HISTORY OF MILLINOCKET MEMORIAL LIBRARY
Library History: At the Annual Meeting, 1919, the Town voted to establish a free memorial library, and raised the sum of $2,500. The Great Northern Paper Company donated $1,000, and Mrs. Emma Schenck, $200. There were also gifts of books from many others.
The first Committee consisted of: Sidney Stevens, Alice B. Lewis and Crawford A. Treat.
The one-room library, located in the Gonya Block on Central Street, opened November 11, 1919, with Mrs. Shorey, Librarian.
Twenty three thousand (23,000) volumes were listed. In the first three months, 12,000 books were taken out. Miss Kathleen M. Snow was hired and went to work September 1, 1920, followed by Carl W. Hull in 1923; then Lora D. Gagnon, Sara R. Coffin, Agrandece Healey, Mary Kiely, Dorothy E. Arey, acting Librarian, and Stella M. Robbins, present Librarian.
. . . That wishing to preserve unto future generations the fame of our brave soldiers who lost their lives in the great struggle against Germany and her Allies for the rescue of human rights: We, the citizens of Millinocket, hereby dedicate Millinocket Public Library to the sacred memory of:
Murray Morgan, Harry Boynton
Donald Henry and Lawrence Bradley
. . . And may it be that the present and future generations of Millinocket’s young people that may be benefited by the advantages of this library shall appreciate the services and the sacrifice of these our honored dead, and that they shall strive to emulate their patriotism and their glorious devotion to the call of duty.
. . . And may the families of these, our heroes, never be forgotten in their bereavement. We also wish here to preserve the memory of all those young men and women of Millinocket who gave their services during the war under the colors of the United States of America and her Allies in this a solemn perpetual memorial.
LIBRARY CONSTRUCTION COMMITTEES
In 1952, the Town appropriated the sum of $15,000 as an initial installment towards a new library. In 1953, the Town elected the following Library Construction Committee:
Albert Bertrand, Chairman
In 1954, the Town voted to acquire a plot of land opposite the Millinocket Trust Company, on Penobscot Avenue, from the Great Northern Paper Company, for a library site. This was later exchanged for an equivalent plot at the former Great Northern Hotel location.
In 1955, the Town voted to add a member of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars to the Construction Committee.
The members of the above Construction Committee will long be remembered for their interest and untiring efforts in trying to attain a new library for our Town.
During intervening years, additional monies were raised at subsequent Town Meetings. In 1962, the Town voted to build a new library, at the corner of Maine Avenue and Hill Street, and floated a bond issue, which increased the total capital available for construction and furnishings to $160,000.
The present Construction Committee appointed by the Board of Selectmen as vacancies occurred in the original Committee are:
Warren B. Metcalf, Chairman
Everett J. Barnes
Phillip M. Coffin, Jr.Laurel E. Gardiner
Robert A. Gonya
James A. McLean
Robert J. Shinners
William J. Steeves
DESCRIPTION OF BUILDING
The Library, designed in the contemporary style, is constructed of traditional New England building materials.
Foundations are of poured concrete with reinforcing steel to provide added strength. Outside walls, entrance and fireplaces are of Maine water-struck brick, backed by cinder blocks with integral membrane waterproofing. Partitions are metal lathe and plaster on steel studs. Interior trim is of oak. Roof is of fireproof masonry plank, with heavy insulation and bonded construction. Heating is forced hot water, zoned, and oil fired.
The Basement is completely usable for library purposes and includes a spacious Children’s department, an Exhibit Room which will accommodate 75 persons, and adequate toilet facilities.
Open-plan arrangement of the main floor with Adult and Junior Reading rooms, Reference Area and sound-proof Music Room is designed for convenience of patrons and staff. Library stacks, of steel shelving with staircase between floors, are open to the public.
An important part of the building is the Memorial Room to the right of the Adult Reading Room. It is paneled in specially selected American Walnut and contains a bronze plaque with the names of Millinocket Men who have died in the service of their country.
Furnishings are in the Swedish modern style, mostly of walnut, and are of excellent quality.
Because of its design—which includes a majority of features recommended by the Construction and Library Committees; Library staff; Architects: Wadsworth & Boston; Builders: Nickerson & O’Day and interested citizens—it is believed the Millinocket Memorial Library, with its modern library program, will become increasingly a part of this Community and will fulfill the original intent of the Towns-people as outlined forty-four years ago.
Millinocket Memorial Library
5 Maine Avenue | Millinocket, ME 04462
December 11, 1963