Millinocket Historical Society

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

Category: Curator (Page 1 of 8)

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.

Runner Donation, Millinocket Marathon and Half

The Millinocket Marathon and Half is done for another successful year! According to Racewire (site on the web, 1305 runners participated. The museum was busy and we even had some open time on Sunday. Many of the museum’s visitors were family and friends of the runners who were filling the time between the full and half races starting and finish times. People lined Penobscot Avenue urging the runners on as they neared the finish line. Several states were represented at the museum this year including Georgia, New Hampshire, Virginia, Massachusetts and Iowa and people were interested in learning a bit of the town’s history.
On Sunday, Darryl Perry of the Porcupine Athletic Club of New Hampshire visited the museum and presented MHS with an oversized check (the real one will arrive later). His plan was to raise $500.00, but the end result is expected to be $600.00. He started a Facebook fundraiser and also organized the Sunday Fun Run Recovery Run 1k race that took place the day after the marathon. The Fun Run participants were encouraged to support the museum. Their 1k route brought them from the park, up Congress Street and to Central St. and right in front of the museum where we cheered them on. Perry chose the museum to assist as he stated he has always loved history. After the race and their awards ceremony, Perry, his girlfriend and about fifteen of the Fun Run participants returned to the museum to present the donation. Perry is already signed up to run again next year as are several others we met at the museum this week.
MHS thanks to all of them for the donation and support!
Even though it’s been snowy, cold and icy in recent weeks, people have been visiting and donating items for the collection. Rodney Gagnon spent an afternoon perusing volumes in the research room and also donated his complete Boy Scout uniform (shirt with pins & badges, hat, pants, belt scarf). James Nyman gave a large plaque with names of all members of Troop 57 who attained the rank of Eagle Scout between 1968 and 1997. Rodney’s name is on the plaque. He has spent many years involved in scouting as has Nyman. The museum would like to acquire Girl Scout, Brownies and Cub Scout uniforms as well as photos and other artifacts.
Reminder – the museum is open all winter, regular days and hours, weather permitting.

***Available at the museum store for Christmas gift giving………
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. …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.

Steamboats

The Crosby Steam Gauge and Valve Company of Boston started to receive patents for their steam whistles and parts in the 1800’s. In 1966, Gary Jandreau of Millinocket found a piece of one in a cove at the foot of Millinocket Lake. In November of 2018, he donated it to the museum. One can wonder what journey this piece has traveled! The piece, with a green patina (brass?) is approximately 4” tall and about 2” across and had threads top and bottom for other pieces to be attached. It is marked with the Crosby company name plus Patent, Feb. 23, 1875. The company still exists today. Some research leads us to believe it may be a part of a chime whistle of the kind used on steam boats. Note that the Titanic had three steam whistles (9 inch, 12 inch and 15 inch diameters).
Was this once a part of the whistle on a GNP towboat or was it from one of the boats that carried passengers from the train station at Norcross to one of the many sporting camps on one of the lakes in the early 1900’s? At least one of the towboats was steam powered.
The book, A Day’s Work, A Sampler of Historic Maine Photographs 1860-1920, part 2, shows a photo of the steamer Gypsie. A canoe atop the steamer may have belonged to one of the passengers or “sports” shown waiting to board the Gypsie prior to a voyage up the lake to a sporting camp. Several passengers are shown waiting to board. Also visible in the photo are crates addressed to Sourdanahunk Dam Co. and West Branch Driving and River Driving Company. Thanks, Gary Stevens, for letting us borrow this book!
Fraternal and social organizations! There have been many in Millinocket through the years. The museum has items on display or archived from Odd Fellows, Rainbow Girls, Philharmonic Club, Emblem Club, Masons, American Legion, Art Society, Knights of Pythias, Katahdin Kiwanis, Eastern Star, and more. The collections consist of uniforms, pins, swords, photos, regalia and more. A recent donation from Suzanne and Jon Kendrick included three vests and one shirt from the former local Jaycees and Jaycettes. Lenny Berry donated a photo (Camelot) and treasurer’s books from the Millinocket Players.
A reminder – museum open regular days and hours throughout the winter, with the exception of heavy snow days or ice. Open extra hours during Millinocket Marathon and Half weekend. Some runners are supporting the museum with donations through CrowdRise at https://www.crowdrise.com/millinocket-marathon-runners-give-back. Look for the museum sign to be lit on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and a while on Sunday!!
More DVD’s of the “Tales of Little Italy” are available for purchase at the museum, $15.00 (add $2.50 SH for mail orders).
***Available at the museum store for Christmas gift giving………
1. “Within Katahdin’s Realm, Log Drives and Sporting Camps” by Bill Geller – $30.00 ($5.00 each SH);
2. Taste of History cookbooks – $15.00 ($5.00 each SH on mail orders);
3. “Spirits of Katahdin” DVD – $10.00 ($2.50 SH);
4. 2019 MHS Calendars, “Sports for All Ages”- $10.00 ($5.00 each SH);
5. “Hiking in Baxter State Park” by Greg Westrich – $20.00 ($5.00 SH);
6. Engraved pavers, $100.00 each, contact MHS for details and form;
7. …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.

Camp Baxter, CCC, part 2

Last week I wrote about the Thanksgiving dinner at the C.C.C. camp at Togue Pond. Coincidently, several new camp photos were just added to the museum’s collection by Paul Pasquine. A few show what the structures looked like where the men lived. Some were tents while others were no more than tarred paper shacks. The book titled In the Public Interest, The Civilian Conservation Corps in Maine (published 1988) states that side camps were erected in order that the proposed projects could be completed. One of these side camps was at Togue Pond.
One of the enrollees described this side camp as follows. “Togue Pond on the map is a beautiful lake within the game preserve of Mt. Katahdin, about five miles from its base and almost twenty miles from Millinocket. This camp, built of timbers, rough hewn, laid in place, nailed and chinked, and when finished gave the outward appearance of a ‘Fort Apache’ style, but within its confines. Two barracks to house 125 personnel, a large mess hall, a tool house, a blacksmith shop, an underground ‘refrigerator’ for food storage, plus latrines, a water pump from the lake and a garage to accommodate all the heavy equipment and trucks. This was all accomplished in the period of a couple of months, and I repeat, all built of heavy timbers, cut and hewn by hand by these same kids! And the location, a millionaires paradise, in the shadows of Mt. Katahdin. A truly beautiful setting, and when disbanded by the ‘C’s, was converted to a girl scouts camp.” This Girl Scout camp is Camp Natarswi and is still active today.
One Pasquine photo shows the mess hall with two rows of picnic style tables and benches. A wood stove occupies one end of the room and kerosene lamps are suspended from the ceiling. Another shows a bunkhouse with individual cots, wood stove and what appears to be a half wall separating the sleeping spaces. Another of the photos is labeled “washroom” with a row of washbasins, lines for drying clothes and a container for hot water. A photo shows a man, outside a barrack or the washroom, standing in the snow shaving with a straight-edge razor. A small mirror hangs beside the barrack’s door.
A reminder that the museum is open regular days and hours throughout the winter, with the exception of heavy snow days or ice. We are, perhaps, the only small museum in the state to keep winter hours. Open extra hours during Millinocket Marathon and Half weekend. Look for the museum sign to be lit!
More DVD’s of the “Tales of Little Italy” are available for purchase at the museum, $15.00 (add $2.50 SH for mail orders).
***Available at the museum store for Christmas gift giving………
1. “Within Katahdin’s Realm, Log Drives and Sporting Camps” by Bill Geller – $30.00 ($5.00 each SH);
2. Taste of History cookbooks – $15.00 ($5.00 each SH on mail orders);
3. “Spirits of Katahdin” DVD – $10.00 ($2.50 SH);
4. 2019 MHS Calendars, “Sports for All Ages”- $10.00 ($5.00 each SH);
5. “Hiking in Baxter State Park” by Greg Westrich – $20.00 ($5.00 SH);
6. Engraved pavers, $100.00 each, contact MHS for details and form;
7. …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.

Baxter Camp, CCC, Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving dinner (1933) for the men of Baxter Camp, No. 2103 sounds great! These hard-working men who had been building roads and camps surely enjoyed it. This group of men, members of the 193rd Company of the Civilian Conservation Corps (C.C.C.), had the task of constructing a road from Millinocket to Big Windy Pitch in Baxter State Park, about twenty-five miles away. The same crew also cleared brush and built bridges on the Appalachian Trail, cleared a right of way for a telephone line, built a fire tower and a wharf on Ambejejus Lake.
The Thanksgiving Day menu featured Roast Vermont turkey with giblet gravy and sage dressing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, boiled onions and Hubbard squash. This was accompanied by sweet pickles, Boston celery, green relish, hot rolls and creamery butter. Dessert consisted of pumpkin pie with American cheese plus grapes, apples sweet cider and coffee.
This is from a small printed menu/program that appears to have been given to each of the men present. In addition to the menu, it lists the roster of the 193rd and all the members of the C.C.C. A number of these men who were from other areas of Maine later decided to make Millinocket their home and still have descendants here. The program has encouraging words from the group’s leaders and also from Percival Baxter. There are 172 names of the C.C.C. men included plus names of the Army personnel, forestry personnel, leaders and assistant leaders.
A book on the history of the C.C.C. in Maine states the main goal of the 193rd was to build a road from town to the base of Mt. Katahdin. They took a group of “undisciplined and untrained kids” and “trained them to use a pick and shovel, to drive heavy road equipment, to blast the rugged terrain with dynamite, swamp and cut heavy timbers for bridges, all hewn with an axe, the adz and the crosscut saws.” Their campsite was at Togue Pond. The 193rd was at this location from June 1933 through October of 1935. More next week with a description of the camp at Togue Pond.
A reminder that the museum is open regular days and hours throughout the winter, with the exception of heavy snow days. We are, perhaps, the only small museum in the state to keep winter hours. Open extra hours during Millinocket Marathon and Half weekend. Look for the museum sign to be lit!
More DVD’s of the “Tales of Little Italy” are available for purchase at the museum, $15.00 (add $2.50 SH for mail orders).
***Available at the museum store for Christmas gift giving………
1. “Within Katahdin’s Realm, Log Drives and Sporting Camps” by Bill Geller – $30.00 ($5.00 each SH);
2. Taste of History cookbooks – $15.00 ($5.00 each SH on mail orders);
3. “Spirits of Katahdin” DVD – $10.00 ($2.50 SH);
4. 2019 MHS Calendars, “Sports for All Ages”- $10.00 ($5.00 each SH);
5. “Hiking in Baxter State Park” by Greg Westrich – $20.00 ($5.00 SH);
6. Engraved pavers, $100.00 each, contact MHS for details and form;
7. …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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