The Missing Streets
Odds and Ends From The MUSEUM!
By Trudy Wyman, Curator, Millinocket Society Museum
Compact, no sprawl…that describes the Millinocket townsite as shown on a 1924 reference drawing by the Great Northern Paper Company. All house lots and businesses are clustered within a relatively small area with the paper mill at one end and Millinocket Stream on the east and the Bangor & Aroostook Railroad tracks cutting through some residential areas and forming the outer boundary of others.
A small copy of B710 dated May 20, 1924, made by E.R.R. and checked by F.R.W. (probably GNP engineers, no full names given) is a part of the museum’s Laverty Collection. This large collection of photos, maps & blueprints, early newspapers and much more was donated in 2013 by Laverty’s daughter, Dorothy (Laverty) Carlson.
The planners of Millinocket put together specific plans for the streets, school locations, the park and the cemetery at an early date with additions coming along in later years. Comparison of several of these townsite maps from different dates show that most plans worked out. However, there are some streets indicated that never materialized. Two from the 1924 plan are Dale Street and Brook Street and School Street was to have been extended.
Today School Street starts on Katahdin Ave., goes between the site of the former Katahdin Avenue School & the Congregational Church, takes a right turn and shortly thereafter comes to a dead end. The 1924 map shows School St. also turning left behind the school and continuing with house lots with access to Beech St. near the tracks. With the right turn, School St., instead of a dead end, was planned to continue west and intersect with Bates Street near Bowdoin St.
In that same Bates Street area, a jog toward the railroad tracks was planned to have about twenty house lots. It is numbered as block 70 and a notation states it was added to the plan in 1933. Lot 71 was also added at that time. Lot 71 shows no house lots. It is the area where the hospital is today.
In the downtown area, it is clear that space was to be kept open between Aroostook Ave. and Congress Streets. Some remember that area as The Flat or The Flats. The map shows that Aroostook Ave. went to just past the then front door of Aroostook Avenue School but did not cross Spring St. Later Aroostook Ave. would end at Central St. as it does today.
This 1924 plan indicates no plans for anything across the stream and does not even indicate a bridge although the museum has a large photo (we believe about 1913) showing the first bridge across Millinocket Stream. There was limited access to the Medway Road area early on but it is not shown on this plan. Also, there is no indication of the Little Italy area on this map.
Early maps are interesting to study!