Millinocket Grows

The Great Northern itself encouraged and even assisted with building much of the town, in order to provide housing for its rapidly expanding workforce. In July of 1899, GNP placed an advertisement in the Bangor Whig and Courier, asking for responsible parties to erect one hundred tenement houses, business blocks, and a suitable hotel and boarding house.

Once GNP began producing paper, the steady traffic between the railroad station and the mill, a distance of about a mile, brought about the construction of boarding houses. The early boarding houses were similar to those seen in any mill town, from three to five stories in height, except that they were not placed in rows of identical design, as was the custom.

Construction on the Great Northern Hotel began in 1900. The elegant 52-room structure was completed the following year, and leased to J.P. Randall, its first proprietor.

The mill operated in eight-hour shifts. Since everyone would be walking to work, the locations of the first homes were in part determined by convenience. More areas opened up west of Katahdin Avenue near the mill, and just across the tracks.

Between November 1, 1899, and December 31, 1927, GNP’s president, Garret Schenck, signed over deeds to hundreds of lots owned by the company in Millinocket and East Millinocket.

Most of the houses in Millinocket were built by private parties; but in 1901, GNP contracted with Charles J. Rush to build 22 houses of four different styles, at costs ranging from $1120 to $1850.

© Michelle Anderson 2005-2014