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Some Early Stores!

Odds and Ends From The MUSEUM!

By Trudy Wyman, Curator, Millinocket Society Museum

McAvey and Smart and McAvey and Scribner were two stores that provided groceries, meats, and provisions as well as supplied customers with tobacco, cigars and confectionery (a store that sold sweet items as well as baked items). A query from a McAvey descendant followed by some museum research led to the following information.

Charles Arthur McAvey and M. D. Smart were in business together in Millinocket in the early 1900’s. It is unknown when they began the business, but known that in April of 1912, they parted ways. Mention is made in the local town report for 1912 that they provided provisions for the poor and were paid by the town. It appears McAvey then went into business with L. Scribner as town reports (1914, 1915 and into the1920’s) also indicate the store provided help to those in need. A few early high school yearbooks have McAvey and Scribner ads.

The location of the above-mentioned store or stores is unknown. A news article in the Bangor newspaper, 1924, tells of a new traffic ordinance. “No motor vehicle between 7 AM-9 PM shall park on the main streets of town, that is, in the business portion from McAvey’s store and the Opera House down to the Bishop Block. Parking space for those shopping downtown shall be found on the open land at the back of the fire station.”

The parking ordinance seems to indicate that McAvey was in business on the lower end of Penobscot Avenue. Some sources also suggest M.D. Smart had a grocery store midway down Penobscot Avenue for a number of years. Alex Smart was also a businessman in the 1920’s as indicated by an article in the 1924 Old Town Enterprise. He was the agent for Studebaker cars and his grocery store (location unknown) carried “everything in the line of staple and fancy groceries and provisions, fresh and salt fish.” Smart provided delivery service, two deliveries daily, “so good that the numerous customers know that telephone orders receive the same care as if they were at the store in person.”

Anyone having information or photos of any of these businesses, please contact the museum! Thank you!

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