Millinocket, Maine

Discussion in 'Places I Have Lived' started by Ken Anderson, Mar 9, 2015.

  1. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    We didn't get our power back until about 1:00 am. We had very heavy winds with a mixture of heavy rains and sleet.
     
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  2. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Supreme Member
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    Here's a little history of Millinocket, the Magic City!
    [​IMG]

    "The Town magically grew over an amazingly short period of about two years. Construction of the Town started in the pristine, unsettled North Maine Woods in late 1898 with what was then the largest paper mill in the world; Great Northern Paper. The Town was nicknamed, "The Magic City" because it appeared in the wilderness "overnight".

    The mill was built by hundreds of immigrants, mostly of Italian and French Canadian descent. There has always been a very close relationship between the mill and the Town, especially since the Town's sole reason for being was the Paper Mill.

    One of the favorite stories is that during the Great Depression of the 1930's, no one at the mill lost their jobs. Although the workers reduced their hours to keep everyone working, all were able to support their families during that bleak period in American history".
     
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  3. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    In July of 2006, I wrote a profile of Millinocket for All Maine Matters, a state-wide monthly that my wife and I published. You can find the all-text version here, although it is badly formatted, a problem that occurred when it was converted from PDF to text. The PDF version shows the paper much as it looked in print. Most of the photos that you can see throughout the issue were taken by me, and are from around Millinocket. Plus, I was running for state congress at the time, as a Republican, so you might also find one of my campaign ads. The Millinocket profile is on page eight.
     
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  4. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Senior Staff
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    That is a great story about the history of Millinocket, @Ken Anderson ! I enjoyed the pictures, too, especially the round house built by the man from the train company.
    Was the Great Northern Paper Company in any way connected with the Great Northern Railroad ? I remember seeing that from the time I was little, and it used to have the emblem of the mountain goat on the side of all of the cars.
    I think that they later may have merged with the Northern Pacific; but I am not sure about that part, and is now BNSF.
    You look awesome in a suit ! Not at all like the unforgettable picture of the Creature From the Crawlspace......

    I am pretty sure that my daughter-in-law told me that her parents lived in Millinocket when she was little. I would have to ask her again to be sure. Her family name was Stevenson, and her father was an Episcopalian minister.
    I am guessing that it would have been sometime in the 1960's.
     
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  5. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    No, the Great Northern Railroad went from Minnesota to Washington. It was, however, the only privately funded, transcontinental railroad in US history. Unlike nearly every other railroad, Great Northern took no federal funds. It was built, in part, from the St. Paul & Pacific Railroad, and was largely responsible for the European American settlement of the Dakotas. Later, it merged with several other railroads to form the Burlington Northern Railroad, the Northern Pacific being one of them.

    Millinocket was once the second wealthiest town in Maine and had, I think, nine churches. We have seven now.
     
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  6. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    Very late last night, or early in the morning (after I had gone to bed anyhow), a train went through. We have a train track behind our house but we haven't had a train go by here since the mill closed a few years ago. People have been using the tracks as a walking trail, an ATV trail, and a snowmobile trail in the winter. There have been talks about what to do with it once the Bangor and Aroostook Railroad (which is in bankruptcy) formally abandoned it. Sometimes the land reverts to the landowners on each side of the track but, more often lately, they make it an official hiking trail, ATV trail, or snowmobile trail, which is what it's been used for lately. While I wouldn't mind having another little sliver of land, I don't really care. But it was strange that a train went through. Maybe they are dismantling some other mill along the way.
     
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  7. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Supreme Member
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    Maybe you were dreaming. :) Did your wife hear it also?

    If it hasn't been used by trains, is it kept up? Meaning weeds and anything on the track removed.

    Where would the train be coming from? Are there train stations still along the tracks?

    Need more information, Ken....I like trains and find this interesting.

    Also, did you live in that house when the train was in use? If so, was it annoying?
     
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  8. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    Yeah. the train woke her up too. While the tracks were in use, we didn't even notice the trains after the first few months because we got used to them. While the mill was in operation, there were trains coming and going all the time. I had always been under the impression that the tracks ended at the mill, a few blocks from our house, but it's possible that they continue on to somewhere else. It's also possible that they are salvaging metal or something from the mill, as several of the buildings are still up, although others have been demolished.
     
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  9. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Supreme Member
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    Here's a few chills to cool you off!:eek:
     
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  10. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    When I lived in Elsa, Texas, the train that went through there had been abandoned. The tracks had even been removed. Yet, the signal was still in operation and every now and then the railroad crossing lights would come on and the audible warning would sound. Everyone referred to that as a ghost train.
     
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  11. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Supreme Member
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    Elsa, Texas.......the name rings a bell!;)
     
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  12. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    It's next to Edcouch, Texas. When I was a part-owner in an ambulance company, we were based in Edcouch, with stations in Elsa, La Villa, and Mercedes. Ed and Elsa Couch were brother and sister, I believe.
     
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  13. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Senior Staff
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    Many years ago, we lived in a little trailer that was beside the railroad track. Trains went by every day, and one came through around 2-3 in the morning. The railroad crossing was just down the road; so that late night train would always blow the whistle just before it came roaring past our house.
    At first I would wake up when it came by at night; but soon, it jusst became part of the night sounds, and we slept right through it, whistle and all.
    However, one night was different.
    As the train came by, the headlight would swing from side to side, so the engineer could see on both sides of the track.
    Just as the train started loudly blowing it's whistle, the headlight swang our direction at just the right second so that it glared right into the bedroom window, with the result being that I woke up in a panic, thinking that somehow that train was coming right through the bedroom window and into our bedroom, whistle blowing like crazy.
    In an instant, it was gone, the light swinging back the other direction as the train roared past; but for a second or two, my half-asleep brain thought that it was about to be the end for us.
     
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  14. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    We're the second house from the corner, so we get the horn too.
     
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  15. Louise Williams

    Louise Williams Supreme Member
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    Hi Ken , from what I know is that they are trying get the railroads going again all the way up the state so could be they are trying out the tracks ??., I m sure your weekly paper will have something about it . if you heard it, then others heard it as well.. when I left Maine, 3 yrs ago..they had a train that ran all the way up to Rockland and they were hoping to got farther with the train routes in the future, was my understanding,, so if that happens looks like you may have to get some good sound proof siding or some good ear plugs !!.,:D

    Oh and please!!! , you forgot to delete # 27 and #30 post for me., looks like I had asked you a while back on this thread to do so....I would appreciate it very much..
    thank you...
     
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    Last edited: Aug 13, 2016
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