Heating Early Millinocket
Odds and Ends From The MUSEUM!
By Trudy Wyman, Curator, Millinocket Historical Society Museum
Winter in Millinocket can get pretty chilly in January and February! At the town’s beginnings, citizens depended on businesses like F.O. Daisey, H. E. Preble, C. R. Steeves and others to provide them with coal, wood or both to heat their homes.
F. O. Daisey & Co. had a bustling business in the winter of 1924 (Old Town Enterprise article). Daisey provided fuel to keep homes warm in both Millinocket, East Millinocket and Medway. Daisey employed 20-25 men with most of them working in the woods cutting on the land where Daisey purchased stumpage. The wood and coal deliveries were made by team and by truck. The article states the company was “ever alert to see that their many customers get satisfactory fuel and service and at critical times, during coal shortages took the most painstaking care to see that there was no suffering for want of fuel by carefully portioning out their supply so as to allow all to have some coal.” Daisey had an office on Penobscot Avenue opposite the Dream Theater.
H. E. Preble sold both hard and soft coal and also did considerable business in wood. He also bought stumpage and hired some twenty seasonal workers. Another reference lists two other businesses providing wood to townspeople. Millinocket, Coal, Wood, and Ice was one and the other was McCaffrey Brothers, Wood and Ice. Both were in existence in 1908 and probably longer.
Coal and wood were of no use without stoves or furnaces. The Old Town Enterprise (1924) wrote that the C.R. Steeves establishment was the place in Millinocket to purchase stoves and furnaces. These would be “installed by Mr. Steeves and his four competent helpers who have thoroughly familiarized themselves with every known heating system and who render the most efficient service in the installation of heating units of any description. Jobbing and contract work of all kinds is a specialty of this shop which is one of the best equipped in this part of Maine.” The article notes that a recent job was the installation of the heating system in the new Baptist Church (following the 1920’s fire which destroyed the original church on Penobscot Avenue).
The museum is seeking photos, advertising items and additional information and locations about these businesses and their owners.