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

Category: Uncategorized (Page 1 of 2)

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.

Happenings, 1920, 100 years ago!

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

Let’s take a look at Millinocket in the year 1920, one hundred years ago! The first electric lighting was installed by the Millinocket Light Company. That company replaced its acetylene plant at what was called “the gas house” with two General Electric generators. Citizens were happy to have the new electric lighting option as the former gas lights worked sporadically. The Great Northern had always produced their own electricity, but the townsfolk had to depend on the gas lights.
Dr. Bryant opened the first surgical hospital in town in 1920. He had gained medical experience during WWI and thought the town needed a hospital. His private hospital (also his residence) was at the corner of Central Street and Highland Avenue. It had eight beds, an operating room and an X-ray machine. Prior to this, all surgical patients and accident victims were transported to a hospital in Old Town via Bangor & Aroostook Railroad on stretchers in the baggage car. Some were transported on to Bangor via the Maine Central Railroad.
Another 1920 happening was the creation of a playground on one side of the local ball park. Playground equipment was purchased with a $600 appropriation from the town. GNP prepared the site, put in a cinder running track and built shelters. This playground opened July 6, 1920. Miss Dolloff was the director. The site was near Aroostook Avenue School.
GNP in 1920 gifted the town the use of a LaFrance combination pump, hose and chemical fire truck. It was so long it would not fit into the firehouse so GNP had an addition constructed on the back of the building. The truck had to exit onto Aroostook Avenue. This truck was the beginning of the replacement of the fire department’s horse-drawn fire wagons.
The above information was gleaned from Millinocket, Magic City of Maine’s Wilderness by Dorothy Bowler Laverty. The museum has new reprints (paperback) of this book for sale, $25.00 each plus $5.00, SH if mailed. This is still the only written history of Millinocket. Laverty’s second book, So You Live in Millinocket (paperback and hardcover) is also available at the museum ($10.00 softcover, $15.00 hardcover, add $5 SH).
MHS is in the midst of its annual mailer campaign! Letters are going out to many previous donors (monetary and items), museum visitors and other contacts. If you do not receive a letter and wish to donate, see the address below. Thank you!

In the Museum Store!
*** Preowned yearbooks – $10.00 each.
*** Matted photos, various prices – GNP mill, Little Italy, river drives, Mt. Katahdin.
*** 2020 Calendars, a few left – Beyond the Mill ($10)
*** 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; “No Time for Moss (McKeen) $15.00.
*** All items may be mailed – add $5 SH each item.
***Museum open Thurs., Fri., Sat. Noon – 3PM, weather permitting.
*** 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.

Marathon Fundraiser for Museum

Recently, we shared the following (plus some museum background information) with Gary Allen, creator of the local marathon. He responded and kindly shared it to his marathon websites and Facebook pages. “The Millinocket Historical Society is proud to share that marathon runner Daryl Perry of the Porcupine Athletic Club (NH) has started a Crowdrise fund for the museum. We hope you might help in sharing this news prior to the Millinocket Marathon and a Half. On the web go to: Porcupine Athletic Club on CrowdRise and click on Millinocket Marathon Runners Give Back or on Facebook at Millinocket Marathon Runners Give Back.”
Anyone can donate, not just runners! On Marathon weekend, the museum will be open extra hours. Watch for the open sign to be lit.

Tree Cookie and More!

New treasures have been arriving at the museum all summer! It’s hard to keep up with them, so here’s more of what arrived recently. Another small piece of the former “Palace in the Woods” (otherwise known as the Great Northern Hotel) now resides at the museum. A small round container (is it for sugar or something else?) that matches a creamer and oval plate that has been in the collection for years. All three items have the same blue pattern on white. This was donated by Janice McCauslin Watson. We appreciate having this item as such things from the interior of the hotel are difficult to find. The museum has many photos of the outside of this structure (torn down in the early 1960’s). Does anyone have photos of the hotel’s interior?
Watson donated a photo of her dad, John McCauslin, in uniform for the museum’s military display. Along with the photo are a uniform hat, a helmet and a roll-up canvas toiletry kit that still has original items in it. These are all WWII era as is a German helmet. A SHS jacket, a program from the town’s 50th birthday and SHS class of 1943 senior photos and reunion photos were donated.
Some young museum visitors know what a “tree cookie” is. It’s a section or slice of a tree cut so that the rings show. An interesting one was donated by John York. It was found in the water at Dolby and it has a log stamp on it. It is stamped LAD. The mark is faint and worn, but still legible in the right light. It is on display in the logging room. In the early days of the log drives, the end of each log needed a mark to identify it so that the company or logger would get paid at the end of the drive. Many different log stamps had to be noted and tallied in a ledger at the end of each day. Very early on, the marks were made with an ax and they could be quite intricate. Later, as in the one with LAD, a tool was used. Several can be seen at the museum as can an early ledger noting the log stamps on all wood passing through Stone Dam around 1904-05. As many as twenty stamps a day are tallied.
Dana W. Brown, 95, donor of the museum’s Native American collection and many of the logging era tools passed away recently. When able, he enjoyed visiting the museum and talking about the river drives and telling us about how he acquired the items.
Copies of Within Katahdin’s Realm, Log Drives and Sporting Camps by Bill Geller available at the museum. Cost is $30.00. By mail add $5 SH. The new 2019 “Sports for All Ages” themed calendars are available at the museum, Save-a-Lot, Steel Magnolias, Katahdin General Store and Trailside Country Store, $10.00 each (by mail add $4.00 SH).

***Books by local authors, sets of GNP/Bowater drinking glasses & some matted 8” x 10” and 5” x 7” photos for sale.
*** A Little Taste of History, recipes from Millinocket pioneer families and their descendants. 200 pages. $15.00 (mail orders $5.00 SH each). At the museum, Memories of Maine Gallery, Steel Magnolias, Katahdin General, Gracie’s Aunt’s Emporium, Trailside Country Store & by mail.
*** Engraved pavers are $100.00 each. Up to 3 lines, 15 letters, symbols, spaces max per line. Contact museum for form or more details.
***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 Genealogy Trek

Time to catch up with new items in the museum’s collection. We’ve been busy sorting and cataloging these along with enjoying visits with former residents, hikers, campers and other visitors to the Magic City. The states on the 2018 map of the U.S. are rapidly being colored in with Kentucky, Colorado, Texas and Tennessee just last week.
Thanks to Betty Steeves for donating bound copies of Stearns HS yearbooks 1928 through 1960. These have been placed in the museum’s archives. Other copies of SHS and St. Martin’s yearbooks continue to be available for browsing in the museum’s Research/Genealogy Room. Bound copies of several years of GNP News were given by David Wollstadt, former editor of that business newspaper. These are located in the Research Room with other GNP scrapbooks, publications and news articles already in the collection. Wollstadt also donated unbound copies of McLeod’s The Northern, McCann’s Timber and papers relating to the mill’s history. One booklet has photocopies from glass negatives in the GNP collection in the Fogler Library, University of Maine Special Collections.
Two books of area interest have been added to the museum’s library. Grandma Gatewood’s Walk, the Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail was donated by Leola Dubois. It takes place in the 1950’s when the trail was much different than now. This writer donated Cross Border Tales. Mostly a family genealogy researched and written by Charles McGowan. It covers his family history in Maine and New Brunswick. McGowan visited the museum earlier this month while in town awaiting a flight to Ragged Lake to retrace his great-uncle’s journey as a lumberjack in the early 1900’s. McGowan shared the story of his relative’s trek to Millinocket and Ragged Lake where he subsequently drowned as he and others were crossing the lake on their way back to the logging camp. The body was recovered, hauled by sled to Greenville, loaded on the train to Bangor where it was transferred to another train to New Brunswick and finally taken by raft down the St. John River to the man’s final resting place. McGowan emailed after his return home to Massachusetts that he had flown over the lake and to Greenville and then traveled to New Brunswick. He collected some water from Ragged Lake and poured it on his great-uncle’s grave. By the way, Dr. McGowan is 86 years old and drove himself from Massachusetts to Millinocket to pursue this family story. Both books may be seen at the museum and both are available on-line.
Copies of Within Katahdin’s Realm, Log Drives and Sporting Camps by Bill Geller is available at the museum. Cost is $30.00. By mail add $5 SH. The new 2019 “Sports for All Ages” themed calendars are available at the museum, Save-a-Lot, Steel Magnolias, Katahdin General Store and Trailside Country Store, $10.00 each (by mail add $4.00 SH).

***Books by local authors, sets of GNP/Bowater drinking glasses & some matted 8” x 10” and 5” x 7” photos for sale.
*** A Little Taste of History, recipes from Millinocket pioneer families and their descendants. 200 pages. $15.00 (mail orders $5.00 SH each). At the museum, Memories of Maine Gallery, Steel Magnolias, Katahdin General, Gracie’s Aunt’s Emporium, Trailside Country Store & by mail.
*** Engraved pavers are $100.00 each. Up to 3 lines, 15 letters, symbols, spaces max per line. Contact museum for form or more details.
***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.

Bowling

One photo of a GNP team was the only item the museum had if anyone asked about our “bowling collection.” Now the museum has more bowling memorabilia thank to long-time local bowler Robert C. Leet. Several Millinocket teams competed not only locally, but also took part in the Eastern Maine Bowing Tournament. Leet donated eight binders of EMBT permanent score cards. He noted many of these were typed by SHS typing class students as practice exercises. A detailed history of EMBT compiled by the donor, a photo of the 1984 American Legion state champions from Millinocket, several news articles, other ephemera and four bowling shirts are included in the donation. The EMBT material covers the years 1923-2001.
A large picture of North Twin Dam and another large one of a group of GNP firemen were brought to the museum by Merle Grant. A year is needed for the firemen photo. The men are listed as: John Hickey, Lugee Cyr, Junior Shanks, John Brown, Kenney Bartlett, Milton Hampton, Carl Sawyer, Bill Leino, Vincent DeCoursey, Ed Healey, Dudley Carter, Clarence Gonya, Frenchy Voisine and Bill Burke. If you can help with a year, please contact the museum.
Last week, I mentioned that members of the local post of the American Legion were seeking information in preparation for their 100th birthday in 1919. The Laverty book provides a bit of that history. Veterans of WWI formed Post 80 and named it for Donald V. Henry who was Millinocket’s first casualty in the war. Dr. Bryant returned from oversees and became the first commander. Mrs. Robert Hume, a former army nurse, became the second commander and first woman to hold the office. She was also the American Legion’s first woman Vice Commander of the Department of Maine. She organized the American Legion Child Welfare program for all of New England. First meetings of Post 80 were held in a tarred paper shack near the river. Later, a small brick building on Penobscot Avenue was used for meetings. In the 1950’s, the new building on outer Central Street was constructed. If any reader, has Post 80 historical photos or other information, the Legion would like to hear from you or stop by the museum and we will pass it on.

*** A Little Taste of History, a cookbook featuring recipes from Millinocket pioneer families and their descendants (wives of mill employees, businessmen, school and town employees and more. Includes some photos and personal notes. 200 pages. Each cookbook is $15.00 (mail orders add $5.00 SH each book). At the museum, Memories of Maine Gallery, Steel Magnolias, Katahdin General, Gracie’s Aunt’s Emporium & by mail.
***2018 Calendar with vintage photos – still available. Now only $5.00 (by mail add $4.00 SH).
***Get your orders in for one of the laser engraved pavers. Cost $100.00 each. Up to 3 lines with up to 15 letters, symbols, spaces per line. Contact museum for form or more details. Another group of pavers will be in before July 4.

*** Museum HOURS…. Open Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays from noon – 3 PM. The new OPEN sign will be lit. 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.

1908 Local Businesses

The program booklet from the Union Parade in 1908 featured advertisements from many local businesses. Two weeks ago, I listed some of them and hoped to get some information. One local man came in and said Mr. Rachon (store on Medway Rd.) was a family member. I’m hoping that some other grandchild or great-grandchild will recognize a name from their family tree and recall a story or two passed down the line that they can share with us at the museum. Here are some more of the ads from that program.
1. Morris and Holt – Our cigar and tobacco department will be open all day. Any day you want a SHAVE we can do the job – in union hours.
2. Regis Cyr – Manufacturer of Harness, Moccasins, Boots and Shoes, prompt attention given to repairing.
3. Allen & Morris LUNCH CART – Open all hours of the day and until 12:30 at night. Your patronage solicited. Union Men.
4. McCaffrey Bros. Wood and Ice, Penobscot Ave.
5. W. M. DeVoe Pool and Billiard Hall, Barber Shop, Cigars, Tobacco and Pipes, Fruits, Confectionary and Soft drinks.
6. Millinocket Candy Kitchen – B. B. Stinchfield, 2500 New Souvenir Post Cards just received. All the latest novelties. Ice cream specialties for the week Chocolate, Caramel and Vanilla.
7. Henry S. Brown – dealer in Milk, Cream, Butter, Eggs and Country Produce. Oxford St., No. 29.
8. King Bishop – Barber Shop, Tobacco and Cigars, Refreshments of all kinds. Bishop Block corner Penobscot Avenue & Central Street.
9. J. D. Walker, Merchant Tailor, Doctor’s Block over Moran’s Clothing Store.
10. Mackin & Moreau’s New Tonsorial Parlor at the John Simon Building. Good work guaranteed. Come in & go out happy. Also 1st class massaging. Razors honed and set a specialty. We take orders for special designs for shaving mugs.
Several of these ads include the word Telephone or Telephone Connection but do not give a number. This program booklet and the old newspapers give evidence that the early years of Millinocket had plenty of pool halls, bowling alleys, tobacco shops and barber shops and other gathering places for the gentlemen of town. We are seeking photos and information for the museum’s business files.

Do you remember those wooden cutouts with pictures of local buildings made by a company called Fernwood of Maine? The museum is seeking those of local buildings for our museum store. We are able to resell them to benefit the museum. If you have some tucked away that you no longer want, drop them off at the museum. Thank you!

*** A Little Taste of History, a new cookbook featuring recipes from many Millinocket pioneer families and their descendants (wives of mill employees, businessmen, school and town employees and more. Includes some photos and personal notes. 200 pages. Each cookbook is $15.00 (mail orders add $5.00 SH each book). At the museum, Memories of Maine Gallery, Steel Magnolias, Katahdin General, Gracie’s Aunt’s Emporium & by mail.
***2018 Calendar with vintage photos – don’t forget to get one before the New Year. Just $10.00 (by mail add $4.00SH). Pavers still available also.

*** Museum HOURS…. Open Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays from noon – 3 PM. The new OPEN sign will be lit. 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.

WWI Letters, Part 2

Odds and Ends From The MUSEUM
By Trudy Wyman, Curator, Millinocket Historical Society Museum
Continuing this week with more from the WWI Murray Morgan letters. While on a short leave Morgan wrote to his friend Capt. Pepper that he was in “Merry England” but within the sound of the guns from France. There were about 10,000 Canadians there with men being sent to the front while others had leave. Morgan was a member of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. He mentions a lot of activity in England and thinks “something is going to start here soon” as there were “2,000,000 soldiers in training this island alone and they are fully equipped.” He asks about the possibility of getting his trombone “for if it is not too much I will send you the money and you may get it for me. I may yet get into a band as there are so many skilled in that branch of service.” (Letter from July, 1915).
The letter dated Sept. 29, 1915 begins “will now drop you a line from the Front (France) which I have traveled several thousand miles to see, have been in the trenches which in places are only 45 yards from the Germans. We give them a lively time of it and throw ‘chestnuts’ at them which they don’t like.” He continues, “ don’t know if you can read this or not as my writing desk is part of a cartridge case across my knees but my trusty Waterman (fountain pen) is still working. My apartment here was formerly a ‘ecurie pour chevre’ (goat barn) but I have it fixed up some, the nearby canal affords us a good bathing place, we get lots to eat but would sell half my equipment for a piece of good pumpkin pie and a cup of American coffee the like of which I have never tasted since I left the old place.”
A November letter talks of the cold. “Snow fell on the15th and 16th but it has since gone off. The cold is much different from cold at home, it seems to penetrate more and although I wear thick woolen socks my feet get very cold at times.”
The letters continue through the fall and into December when Morgan sends some post cards for Christmas. One says, “Dec. 15, Somewhere in France. As the season of Yuletide draws near my thoughts travel back to the homeland and my friends. This year I will be unable to send any presents to friends but hope you will accept this little card as evidence of my friendship.”
Murray Morgan was killed few months later. He is one of the Millinocket soldiers for whom the Millinocket Memorial Library is named. Look for his name on the bronze plaque in the entryway (originally in first library, Central St.).

*** A Little Taste of History, a new cookbook featuring recipes from many Millinocket pioneer families and their descendants (wives of mill employees, businessmen, school and town employees and more. Includes some photos and personal notes. 200 pages. Each cookbook is $15.00 (mail orders add $5.00 SH each book). At the museum, Memories of Maine Gallery, Steel Magnolias, Katahdin General & by mail.

*** Museum HOURS…. Open Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays from noon – 3 PM. The new OPEN sign will be lit.
***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.

World War I Letters

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

Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11, was originally called Armistice Day and marked the end of World War I. Millinocket had men who fought in that war. One was Murray Morgan who joined a Canadian infantry company and fought in France and Belgium. He was a student at Colby College when he enlisted and was one of a number of Maine men who joined the Canadian army before the U. S. entered the war. While in Europe, Morgan sent several letters to an acquaintance in Waterville, a Captain Harold Pepper. Copies of these have been received by the museum recently. The originals will be part of a show of WWI letters at the Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine in Augusta. MHS was contacted for photos or possible contact with Morgan relatives.
Morgan was killed in action in Belgium in February of 1916. Following are a few excerpts two of his long letters. “Jan. 13, 1915, the trenches in Belgium. First the scene, a valley just below our trenches which are on the crest of a ridge and which have cost many a life to take.” He talks of the Germans being 400 yards away, firing howitzers called ‘lazy Eliza’ for the sound their shells made. “Next imagine a great hole in the ground, in the side of a hill, reinforced by numerous sand bags, the hole inhabited by numerous rats, more numerous lice and a couple dozen men grouped around a few braziers filled with burning coke and you have a dim picture of my habitation tonight.”
“Jan. 27,1915, somewhere in Belgium. Am still on the firing line, but will be out in a few days for a short rest. Had a close call today, a shell dropped about 25 ft. from me. I don’t mind the rifle fire when iron foundry is hurled at you it gets on one’s nerves a bit. It was pretty cold last night, was on guard just before daybreak, gazing over the parapet trying to get a look at Fritz at that time in the morning is enough excitement for most anyone.” He mentions standing in the mud watching for the enemy, smelling for gas, no feeling in his feet due to cold and being sleepy. “A new sentry takes your place, you cook and eat enough for a dozen and retire to your dugout and hit the flea nest for a few hours.” He describes it as one of the joys of a soldier’s life that must be experienced to be appreciated.
This is only a tiny part from the eight letters and some post cards. More later.

*** A Little Taste of History, a new cookbook featuring recipes from many Millinocket pioneer families and their descendants (wives of mill employees, businessmen, school and town employees and more. Includes some photos and personal notes. 200 pages. Each cookbook is $15.00 (mail orders add $5.00 SH each book). At the museum, Memories of Maine Gallery, Steel Magnolias, Katahdin General & by mail.

*** Museum HOURS…. Open Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays from noon – 3 PM. The new OPEN sign will be lit.
***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.

Halloween, 1922 Style

Odds and Ends From The MUSEUM
By Trudy Wyman, Curator, Millinocket Historical Society Museum
The cookbooks are ready for purchase! Called Remember Our Heritage, A Little Taste of History, it is available at the museum, $15.00 each (by mail, add $5.00 each for SH). The cookbook (nearly 200 pages) has recipes from many of Millinocket’s pioneer ladies and their descendants plus some photos and other tidbits. They are from older local cookbooks 1900-1960 and are written as they were originally used by the various cooks.
Charming functions with attendees in attractive costumes! These were the words in the newspaper describing Halloween activities in Millinocket (Bangor Daily News,1922). Perhaps other less charming events occurred, but they didn’t make the newspaper. Described as “the most important of the charming functions” held during Halloween week were the socials sponsored by the Congregational and Baptist churches.
At the Congregational Church, a crowd gathered to watch a delightful play, The Bachelor’s Dream, followed by a piano solo and a reading. A social completed the evening “with games and Halloween stunts. Apple blossoms containing fortunes were sold. Refreshments of sandwiches, cake and coffee were served. All agreed the evening had been a most delightful one.”
That same year, at the Baptist Church, a large crowd gathered to celebrate All Saints Eve. A masquerade social and a play titled The Haunted Gate was presented by the choir and orchestra. The article states this play was presented on the “new platform of the spacious basement with its fine footlights.” Later, Halloween stunts were enjoyed and sandwiches, coffee and doughnuts were served. Money raised went to the piano fund.
The Thimble Club had a Halloween party as their first meeting of the year. Held at the Simon Gagnon home, this group celebrated in a bit more lively fashion. “The guests were received at the door in darkness by weird witches who led the way to the ghost room above. The remains of John Brown’s body were discovered and examined amid many blood-curdling shrieks.” Each guest told a “hair-stirring ghost tale” and there was a ghost telling fortunes. “A skeleton danced, even more denuded than Isadora Duncan” (a famous vaudeville dancer). Refreshments included sandwiches, salad, pumpkin pie, marguerites (a sweet treat on a cracker), coffee and sweet cider.
In 1924, Barbien’s Hall was the site of the Baptist Church party where the costumes were described as attractive and varied. Eighty dollars was raised.

***MHS is now part of the Amazon Smile program. When shopping there, choose smile, select MHS, and the museum will receive a small amount. Every little helps!

*** The 2018 calendars at the museum, Levasseurs, Save-a-Lot, Katahdin General Store, Rideout’s Market. Just $10.00 each. Add $4.00 SH each for mail orders.
*** Orders for the next group of pavers now being taken. Contact MHS for specifics. The pavers are $100.00 each (tax deductible) and may be in honor or in memory, for a school or team, business, organization, family, your own name or other wording.
*** Visit the museum store for local books, calendars, DVD (legends of Mt. Katahdin) and more or contact us for details including prices and shipping information.

*** Museum HOURS…. Open Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays from noon – 3 PM. The new OPEN sign will be lit.
***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.