Odds and Ends From The MUSEUM
By Trudy Wyman, Curator, Millinocket Historical Society Museum
It’s basketball season and many are looking to finish out with an winning season and a trip to the tournament. This has long been a tradition in Millinocket with both the boys and girls high school teams. The museum has a scrapbook with many pages devoted to a former coach and physical education director at Stearns High School. His name was Jimmy Stevens.
Stevens graduated from Stearns HS in 1928 and was described as an outstanding athlete in spite of the fact he never weighed more than 125 pounds. He then attended Higgins Classical Institute and excelled at three sports there. His next schooling was at Springfield College where he was on the wrestling and baseball teams. He graduated from Springfield in 1933 and accepted a coaching position back in his home town of Millinocket.
During the next few years, Stevens’ boys’ basketball teams made the Eastern Maine tournament every year and the finals twice. An article in the scrapbook states. “Jimmy Stevens’ teams have had perhaps the greatest following of any team in Maine. Each time they worked their way into a tournament the whole town locked things up and boarded special trains to go and cheer the boys on.” In addition to boys’ basketball, Stevens also coached football, baseball and girls’ basketball at Stearns. Visit the museum and check out the yearbooks for photos and game highlights and statistics for the teams he coached.
A Bangor Daily News article tells of Stevens’ popularity after the announcement that he was leaving Stearns. He was called “Stearns Two Thousand Dollar Coach” by his admirers. He was applauded “as a coach, guide, mentor and friend of the Magic City’s famous Minutemen.” The students, in appreciation of their coach, presented him with an “expensive Gladstone zipper traveling bag.” Another article relates that Dr. Morey, school board chairman, called Stevens’ resignation as a “bombshell on the schoolboy sports front.” The new physical education director/coach hired for the 1940-41 school year was George Wentworth.
According to Jimmy Stevens’ daughter, Judyth, her father is primarily responsible for the Stearns’ teams being called the Minutemen. Judyth is a regular visitor to the museum. Stop in and check out the scrapbook, yearbooks and many photos of the Jimmy Stevens years at Stearns as a student and a coach.
*** 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 – still available. Just $10.00 (by mail add $4.00SH).
***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 firstname.lastname@example.org. For groups or appointments, contact the Millinocket Historical Society at P. O. Box 11, on the web at www.millinockethistoricalsociety.org or on Facebook.