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Kathy Gagnon

Why Doesn’t Millinocket’s Museum Have A Home?
By Kathy Gagnon
Aug 17, 2006 - 11:12:00 AM

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MILLINOCKET -- Driving through towns in Maine, you will notice that most of them have a local Historical Society Museum for the purpose of housing the artifacts from their town’s past. In Millinocket, we have an Historical Society and we have a town museum. Unfortunately, the Millinocket town museum is crammed into a couple of very small rooms upstairs at the Municipal Building where many never even notice either it and the work the Historical Society members have put into it. Yet, this museum is a treasure trove of days gone by and is not being done justice by keeping it in the closet, so to speak.

In seeking answers as to why our museum does not have an adequate home that would permit us to proudly display relics of our culture, I came upon some very disturbing information.

First of all, I found that The Maine Community Foundation, which is the foundation that the Millinocket Area Growth and Investment Council's (MAGIC's) Katahdin Fund donations go through, and which MAGIC encourages donations to be sent to, provides grants for numerous historical societies in Maine, but not ours.

The Moosehead Historical Society of Greenville has received numerous grants from this foundation which total $73,250.00 for the year 2004 alone.Why then, one might wonder, have there been no efforts on behalf of our historical society’s president to receive grant money to help purchase a home for our own town museum?

Looking further into this, I found that, indeed there have been grants given to the Millinocket area to create a central historical organization for the tri-town area and for a Cultural Heritage Center. Grants which MAGIC has been receiving for this purpose, since at least 2003. A listing of the grants for 2003 & 2004 are as follows:

Golden Rule Foundation
Tax Year Ending 10/04

1/27/2004
Katahdin Regional Development Council
Millinocket, ME

$3,000.00 for the Millinocket Area Growth and Investment Council (MAGIC) effort to create a regional Cultural Heritage Center in Millinocket. The aim is to gain control of critical historical area documents, plan and create a central historical organization for the tri-town area and begin the initial planning of a Cultural Heritage Center .

1/27/2004
Katahdin Regional Development Council
Millinocket, ME

$2,000.00 for the Millinocket Area Growth and Investment Council (MAGIC) effort to create a regional Cultural Heritage Center in Millinocket The aim is to gain control of critical historical area documents, plan and create a central historical organization for the tri-town area and begin the initial planning of a Cultural Heritage Center

The Golden Rule Foundation - Grants Paid
Fiscal Year ending October 31, 2003

Eastern Maine Development Corporation
One Cumberland Place, Suite 300
PO Box 2579
Bangor, ME 04402-2579

$2,000 to provide organizational development assistance to community members involved in developing a Cultural Heritage Center in the Millinocket area.

11/25/2003
Eastern Maine Development Corporation
Bangor ME

$3,000.00 to provide organizational development assistance to community members involved in developing a Cultural Heritage Center in the Millinocket area .

11/15/2003
Katahdin Regional Development c/o
Millinocket Area Growth and Investment Council
112 Main Street, Suite 4
E. Millinocket, ME 04330

$5,000 For the Millinocket Area Growth and Investment Council (MAGIC) effort to create a regional Cultural Heritage Center in Millinocket. The aim is to gain control of critical historical area documents, plan and create a central historical organization for the tri-town area and begin the initial planning of a Cultural Heritage Center.

Why, one might wonder, is MAGIC receiving these grants, and what are they doing with them? Why are they aiming to gain control of critical historical documents and planning to create a Cultural Heritage Center for the tri-town area without the citizens knowledge, and seemingly in opposition to an already existing Historical Society?

This information leaves us with more questions, to be sure, but it does provide an understanding of why the town museum does not have an adequate home of its own. Perhaps they already have another in mind for our future.

Other interesting grants from the Maine Community Foundation, which includes the Katahdin Fund, endorsed by MAGIC, include the following, this from 2004:

Nature Conservancy
Brunswick, ME
$83,305.00

Appalachian Mountain Club
Boston, MA
$51,500.00

Friends of Baxter State Park
Bangor, ME
$250.00

Natural Resources Council of ME
Augusta, ME
$46,100.00

New England Forestry Foundation
MA
$46,000.00

Maine Audobon Society
Falmouth, ME
$59,450.00

Forest Society of Maine
Bangor, ME
$168,585.37

ME Dept. of Conservation Bureau
Bureau of Parks & Lands
$3,802.12

Eastern Maine Development Corp.
Bangor, ME
$1,000.00

Northern Forest Center
Concord, NH
$10,500.00


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