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The Northern

The Northern, a monthly magazine published by the Spruce Wood Department, Division of Social Services, Great Northern Paper Company existed for a few years in the 1920’s. It was referred to as “a magazine of contact between the management and the men.” The idea came from F. A. Gilbert as he wished to offer the people working out of areas such as the Grant Farm, Rice Farm, Pittston and Seboomook “opportunities for diversion which they could not otherwise get.” These magazines would offer a variety of entertaining and informative news related to the GNP company woods operations, employees and the surrounding area. Also included were photographs and humorous anecdotes and poems. The first issue came out in April of 1921 and consisted of only four pages.

The museum is looking to complete its set of these magazines as assistant curator Leola Dubois is currently scanning the copies available. The library let us access their copies (which included several the museum didn’t have), but some issues are still needed. Here is the list of issues needed for the museum. The * indicates neither the museum nor the library has these issues.

1921 Began with April issue – need May*, June*, July*, Aug, Sept., Nov., Dec.

1922 Need April*, August, September, November

1923 Need January, March, July, August

1924 Need February, March

1925-1926 Museum has complete sets

1927 Need only December

1928 We have complete set (last issue was October). October included the index for all issues.

Any help is appreciated, even allowing us to scan issues if you do not wish to give them up. When done, we plan to make digital copies available in some way as we have had inquiries from people wishing to purchase digital or print copies.

Here’s a sample summary of an article in one issue. Labor Day was a special day for the Great Northern. In town, parades took place with representatives from the various labor unions marching. Not to be outdone, in 1924, a large “company get-together” took place at Seboomook to include men from the lumber camps plus guests from private camps and locals from Rockwood, Lily Bay and more. Some crews arrived in company “jitneys.” Men came from Pittston Farm, Forty-Mile Boarding House, Northeast Carry, Grant Farm and several other camps. Many camps provided teams for athletic activities. Private cars brought some of the well-to-do campers and boats brought others from private camps on Moosehead Lake. A chef was brought in (assisted by six lumber camp cookees) and a sit-down meal was served to two hundred people at one sitting.

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