Odds and Ends From The MUSEUM!
By Trudy Wyman, Curator, Millinocket Historical Society Museum
An early photo of a simple building on the GNP mill site is identified by some sources as the Kimball Store and probably the first store in what would become Millinocket. Other sources identify the same photo as being the Kimball Store in East Millinocket.
Sometime later the Millinocket Kimball Store moved from the mill site to the southeast corner of Penobscot Ave. and Central St. where the new three-story structure was renamed J. F. Kimball Trading Company. It provided goods of many kinds to the people of the growing community.
A 1922 news article describes the business. “We are dealing with the first store in Millinocket and wondering how many families are still dealing with it. There are many stores now and for over a quarter century, Kimball’s has catered to its big family (the people of Millinocket), and over four million dollars’ worth of merchandise has been sold. It is necessary to carry a large stock. Their complete assortment of staple and fancy groceries is well selected and includes bottled, jar and canned goods: the large meat room attached is scrupulously neat and sanitary and where the choicest cuts can be had. Flour, hay, grain and feed is also sold here. Another department has dry and fancy goods and includes a splendid line of ginghams, percales, sheetings, white goods of all kinds, night dresses, pajamas, hosiery, crashes, towels, etc. Another area has a large list of kitchen supplies in aluminum and agate ware. The shoe department on the 2nd floor carries a full line of men’s, women’s and children’s boots and shoes.
The manager was W. H. O’Connell. This store had an elevated platform for the cashier. A newly invented system had cashier’s placing payment and sales slips in a container. When the handle was pulled, the container traveled along a wire to the cashier’s cage. If change was due the customer, it was returned in the same manner. It worked so well that Alec Smart, storeowner down the street had a similar system installed!
The building was destroyed by fire in February of 1952. At the time. The rear of the building stored lumber for Charles Madden. Also in the three-story building was Angie’s Beauty Parlor operated by Mrs. Angie Plourde and her 2nd floor living quarters.
The Kimball site on the corner later had the First National Store followed by several other businesses. Lastly, it had an indoor mini-golf course and is now an open space.