Returning Veterans and the New Development

The war in Europe took its toll on Millinocket, as more than 600 Millinocket men and women were serving in the armed forces by 1943. Over the course of the war, more than a thousand soldiers were sent from Millinocket.

At the end of the war, returning war veterans were in need of housing and, at the same time, the mill was hiring, bringing newcomers to town. A national aid program was making it possible for veterans to finance their homes, but there were not enough available.

The old Oxford School was deeded to the Veteran’s of Foreign Wars, as its use as a school had been discontinued in 1943.

Central Street was expanded eastward from the Medway Road to the town line, and an area opened up that soon became known as the New Development, as it still is. As the town grew in that direction, Jerry Pond became the area’s recreational area.

The Great Northern itself built five houses in the New Development, at a cost of $8,500 each, and offered to rent them at $45 a month. But most of the homes erected in the New Development were built through funds raised by homeowners. As the amount of money available through financing was less than the amount that it would take to have new homes built, most people did their own work.

© Michelle Anderson 2005-2014