Interesting Notes from the Past
1830 - decade of this century, exact date unknown, George McCauslin became the first white man to settle in what is now known as East Millinocket.
Sometime after 1845 Thomas Fowler Jr. was the second man with his family to move into the area.
1860 - John Fowler takes over the farm of Thomas Fowler
1892 - Fowler Farm relinquished to John Powers and remained in his possession until 1906 when it was sold to Great Northern Paper Co.
1899 - Charles Powers buys the McCauslin farm.
The need of locating paper mills in areas where wood and water resources were plentiful made the founding of East Millinocket inevitable.
Credit for recognizing the power and paper making potential of the region of which East Millinocket is part of, belongs to Charles Mullen, a lumberman with engineering knowledge who interested Garret Schenck, manager of Rumford Falls Co., in its development.
In 1897 the formation of the Northern Development Company, which two years later would become Great Northern Paper Co., came from this interest.
The first activity of the new company was the construction of a new 8 machine mill in Millinocket in 1899. During this construction, the company acquired a mill in Madison that became its first producing unit. In November 1900, the first paper was made in Millinocket.
In the spring of 1906 work began on the third mill of the company, designed for 4 machines, in East Millinocket. Construction included a dam and power development, a second dam at Dolby Pitch and also a grinder room and hydroelectric station.
The population of East Millinocket just previous to this time consisted solely of the families of John and Charles Powers living on the farms cleared by McCauslins and Fowlers. The new dam at Dolby created a large artificial pond which now completely engulfs these farms.
In August 1907 number 1 and 2 paper machines made the first paper in East Millinocket, while number 3 machine was being installed. In 1914 paper machine 4 was installed. By 1952 with many improvements and changes the mill was producing 320 tons/day of paper. On March 2, 1953, the company embarked on an expansion program designed to triple the capacity of its existing plant by the construction of what was practically a complete new pulp and paper mill. So, rapid and efficient was the pace of construction that paper machine 5 was making marketable paper on October 13, 1954 and paper machine 6 followed in 1955.
Early in 1906, as hundreds of workers labored to complete the preliminary work of construction, the realization for a need for some form of government became more essential. The request to the legislature for the establishment of East Millinocket as a governmental unit of the state was presented and on February 21, 1907 the town was incorporated.
On April 11, 1907, the first town meeting was called to order and the first group of men to serve as town officials were elected. On April 13, 1907, the citizens of the town voted to raise $500 to establish a school, $3000 to build a school building and $4500 for other purposes. The selectmen were also authorized to contract for a water supply.
The installation of a water works in 1907, by the Northern Water Company, solved one of the towns primary problems. Water was secured from 3 artesian wells drilled in the western part of town. A fourth well, not included in the system, was drilled at the lot now occupied by Richard Violette's Law Office. The well system was used until 1915 when a pumping station was established on the Hathaway Farm to pump water from the East Branch of the Penobscot via a pipeline to the town's standpipe. A third and better source of water was found on the same farm in 1940 and now serves as the towns present source of water supply. In 1979 the East Millinocket Water Works was established.
Construction of a sewage system was started in 1910, 10,280 feet of sewer line was laid and 31 manholes were installed. Since that time the town has made many additions to the system and a second outlet to the river was added to increase the area available for housing. This enabled sewers lines to be installed on Spring Street and all streets leading to it.
The installation of thirty fire hydrants by the water company, now totaling fifty-nine, was a big boom to the volunteer fire department organized in 1907. In 1908 the fire station was located at 32 Park Street. Early fire equipment consisted of 1,000 feet of hose, three hose reels, and one ladder wagon. There were several hose houses strategically located throughout the community for easy access. During the twenties, mechanization of the department came and the horse drawn equipment was done away with. In 1935 a new fire station was completed on Main Street. In 1953 the first ambulance was purchased for the town and in 1954 the first police car. A new Public Safety Building was erected in 1976 with the fire, police and ambulance departments all located in one facility.
In 1952 the sum of $2500 was raised to construct a garage for the Street Department to be located on the upper end of Eastern Ave. In 1956 the town adopted a rubbish ordinance and purchased a sanitation truck to begin weekly rubbish collection.
A summer playground was instituted in 1949 and continued until 1955 when the Recreation Department was established. In 1956 the swimming pool on North Street was opened. Due to the low temperature of its water supply, the pool had the unique distinction of being the only heated outdoor pool in the area. Also in that same year an area behind the pool was cleared for a playground and the area behind the new high school cleared for a new athletic field.
The Municipal Building was built in 1915. Extremely practical in in design, the building contained a courtroom and jail, fully equipped stage with dressing rooms, motion picture equipment, a dining hall with kitchen, offices for town officials, a heating plant, a lobby and ticket office and plenty of seating on its main floor and balcony. The building was used for many things until it was destroyed by fire in January 1934. It was immediately rebuilt and enlarged to include a fire station.
Work on the local cemetery was started in 1919 and finished in 1920 with the appropriation of $2,500. A receiving vault was added in 1923 and the town assumed all financial responsibilities for improvements and maintenance.
A public library was established at the high school in 1927. The library was moved to the Municipal building in 1938. In 1977 the town library was moved to a new facility next to the Municipal building.