Odds and Ends From The MUSEUM!
By Trudy Wyman, Curator, Millinocket Historical Society Museum
Klondike fever was a common occurrence in the 1890’s. Among Canadians hoping to strike it rich was William Watters Boddy of New Brunswick. Boddy was fifty years old. It appears he had some success, returning to New Brunswick with two gold nuggets. After the Great Northern Paper Company mill started production, several members of the Boddy family moved to Millinocket. By 1920, William Watters Boddy and his wife had moved to Millinocket and were living on Knox Street. He died in 1922 and is buried in the Millinocket Cemetery.
Several months ago, Frank Lawson from Fredericton, New Brunswick visited the museum. Previous contact had been made via email. Lawson is a descendant of W. W. Boddy. On his visit to the museum, we were able to provide him with W. W. Boddy’s obituary and those of two other family members. These were found in the scrapbooks of the 1920’s compiled by Mr. Hull, a former Millinocket librarian. We were also able to help Lawson make contact with current and former Millinocket Boddy residents and subsequently, he contacted Jean Marie (Boddy) Johnston. Together, they compiled a detailed genealogy that included an in-depth story of W. W. Boddy’s adventures in the Klondike. This was then published in the Journal of the New Brunswick Genealogical Society, Winter, 2019. Lawson recently sent a copy of this lengthy article the MHS where it can be seen and read at the museum.
Recently, MHS received a letter from Arlene Carlstrom telling of some of her early memories of the cemetery. (MHS is still seeking information as to the early history of that area.) She notes that when she was young the cemetery was much smaller as Peter Barnett had a potato field at the lower end. Other memories include: a set of steps over the fence where she would sit and look at the mountain; fresh flowers covered the graves of new burials; a grieving spouse would wear black all year and the men wore black arm bands. She remembers one occasion when her parents were at a funeral and she and another girl listened to the radio… this was not something that was permitted. Another memory is when asked by her mother where she wanted to go for a walk, she answered to the “somatory.” And that’s where they would go!
Help the museum preserves these stories of time past! Write them down and share them.
MHS has several copies of “No Time for Moss” by Sid McKeen. It is the very interesting story of Verna Thorpe who grew up in Millinocket. Available at $15.00 while they last!
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 email@example.com or the Millinocket Historical Society, P. O. Box 11, on the web at www.millinockethistoricalsociety.org or on Facebook.