Dining on the Train!
Get a hot lunch of grilled brook trout served with whipped potato, biscuits, Harvard beets and a beverage for $1.75 per person! If that wasn’t to your liking, you could opt for a rump steak sandwich, biscuits and string beans for $1.50. Third and fourth choices were chicken stew with hot biscuits or Welsh rabbit on toast. Beverage choices were a pot of tea or coffee and milk. This was only a portion of the menu served to passengers on the Bangor & Aroostook Railroad that in earlier days carried many Millinocket passengers on excursions to Bangor and points south.
Recently the museum received several scrapbooks from the Harold Higgins family. Three of the books contained numerous articles from the Bangor Daily News and other newspapers about the B & A and articles referencing Millinocket railroad employees.
Tucked inside one book was a separate paper menu from the B & A…date unknown! One side has the food offerings while the second side has beverages including listings for whiskeys, scotch, gin, rum, brandy plus cocktails served only in the dining car. There was ginger ale and coca cola. To pass the time playing cards could be purchased for 60 cents and cribbage boards were available for use on train. If you had an upset stomach or an ache or pain, Alka seltzer, Bromo seltzer and aspirin could be had for 15 cents.
The food menu also included sandwiches (ham & cheese, lettuce & tomato, tuna, ham) and for dessert, ice cream, Indian pudding with whipped cream and cheese with toasted crackers. All food items were served to children at half price!
A reference book at the museum, Bangor & Aroostook, The Maine Railroad authored by Angier/Cleaves, shows an elaborate menu for the 1928 annual Directors Inspection Trip. The trip starting at Bangor at 7:30 AM and ending at Fort Kent at 6:45 PM included an hour-long mid-afternoon stop in Millinocket.
In the fall of 1893, B & A tracklayers passed North Twin and Millinocket bringing a very important element to the future endeavor of creating a paper mill in this area. Without the railroad, the Great Northern Paper Company mill might never have been constructed!