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 email@example.com or the Millinocket Historical Society, P. O. Box 11, on the web at www.millinockethistoricalsociety.org or on Facebook.