Millinocket has had many organizations through the years and for many there were separate men’s and women’s groups. One such group was the Rebekah’s, the women’s branch of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF). In Millinocket, as in many Maine towns these groups built large buildings (often three story) with meeting rooms and space for other functions. In Millinocket, the IOOF/Rebekahs building still stands on Penobscot Avenue. Today it houses Design Lab. Some background…Rebekahs or Rebekahs Assemblies was founded in 1851 by then Vice-President of the U. S. Schuyler Colfax. As an Odd Fellow, he was asked to write a degree for women so that wives and daughters of Odd Fellows could be included in activities. They could become honorary members. In 1868, the IOOF voted to establish lodges known as the Daughters of Rebekah and they were then allowed to elect their own officers, charge initiation fees, collect dues and undertake “charitable and benevolent activities.” Today, there are still about twenty active Rebekahs groups in Maine and both males and females may become members. The Odd Fellows started in England in the 1700’s. In the United Kingdom, major trades were organized into guilds. The smaller or “odd trades” joined together to form larger groups and became known as the “odd fellows.” There were no insurance companies at that time so the Odd Fellows began to “help out” fellow workers in need and “aid and assist them to obtain employment when out of work. When a brother could not obtain work, he was given a Card and funds enough to carry him to the next Lodge, and if unsuccessful there, that Lodge facilitated his further progress in the same way. Where he found employment, there he deposited his Card.” The museum has several artifacts from both the Millinocket Odd Fellows and Rebekahs. There are photographs of some members of both groups and some showing construction of the local Odd Fellows building. From the Rebekahs there is a bowl and initiation scarf. From the Odd Fellows, the museum has a red velvet collar with fringe, several ledgers of information and a wooden ballot box with black balls used to deny membership! See the museum’s Facebook page for some of the photos.
IOOF hall upstairs & Rebekahs Members
Museum open Thursday, Friday, Saturday Noon-3PM In the Museum Store! ***2022 Calendars, Everybody Loves a Parade! $14.00 each, add $5 each by mail
*** Preowned yearbooks - $10.00 each. *** Matted photos, various prices – GNP mill, Little Italy, river drives, Mt. Katahdin. *** DVD’s, Little Italy Part 1 and Part 2 available at the museum ($15 each) or mail order ($15 each). ***Books: “Within Katahdin’s Realm, Log Drives and Sporting Camps” (Bill Geller) $30.00; “Logging Towboats & Boom Jumpers” (Moody) $18.00; “Tanglefoot,” (Edwards) $15.00; “The Nighthawk,” (Edwards) $15.00; “Millinocket” (D. Duplisea) $20.00; “A Little Taste of History” cookbooks - $15.00; both Laverty books, $25 history & $10 architecture; “Our Real World,” (M. Murphy) $15.00; “No Time for Moss (McKeen) $15.00 and several preowned books (out of print) by local authors. *** All items may be mailed – add $5 SH each item. *** For information, groups or appointments, contact Curator Trudy Wyman, 723-5477. *** By mail at Millinocket Historical Society, P. O. Box 11, Facebook or on the web at
www.millinockethistoricalsociety.org or on Facebook. ***By email MillinocketHistSoc@gmail.com or firstname.lastname@example.org