About This Place
Millinocket is a former mill town in Penobscot County, Maine, United States. The population was 5,203 at the 2000 census. Millinocket is both a forest products and recreational area.
It was first settled in 1829 by Thomas Fowler and his family, who cleared land for a farm. When the Bangor and Aroostook Railroad extended service to Houlton in 1894, the line ran through the area, opening it to development. Charles W. Mullen, an engineering graduate from the University of Maine, proposed a hydroelectric dam on the Penobscot River. He recognized the falls as an ideal water power source to operate a large pulp and paper mill. Mullen contacted Garret Schenck, vice-president of the International Paper mill at Rumford Falls and an expert in the industry, about building a pulp and paper mill near the dam. Mr. Schenck agreed, and set about obtaining the necessary financial backing.
After securing land rights, the chosen site was at the junction of the West Branch of the Penobscot River and Millinocket Stream, where it stands today. Things moved quickly, and on May 15, 1899, construction began on the Great Northern mill. As the location was not near existing towns, it became necessary to build one. Millinocket, meaning "the land of many islands" after all the islands in the Penobscot River (and having nothing to do with the mill), was incorporated on March 16, 1901.