So You Live in Millinocket? Did you know Dorothy Bowler Laverty wrote a book with that title which explains the history of housing in the town of Millinocket?
Did you know…some people settled along the tote road that came from Medway, nearly 400 Italians were housed in crude shacks across the stream from the mill while a few folks built on higher ground back of the mill and others built near Millinocket Stream in the area known as the Flat?
Did you know that boarding houses were constructed on Penobscot Avenue near the mill, along Katahdin Avenue and in Tin Can Alley…all with different designs unlike those in many mill towns? Did you know that early house lots had only 60 foot frontage to cut down on water and sewer costs? There were many different designs (described in the book) including those with a small stained glass windows.
Did you know that most company officials did not plan to live in Millinocket, thus the Great Northern Hotel was constructed to house them on their visits? The more elaborate homes built near the four corners of Highland and Central Streets were done for early doctors (Ryan, Cody) and a druggist (Heebner). The Stearns, Parks and Ferguson homes did house company executives who lived here as did the Ingleton Schenck house (later known as the GNP Guest House)
Many families lived above the businesses on Penobscot Avenue. Frank Rush used train cabooses for his saw mill workers at his business near the railroad station.
Between the 1920’s & 1950’s, changes occurred. Little Italy homes grew to accommodate growing families. Granite Street (no one knows why called that as no granite in area) was extended to Medway Road. New houses on Medway Rd. were wrapped with mill paper! Water Street (a new street) was laid out and houses were being built along the Flat. Bates Street was extended when the railroad underpass was completed.
After WWII, new housing was needed for returning vets. Houses sprung up on Eastland Avenue and Maple Street. Plans were made for the Hillcrest Development (then and now referred to as the New Development). During the 1970’s, still more space for housing was needed so Wassau St. (apartments buildings) was laid out. Mobile homes came to the former Rush Farm and later to Pamola Park. Senior living facilities were constructed.
Laverty describes all of these in her book, So You Live in Millinocket, available at the museum (some copies are signed).