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

Month: August 2019

Tales of Little Italy, Part 2

Stories were told of the games played in the streets of Millinocket’s Little Italy, of errands run to Caruso’s and DiNardo’s stores and of the sausages that were one man’s specialty. Tales of Little Italy, Part 2 was sponsored by the museum at St. Martin’s Catholic Church Parish Hall on August 20. It was attended by more than sixty interested people from Millinocket, several nearby towns and summer camp residents.
Thanks to Dorothy Colangelo Howard, Shirley Gagliardi Oliver and Dick Manzo for leading off with their stories to get things going. Dorothy Howard served as moderator and was able to coax attendees into standing and sharing some of their memories as a second or third generation Little Italy resident. The fact that Little Italy was a tight-knit community was repeatedly mentioned and how children were treated like family by their neighbors. One attendee started listing the names of each family who once lived there, going street by street. Many looked at on old GNP map on display by the museum which showed many of these same names. It was a successful and enjoyable afternoon!
Stop by the museum to see the new Little Italy display there. If you have items to donate to this display, stop in or contact the museum. Family photos (we can scan them or you can email them and you can retain the originals), info on stores and businesses, genealogy and more, it is all welcome. An announcement will be made when the DVD for Tales of Little Italy, Part 2 is available. Three different photos (matted) that were displayed at the event are available to purchase at the museum. The early views are of 1st bridge to Little Italy, early shacks in Little Italy and a Little Italy view showing several buildings and the mill.
The museum also hosted author Bradford Edwards for a book signing on August 15. His historical novel “Tanglefoot” is an enjoyable read. A few copies available at the museum. The same day Edwards donated an artifact to the museum. MHS has long hoped to have an original spiked logger’s boot to display with all the photos and tools in the Loging/River Drive Room. Edwards brought in a boot sole with remnants of spikes, a portion of a boot side and another leather piece. He found them near a former GNP camp on Unbazookus Lake. Pieces are better than nothing!

*** New 2020 calendars available! The theme “Beyond the Mill” was chosen to highlight the wide reach of the Great Northern Paper Company. At the museum, Save-a-Lot, Gracie’s Aunt’s Emporium, Steel Magnolias, and Katahdin True Value. $10.00 each, by mail add $5.00 SH.
*** At the Museum Store:
1. “Within Katahdin’s Realm, Log Drives and Sporting Camps” by Bill Geller – $30.00 ($5.00 each SH);
2. “Logging Towboats & Boom Jumpers” by Roger Moody – $18.00 ($5 SH);
3. “Tanglefoot,” historical novel set 1920’s Chesuncook Village – $15.00 ($5 SH);
4. Millinocket by David Duplisea – $20.00 ($5.00 SH);
5. “Tales of Little Italy” DVD, $15.00 ($4.00 each SH);
6. “A Little Taste of History” cookbooks – $15.00 ($5.00 each SH on mail orders);
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 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.

Variety

Variety… that word describes the items donated to the museum’s collection recently. Remember when there was a lot of activity and young horseback riders at the hovel? Several trophies were given to the museum by Barbara Hartwell. Charlene Deane donated a photo of a group of Masonic gentlemen. Kitty St. John brought in a 1957 B & A railroad magazine, In the Maine Woods. We are slowly filling in the gaps in that collection. A 1940’s map of Piscataquis County was brought in by James Bartlett. It was used that same day to show a group of tourists just how expansive are parts of northern Maine with large areas with no towns.
The museum’s scouting collection keeps growing. Sue Jandreau donated her Girl Scout sash with numerous badges and pins. The museum is still in need of a Girl Scout uniform as well as ones from Cub Scouts and Brownies. Can anyone help? The museum has many Stearns HS/St. Martin’s commencement programs and other graduation memorabilia including a program from SHS 1925. Carol Page added a 1976 program. A reminder that the museum has many years of both Stearns and St. Martin’s yearbooks for sale at $10.00 each. We also have some Schenck yearbooks for sale.
Betty Hopper who donated the B & A Railroad station chair made a return visit and gave a lunch basket used by a railroad employee and a great photo showing a large group of people on the Baptist Church steps. We consider all the above items and others at the museum as “treasures” and there’s one more to mention. A key might seem like a small thing, but the one brought in by Nadine Webster is special. The museum has three or four of the small metal coin banks given out by the Millinocket Trust Company to children to encourage saving. When these were full, the bank would open them and the pennies, nickels and dimes would be added to a savings account. The only key to open the banks was in the possession of the bank. Nadine brought in a bank and attached to it with some yarn was the master key. She said her husband acquired the key from a bank employee (possibly when the bank ceased business or when they were no longer giving out the coin banks).

*** New 2020 calendars available! The theme “Beyond the Mill” was chosen to highlight the wide reach of the Great Northern Paper Company. At the museum, Save-a-Lot, Gracie’s Aunt’s Emporium, Steel Magnolias, and Katahdin True Value. $10.00 each, by mail add $5.00 SH.
*** 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 ($3.00 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 ($3.00 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 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 Railroad

Has anyone heard of a tree with the king’s mark in the Millinocket area? Going way back in Maine’s and New England’s history, the King of England had men cut marks into the bark of Eastern White Pine trees with a diameter over two feet. The marks designated the trees as the king’s property for use as masts on English ships. This mark was known as the “king’s broad arrow” (the shape was a broad arrow. This was done along the New England coast and inland from about 1711 to 1776.
The museum was contacted with an inquiry about one of these marks. Rumor has it that a tree still exists just north of Millinocket. If anyone has heard of this, please contact the museum.
The B & A Railroad’s proximity was one reason this area was selected as the site for the GNP Company’s new paper mill. Workers and supplies needed to be brought to the area. In the 1880’s work progressed on extending the railroad line into Aroostook County. In 1883 there was a caboose-office at Norcross and a station at West Seboeis. In October of 1893, the tracklayers passed North Twin and Millinocket and were near the East Branch of the Penobscot River. A 50,000 gallon water tank and pumping station, section house and one siding made up the Millinocket yard in 1893.
As the railroad was being extended, Charles Mullen and others were planning for the paper mill and in 1899, the railroad constructed a spur line from the main line to the mill yard. This track was mostly finished when work began on the mill. (See book titled Bangor & Aroostook, The Maine Railroad by Angier & Cleaves for more detail, copy at museum).
Many Millinocket men were employed by the railroad through the years. The museum now has a wooden chair that was formerly at the Millinocket station. It was donated by Betty Hopper along with a railroad worker’s lunch basket. The museum has a number of railroad photos, tickets, timetables, a stock certificate and a moose tag in the collection.
Join us at the museum on August 15 from 1PM – 2PM for a book signing by author Bradford Edwards. His book Tanglefoot is a work of historical fiction set in the Chesuncook Village, Chesuncook Lake area in the 1920’s.
*** New 2020 calendars available! The theme “Beyond the Mill” was chosen to highlight the wide reach of the Great Northern Paper Company. Photos/trivia from early 1900’s to more recent times featured. At the museum, Save-a-Lot, Gracie’s Aunt’s Emporium, Steel Magnolias, and Katahdin True Value. $10.00 each, by mail add $5.00 SH.
*** 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 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.

Museum Visitors

Millinocket began with people coming from many parts of the world and from other locations in the U. S. They came to build the mill and to settle here. Over one hundred years later many visitors come to the area and again they come from all over the country and the world. The museum has been busy during July with some of these visitors and they have come here for many different reasons.
The museum has seen folks from Spain (genealogy questions), from China (students from a SHS sister school), India (employment) and from Canada family reunion). So far in 2019 twenty-one states plus Maine have been represented. AT hikers stop in to learn a bit of the local history and share some stories of their adventures. Many visitors have local ties and find the museum brings back memories of earlier times. Some, after seeing the various displays and seeing the kind of items the museum is interested in, make plans to donate memorabilia they have back home. We appreciate all offers to add to the collection.
Updates: 1.The latest Memories of Maine magazine is out and has an article on Millinocket’s Theaters by yours truly. David Branch, the magazine’s publisher/editor stopped by to drop off a bundle of the magazines to be given out (free) while they last.
2. A new group of pavers have been added out front by the museum sign. We are now takings orders for the next group which will be placed by next July 4th. See below for information. 3. The front porch now has two new seating spaces (swings) for everyone’s enjoyment. Come try them out when the museum is open. 4. A new exhibit has been curated by volunteers and show off many old (and strange looking) medical instruments plus prescription bottles from local drugstores (Warren’s, Emerson’s, Gonya’s, Whalen’s, Heebner’s) and more. There are several of Dr. Gilman’s instruments, dental tools of Dr. Leslie Frost and items from Dr. Bryant and Dr. Young. Come in and check it out!
Join us at the museum on August 15 from 1PM – 2PM for a book signing by author Bradford Edwards. His book Tanglefoot is a work of historical fiction set in the Chesuncook Village, Chesuncook Lake area in the 1920’s.
*** New 2020 calendars available! The theme “Beyond the Mill” was chosen to highlight the wide reach of the Great Northern Paper Company. Photos/trivia from early 1900’s to more recent times featured. At the museum, Save-a-Lot, Gracie’s Aunt’s Emporium, Steel Magnolias, and Katahdin True Value. $10.00 each, by mail add $5.00 SH.
*** 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 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.