A central stone at the summit of an arch, locking the whole together. That is the dictionary definition of a keystone. Katahdin Avenue School had two elaborate keystones, one over each of the two original main entrances, placed there when the school was constructed in. The school opened in 1931. After 63 years as an elementary school, the building closed in 1994 and was demolished in 2002. Luckily, the two large keystones were saved.
Some are aware that one of these keystones, shaped like an open book, was then placed in one of the front flower beds at the Millinocket Memorial Library. During the library’s recent renovation, this keystone was again preserved and rests, for now, at one of the front corners of the library lot. At the museum, we were unaware until recently as what had become of the second keystone. Patric Santerre, architect of the library’s renovation, on a visit to the museum stated that that second keystone is safely stored at the town garage.
In recent weeks, several people have donated items to the museum. The Monson Historical Society mailed two early photos of Ripogenus Dam. Through the years, MHS has received several items from other historical societies and MHS in turn occasionally receives an item that is more appropriate for the collection of another museum, so we send it on to them.
Ronald Blum gave several sheets of holiday wrapping paper. It was GN Nekoosa produced paper that was used by the Maine Sunday Telegram and Portland Press Herald…it was printed with the GNN logo. The museum received a collection of Stearns class photos from 1942 and 1943, donor Ron Cyr. Randa Laplante Fitzgerald sent family history information and an interesting medicine bottle with a paper label from Wm. Heebner, Druggist. Sharon Machia added several local newspapers to the collection. A ladies’ eyeglass case with label from Dr. Shippee’s practice, was brought to the museum by Cal Wilson. Millinocket Players photo albums (Carousel and Irene) were donated by Lenny Berry and Martha Berry donated numerous scrapbooks and items from the Katahdin Red Hatters.
It’s great to keep receiving things for the museum collection…the variety is interesting. Be sure to check with us before tossing any item that might be of local historical value. We are going to be starting filling up the second floor display area soon!