Band Concert Tonight! Those words were on at least one sign in the park calling attention to the weekly concerts by the Millinocket Town Band (formed about 1903). These concerts took place over a span of years and were popular with young and old. The bandstand was a gift to the town by GNP. The Laverty book states the bandstand was in place by 1928.
A book on Maine bandstands mentions the Millinocket bandstand on several of its pages and says it was actually constructed in 1923 as an octagonal granolithic structure in the neo-classical style. The Laverty book used these same words. The bandstand measures 23 ½ feet inside a perimeter of handsome cast iron railings and was designed by Great Northern engineers. There are Doric columns twenty inches in diameter at the base tapering as they near the top. Their height is twelve feet. The nearly flat roof is topped by a cannonball-type finial. Take a closer look next time you are in the park.
This book (in the museum’s collection) also notes that several Maine paper companies had their own bands, as did GNP. In 1903, the company band found a room at the mill where they could rehearse on Sunday mornings, twenty years before the grandstand was built.
The bandstand currently is situated in the park between Penobscot Avenue and Katahdin Avenue. The park location was used as an early cemetery and a few graves were relocated to a new cemetery (current one) when the park was laid out. The new park had flowers, shade trees and a brook. The brook was dammed to form a wading pool that was enjoyed by the young people in town. In 1947, the crowds attending the concerts grew so large that the wading pool was filled in to make more seating room.
The museum has a Band Concert Tonight sign (donated by Belle Rush) and several photos showing Town Band members (various years). There is also a saxophone played by Harry Carroll in the Town Band and a band uniform from this band’s later years (donated by Lenny Berry).
The museum will be open on July 4th from 10:30 AM-3 PM (longer if busy) and from 5 PM until 7:00 (longer if necessary). Friday and Saturday, July 5 and July 6, we will be open 10:30 to 3 and longer if busy. Come in and see our local history displays. Appointments for other times available, call Trudy at 723-5477.
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. Booklet -1903 Report on Millinocket & mill – interesting statistics – $7.00 at museum;
3. Millinocket by David Duplisea – $20.00 ($5.00 SH);
4. “Tales of Little Italy” DVD, $15.00 ($2.50 each SH);
5. “A Little Taste of History” cookbooks – $15.00 ($5.00 each SH on mail orders);
6. “Spirits of Katahdin” DVD – $10.00 ($2.50 each SH);
7. Engraved pavers, $100.00 each, contact MHS for details and form.
*** Museum open Thursday, Friday, Saturday, noon – 3PM.
***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.