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Early Local Photographers

Many professional photos in the museum collection were done by Crowell Studios. Crowell’s Studios, Crowell’s Photography, The Crowell’s Studios (all versions of the name were used) seem to have been in business in Millinocket from about 1936 until at least after 1951. Mr. Crowell did the official photos for the town’s 50th birthday celebration. Many families obtained black albums from Crowell containing many photos. The museum has been given several of these…they all contain photos from the various parades held during the celebration week, but each has a few pictures that may have been chosen especially for the family that was getting the album.

An article in a local 1947 newspaper states “the Crowell’s Studios have been at their present location for the past seven years.” That location on Penobscot Avenue was called the McCaffrey Block (Warren’s Drug Store, Chapman’s Variety). After a fire about 1913, another structure was constructed on that location (later housed Crowell’s, Reilly Bros. Gentlemen’s Clothing & Fashions, Landeau’s, and Newberry’s Department Store).

The news article states “Mr. Crowell is a graduate of New York Institute of Photography, Winona School of Photography for members of the Photographers Association, and the Army’s School at Astoria, L.I. Crowell’s is the first studio in Maine to be equipped with Stroboscopic Speed Flash equipment which takes pictures at 1/20,000th of a second. This studio is connected with the Black Star Publishing Co., NYC, for photo distribution nationally. Photos taken here have appeared in national publications, one being used recently in advertising in Popular Photography magazine. Mr. Crowell has had several articles printed in magazines published for the photographic field.”

Another photography studio to have its name on a number of museum photos is Hobb’s Studios. They were located in the Decker-Gonya Block (corner Penobscot & Central by light) and appear to have been in business from about 1933-1960. They did photos for many of the Stearns seniors. The 1941 Stearns HS yearbook has an ad thanking the class of 1941 for their patronage. The ad states they “did portraits of merit.”

Hayden was also the photographer for some of the early 1900’s photos in the museum’s collection. We do not have any information on this photographer.

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