Odds and Ends From The MUSEUM!
By Trudy Wyman, Curator, Millinocket Society Museum
Bottled soda water, mineral water and non-intoxicating beverages were produced by the Millinocket Bottling Company, one of the early businesses in town. Located on the corner of Aroostook Avenue and Central Street, its proprietor was Mr. Fred A. Boynton. A 1924 article in the Old Town Enterprise says the business has been there for about 13 years and that Mr. Boynton “has had many years experience in the bottling business with the result that he is placing on the market soft drinks of such desirable quality that their popularity was an assured fact from the moment they were manufactured.” Boynton’s ginger ale had a reputation locally and in the surrounding towns and was considered as “being one of the superior products of its kind produced in the state of Maine.”
The Millinocket Bottling Company was said to have produced “from five to six hundred cases per week during the busy season and all bottles are washed, sterilized and bottled by electricity, the most scrupulous care being taken that every sanitary law is complied with, that no foreign substances may mar the excellence of the product.” Boynton had three men working for him in 1924. Deliveries were made in Millinocket and the surrounding towns.
The museum received a new green tinted, clear glass bottle from this business recently. On display are several different Millinocket Bottling Company bottles including clear glass, swirled and one that says “whistle”. A wooden crate from the company is also displayed. It is thought this business was there until sometime in the 1950’s.
A museum map from 1916 identifies a building as “bottling works” with a structure next to it as “bl sm” possibly Martin George’s blacksmith shop. A 1927 map shows a brick structure divided into two parts with “bottling works” on the Aroostook Avenue side and “auto service” on Central Street side.
That corner has seen several different businesses through the years. A much later aerial photo shows more buildings there than now, but it is not known if any shown were there in the earlier years. New information/photos would be appreciated.