Odds and Ends From The MUSEUM!
By Trudy Wyman, Curator, Millinocket Society Museum
Many houses in the older sections of Millinocket have similar characteristics. GNP allowed for only a 60 foot frontage (to cut the cost of water and sewer services provided by the company). One house design used by many allowed for a quick construction. A hall from the front door led to the kitchen with a dining room and living room on the right. At the left a stairway rose to the second floor. A small landing a few steps up featured a window with a small pane of clear glass surrounded with squares of stained glass. (The museum has one of these windows.) Three bedrooms and a small bath could be found upstairs. This simple plan could be reversed and was known as a one-and-a half story.
A second type of house was the square two story with a hip roof. There was usually a dormer window in the attic space and often porches were added. A variation on this style was influenced by the people who had come here from farming areas. This plan had two stories plus an attic and then often bay windows were added. These homes often had an ell added which would normally lead to a barn. Here in Millinocket the barn was missing. (There were livery stables in town.) A few two-family homes with separate entrances and long divided porches were constructed.
Many mill towns had large, fancy homes for company executives, but most of GNP’s top men lived in Boston or New York. The Great Northern Hotel housed these men and others when in town.
Several Victorian style homes were built in the Highland Avenue and Maine Avenue section near Central Street. These were for doctors (Ryan, Cody), a druggist (Heebner), and a merchant (Moran). One mill official (Parks) located in this area, but left early and Bragdon (undertaker) acquired the house. George W. Stearns, GNP land agent, built a house in this area.
Dorothy Bowler Laverty’s second book So You Live in Millinocket has this information and much more about the homes of Millinocket from the early days to the boarding houses, “new Development” and the mobile homes. Paperback ($10) and Hardcover ($15) versions of this book available at museum.