25.00).
The sign board recently placed on the location of the former mini-golf has two photos provided by the museum. The sign was made and placed by the Katahdin Tourism Partnership.
Queries come to the museum by phone, mail, email and Facebook. One person asked if we had information on the Springfield, Carroll Plantation area. We do have some things on the town’s immediate area, but not from those towns. Another query asked about Phillipe Rouleau who was known to be in Millinocket in 1939. He had a brother Octave Rouleau who died 1939. We have the contact information if anyone recognizes those names.
A new item was donated by St. Martin’s Church. It is small bell (tap with your finger) from the former St. Martin’s school. The bell was brought to the museum by Dot Howard.

***Available at the museum store………
1. “Within Katahdin’s Realm, Log Drives and Sporting Camps” by Bill Geller – $30.00 ($5.00 each SH);
2. “Tales of Little Italy” DVD, $15.00 ($2.50 each SH)
3. “A Little Taste of History” cookbooks – $15.00 ($5.00 each SH on mail orders);
4. “Spirits of Katahdin” DVD – $10.00 ($2.50 each SH);
5. 2019 MHS Calendars, “Sports for All Ages”- $10.00 ($5.00 each SH);
6. Engraved pavers, $100.00 each, contact MHS for details and form;
…and more.
*** Museum open Thursday, Friday, Saturday, noon – 3PM weather permitting.
***Contact me, Curator Trudy Wyman, 723-5477 or trudy18@beeline-online.net. For groups or appointments, contact the Millinocket Historical Society at P. O. Box 11, on the web at www.millinockethistoricalsociety.org or on Facebook.

Crosby Steam Gauge & Valve Company

The Crosby Steam Gauge and Valve Company was the maker of the piece of the small steam whistle mentioned in this column a few weeks ago. The same company was the maker of the original GNP steam whistle on display at the museum. The large GNP whistle was from the original steam plant and is remembered by countless museum visitors as the 5 o’clock signal to return home for supper. Recently, an MHS member provided additional information on this company. Crosby was born in Bangor, grew up in Albion and then went to work in New Brunswick at a company building engines and machinery. Then he moved to Boston and became an apprentice machinist at the Boston Locomotive Works and then foreman at a steam gauge company. In 1876, Crosby started the Crosby Steam Gauge and Valve Company. As an inventor, he held over thirty patents, mostly steam engine accessories. Upon his retirement to Albion, Crosby built a palatial mansion equipped with steam heat. This background information is from “Two Feet to Tidewater,” by Jones and Register. It is always good to have additional information on any artifact in the museum’s collection.
Another book(on loan to the museum), A Day’s Work, A Sampler of Historic Maine Photographs 1860-1920, tells the tale of an Italian immigrant who came to a Bangor employment agency and was offered work in a logging camp. He took the train to Norcross (in 1902) with no idea where he was going or what would be expected of him. Leaving the train at the station (a small shack with a wood sign signifying Norcross), the man boarded a small steamer. The man proved unsuccessful as a lumberman and after one winter “escaped” to Boston. The book details this man’s journey and tells that all turned out well for him. This story does not directly relate to Millinocket, it is possible the piece of the small steam whistle donated earlier may have been on the steamer that took this man across the lake from Norcross. The man’s name was Constantine Panunzio. A copy of this story will be added to the museum’s logging collection and the Little Italy collection as side stories.
At the start of each year, a new US map is placed on the table near the museum’s entrance. It is used to note where our visitors are from. In 2018, visitors from thirty-six states plus Washington, D.C. Foreign countries were also represented with visitors from Japan, Germany, Mexico, Taiwan, Wales, Italy, England and Canada. Where will 2019 take us?

***Available at the museum store………
1. “Within Katahdin’s Realm, Log Drives and Sporting Camps” by Bill Geller – $30.00 ($5.00 each SH);
2. “Tales of Little Italy” DVD, $15.00 ($2.50 each SH)
3. “A Little Taste of History” cookbooks – $15.00 ($5.00 each SH on mail orders);
4. “Spirits of Katahdin” DVD – $10.00 ($2.50 each SH);
5. 2019 MHS Calendars, “Sports for All Ages”- $10.00 ($5.00 each SH);
6. Engraved pavers, $100.00 each, contact MHS for details and form;
…and more.
*** Museum open Thursday, Friday, Saturday, noon – 3PM weather permitting.
***Contact me, Curator Trudy Wyman, 723-5477 or trudy18@beeline-online.net. For groups or appointments, contact the Millinocket Historical Society at P. O. Box 11, on the web at www.millinockethistoricalsociety.org or on Facebook.

End of Year Donations

Wishing all the many MHS visitors and supporters a Happy New Year! The number of individuals and groups donating one or more items to the museum collection in 2018 rose last week to 95. These are some of the items recently donated.
A ticket from the Elks Thanksgiving Ball, 1949, was donated by Becky Drennan. The ticket was $1.00 plus $.20 tax. Darlene Kronholm gave a scrapbook of weddings, engagements and other 1940’s news articles made by Leatha Lyle. News articles such as these are added to the Research Room files. Mike E. Madore shared a 1905 The Engineering Record magazine. This subscription magazine was mailed to a Millinocket resident. George Hussey of Winn brought in several paper items including an ink blotter advertising The Millinocket Insurance Co., a business card from James W. Frost, local provider of chimney building and cleaning and a pocket size advertisement of Frank Rush as seller of Bestwall for construction of ceilings and walls. Rush was a noted businessman in Millinocket’s early days. A section of trim board from a house on State Street has a tie to the Rush family. Stephen Bailey, working on the home, thought this architectural piece might be of historical interest. This trim was used throughout the home. On the back, handwritten with some sort of black crayon or marker is J. Rush, Millinocket, Me. What is the story of this architectural piece? Another mystery to try to solve.
More items, Flo Berry of Indiana sent a Millinocket 50th birthday booklet and a Fernwood piece of the bandstand. Paul Haines showed museum volunteers a large collection of GNP stock certificates. He presented the museum with several dated the 1930’s and one GNP #92 dated May 21, 1901. Ed Hamm allowed the scanning of 50+ photos of mostly GNP East Millinocket workers, c1960-80’s. Darryl W. Perry, the marathon runner who set up a fund for the museum, donated a copy of his book, Lapping Everyone on the Couch. It details his story of a large weight loss to becoming a marathon runner.
The largest item donated at year’s end is the large cast iron coffee grinder given by Les Harriman. The grinder was once a fixture in the store of Harriman’s great-grandfather Frank Chase. Chase had a store on Katahdin Ave. and also rented rooms (23) and served meals. The coffee grinder, made by the Enterprise Manufacturing Co., Philadelphia, was patented in 1898. These grinders or coffee mills were designed to be used by customers, were often painted red and adorned with decals. The top hopper for beans was usually copper or brass and had an eagle finial atop the hopper. The finial is missing on the donated grinder.
***Available at the museum store………
1. “Within Katahdin’s Realm, Log Drives and Sporting Camps” by Bill Geller – $30.00 ($5.00 each SH);
2. “Tales of Little Italy” DVD, $15.00 ($2.50 each SH)
3. Taste of History cookbooks – $15.00 ($5.00 each SH on mail orders);
4. “Spirits of Katahdin” DVD – $10.00 ($2.50 each SH);
5. 2019 MHS Calendars, “Sports for All Ages”- $10.00 ($5.00 each SH);
6. Engraved pavers, $100.00 each, contact MHS for details and form;
…and more.
*** Museum open Thursday, Friday, Saturday, noon – 3PM weather permitting.
***Contact me, Curator Trudy Wyman, 723-5477 or trudy18@beeline-online.net. For groups or appointments, contact the Millinocket Historical Society at P. O. Box 11, on the web at www.millinockethistoricalsociety.org or on Facebook.

The Library Story, Part 2

Millinocket Memorial Library story, part 2. “By 1926, Millinocket’s 25th birthday, the library had over 6000 volumes and a circulation of over 42,000 books. Information from early 1920’s town reports tell of the library’s importance to the community. The report for 1921 states, “The modern public library is not only a source for supplying light reading matter, a sufficient excuse for its existence, but a modern library is a place where information from the purely technical to the simplest may be obtained.”
As part of the town’s 50th anniversary activities (1951), a construction committee was formed to make plans for a new larger library. A plot of land opposite the Millinocket Trust Company on Penobscot Avenue was acquired from the Great Northern Paper Company. Each year, monies were voted at town meetings for the new library and committees were formed. (Note: the museum has a blueprint of the exterior of this proposed library). When the Great Northern Hotel was demolished, the town exchanged the Penobscot Avenue lot with GNP for the former hotel lot and new plans moved forward.
The new Millinocket Memorial Library was constructed at the intersection of Maine Avenue and Highland Avenue. 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, reference room, multi-use space as well as office and work space for staff. The cost was $160,000.
The Memorial Room honors those who fought and sacrificed in World War I and houses a good collection of WWI, WWII and Vietnam era volumes. The dedication plaque from the original library can be seen near the main entrance. It has the names of Murray Morgan, Harry Boynton, Donald Henry and Lawrence Bradley, local men who gave their lives in WWI.”
The original Memories of Maine article (Spring, 2016) told of the community groups that helped the library (Teacher’s Club, Literary Club, Art Society, Garden Club and others. An old town report stated the schools taught “the proper care and regard for a book, and a very noticeable improvement has been made as the results of the ‘Library Etiquette’ suggestions which have been posted in each school room.”
The Children’s Room has been the center for many activities throughout the years including book swaps, craft days and preschool story time. The summer reading club still continues and usually revolves around a theme.
We can’t forget the efforts of the Friends of the Millinocket Memorial Library and the volunteers who kept the doors open through difficult times. It has truly been a community effort!
The museum has the Gilbert desk and a wooden newspaper rack from the original library plus photos.

***Available at the museum store………
1. “Within Katahdin’s Realm, Log Drives and Sporting Camps” by Bill Geller – $30.00 ($5.00 each SH);
2. “Tales of Little Italy” DVD, $15.00 ($2.50 each SH)
3. Taste of History cookbooks – $15.00 ($5.00 each SH on mail orders);
4. “Spirits of Katahdin” DVD – $10.00 ($2.50 each SH);
5. 2019 MHS Calendars, “Sports for All Ages”- $10.00 ($5.00 each SH);
6. Engraved pavers, $100.00 each, contact MHS for details and form;
…and more
***Contact me, Curator Trudy Wyman, 723-5477 or trudy18@beeline-online.net. For groups or appointments, contact the Millinocket Historical Society at P. O. Box 11, on the web at www.millinockethistoricalsociety.org or on Facebook.

The Library Story, Part 1

The Millinocket Memorial Library will be celebrating its 100th birthday next year. Planning and fundraising are taking place prior to the major renovations expected to begin next May. The library has existed in two locations and its story is a big part of the town’s history. Following is part 1 of the library’s story by this writer which appeared in the Spring, 2016 issue of Memories of Maine magazine.
“On November 11, 1919, the first library in Millinocket opened its doors in the town known as the ‘Magic City.’ The nickname was earned due to the rapid growth from a spot in the Maine wilderness to a bustling town where many new homes and businesses were being built. There were two large hotels, an Opera House, Millinocket Light Company, two livery stables, two blacksmiths, three schools, a fire station and a growing paper mill that had just added three new paper machines. The town was 11 ½ years old.
The previous summer, the Chautauqua (an educational, cultural and religious movement from the late 1800’s that sent out speakers and musicians, etc. to towns throughout the U. S.) came to town and with them was an author/lecturer. In his speech he described the great things he saw in town, but mentioned that he failed to see a public library. This became the impetus for a library and the next town meeting had an article in the warrant to rent the former post office quarters on Central Street, to purchase essential books, and to employ a local person as librarian. There was some opposition to raising the needed $2500.00 but when it was suggested that it be called the Millinocket Memorial Library to honor those had fought in WWI, the article passed.
The Great Northern Paper Company added $1000.00 and Emma Schenck, wife of GNP president Garrett Schenck, added $200.00. Local individuals donated numerous books for this first library. It was located in the Gonya Block next to the Corner Drug Store. The library opened on Armistice Day, November 11, 1919 with Mrs. Mae Shorey as the first librarian. A bronze plaque honoring the town’s war heroes was placed in the library at its dedication. Due to the small space (only one room), adults only were allowed in on opening day. The next day after school, many children packed the sidewalk out front awaiting their chance to enter, to sit at one of the two low round tables and explore one of the many books or magazines from the packed shelves.
Part 2, to follow soon.

***Available at the museum store ………
1. “Within Katahdin’s Realm, Log Drives and Sporting Camps” by Bill Geller – $30.00 ($5.00 each SH);
2. “Tales of Little Italy” DVD, $15.00 ($2.50 each SH)
3. Taste of History cookbooks – $15.00 ($5.00 each SH on mail orders);
4. “Spirits of Katahdin” DVD – $10.00 ($2.50 each SH);
5. 2019 MHS Calendars, “Sports for All Ages”- $10.00 ($5.00 each SH);
6. “Our Real War,” by Mike Murphy $15.00 ($5.00 SH);
7. “Hiking in Baxter State Park” by Greg Westrich – $20.00 ($5.00 SH);
8. Engraved pavers, $100.00 each, contact MHS for details and form;
9. …and more
***Contact me, Curator Trudy Wyman, 723-5477 or trudy18@beeline-online.net. For groups or appointments, contact the Millinocket Historical Society at P. O. Box 11, on the web at www.millinockethistoricalsociety.org or on Facebook.

Clock – MFD, Penobscot Ave.

2018 is almost at an end! So far, the museum has had a donation of one or more items from eighty-nine different individuals or sources. Sally Stewart’s donation included a vintage post card showing the original Baptist Church and Parsonage. This “souvenir card” as they were called in times past, is new to the museum’s collection. A GNP store order card and other post cards were also donated. Dan Thobodeau gave DVD’s made by his film company. Included were the fictionalized story of the “The White Lady” and a great view of the mill and water tour called “Millinocket Stream Boat Tour” with Bubba Davis.
The Millinocket Fire Department was originally housed in a large building on Penobscot Avenue (present site of the Millinocket Municipal Building). The building was completed by 1905 and housed a hose wagon, ladder wagon and two teams of horses. The wagon could be converted to sleds for winter use. Recently added to the museum’s collection is a clock from that fire station. Donated by Susan Rush, the Seth Thomas clock is 18” x18” and housed in a dark wooden box frame. The clock requires winding and unfortunately has no key. According to MFD historian Tom Picard, this clock was probably a clock located somewhere within the first fire station, but was not part of the alarm system.
Among the MFD artifacts in the museum collection are the Gamewell fire alarm system and an “all out” bell. The Gamewell, housed at the station, was connected to alarm boxes placed around town. Fred Gates was fire chief when this system was first used. The “all out” bell on display was used by a later fire chief, Chris Clark, and rung by the chief on the way back to the station after a fire to signal the fire was out. It is a hand bell, about seven inches high. Several photos of the first fire station are available for viewing at the museum. One panoramic photo on display shows the men, two horse-drawn fire wagons and the departments first motorized fire truck. The photo was taken in the park by AF Orr, photographer, on Sept. 4, 1916. Labor Day celebrations were big events in the early days and that occasion shows the Dover & Foxcroft band in the photo with the Millinocket firefighters, wagons, horses and motorized fire truck.

Reminder – the museum is open all winter, regular days and hours, weather permitting.

***Available at the museum store………
1. “Within Katahdin’s Realm, Log Drives and Sporting Camps” by Bill Geller – $30.00 ($5.00 each SH);
2. “Tales of Little Italy” DVD, $15.00 ($2.50 each SH)
3. Taste of History cookbooks – $15.00 ($5.00 each SH on mail orders);
4. “Spirits of Katahdin” DVD – $10.00 ($2.50 each SH);
5. 2019 MHS Calendars, “Sports for All Ages”- $10.00 ($5.00 each SH) (available at museum, Save-a-Lot, Steel Magnolias and Spoiled Hair Salon;
6. “Hiking in Baxter State Park” by Greg Westrich – $20.00 ($5.00 SH);
7. Engraved pavers, $100.00 each, contact MHS for details and form;
8. …plus a variety of used books by local authors, vintage post cards and more!
***Contact me, Curator Trudy Wyman, 723-5477 or trudy18@beeline-online.net. For groups or appointments, contact the Millinocket Historical Society at P. O. Box 11, on the web at www.millinockethistoricalsociety.org or on Facebook.

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