Odds and Ends From The MUSEUM!
By Trudy Wyman, Curator, Millinocket Historical Society Museum
As Millinocket grew, the need for additional schools grew. In the beginning, all students were housed in the Millinocket High School and Common School. Then came Oxford Street School (4 rooms at first with four more added later). Some Medway Road students attended school there in a building owned by Eugene Barbian.
1915 plans were made for a new elementary school. However, there were delays with the architect and cement work that kept the school from opening until the fall of 1916. The Brick Schoolhouse, as it was called for several years, had four classrooms and included a teacher’s room. Four more rooms were finished soon after and later basement space was converted for use. Later it became known as Aroostook Avenue School.
The town report, Feb. 1914 - Feb. 1915, shows the town had paid out $18,533 for this new building. Another entry states “the new school house will cost approximately $40,000 which leaves $10,000 to be raised by direct taxation.” Another $2000 would be raised yearly “to extinguish the debt.” A later entry by the superintendent of schools William Marr stated, “When finished, this school will be one of the best north of Bangor.”
The report issued in Feb. 1916 tells of payment for the Brick School fence of $414.75. This included the wire fencing, posts and the building of a concrete wall. In addition, it is noted that the sum of $1.75 was paid to R. E. Elliott for hauling the fencing and other materials from the railroad station.
From other town reports 1917-1919 comes the following information regarding the town’s elementary schools. It was thought the new school (Aroostook Ave.) would solve the crowding problem for several years, but just one year later it already had 400 students. Some rooms in each of the schools had between 60 and 70 students and no teacher had less than 40. Consideration was already underway to build yet another school but WWI was happening in Europe and soon the U.S. became involved so another school would have to wait. The school board determined no child under six attend school.
1919, the war had ended and the determination was made to add four more rooms to Oxford Street School. Another new school was still needed, but did not happen until 1951 when Katahdin Avenue School opened. Both WWI and WWII had delayed the construction of the planned additional elementary school.
The Brick Schoolhouse/Aroostook Avenue School was a K-6 school until its closing in 1998.