Old News Archive

Milo Historical Society Letter

April 25, 2007 - TRC

April, 2007

Dear Friends of the Milo Historical Society,

- What organization looks forward while looking back ?
- What organization works in the hope that what they accomplish today will have meaning in the Future ?
- What organization's contributions to the community can only continue through a collective effort ?

All of the above questions can be tied to one answer- the Milo Historical Society. The Milo Historical Society has been in existence for close to forty years. The formation of the society originated from the celebration of the 150th anniversary of our town in 1973. At that time, a group of citizens informally gathered items from families and individuals that represented Milo's past. The items were displayed in the windows of Main Street businesses. After the celebration, the contributors of the items decided that they should attempt to form a historical society and museum in order to assure the preservation of Milo's past. Community spirit was high at that time and the citizens of Milo expressed an appreciation and strong connection to the lives and contributions of their ancestors. A small museum was established in the basement of the Milo Town Hall. In the years since, we have seen that spirit ebb and flow. We saw it spark in the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Milo High School and again when Milo celebrated its 175th anniversary. Most recently, we witnessed the pride of Milo citizens when we celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Milo Fire Department. Throughout these years, the Milo Historical Society and Museum has continued to act as the caretakers of the town's history; collecting and preserving the many facets of what makes up the heritage of our community. Where would all of these many artifacts and memorabilia be today if the concerned members of the society had not formed a group and established a home for the collected items ? Some would undoubtedly have been simply thrown away (and many have, in spite of our efforts); some would be in the hands of antique dealers and collectors in other towns or states (and again, many are), and some would be packed away, awaiting one of the afore mentioned fates. In any of these scenarios, little of any meaning would have truly been gained for future generations. The fact is countless numbers of people turn to the society and museum to appreciate and learn about Milo's past.

The Milo Historical Society has managed to grow in quantity and quality, particularly in the past ten years since finding a home in Milo's oldest church building (the former Free Will Baptist Church). The building, a treasured historic landmark with a unique story, is on the National Register of Historic Places. Dating back to 1850, the building has been transformed into a highly regarded setting to showcase and preserve Milo's past. Countless hours have been volunteered by a core group of dedicated members to lovingly care and document a wide variety of treasured items. Our collection ranges from Civil War artifacts to everyday tools and memorabilia of Milo's industries. The museum houses a large collection of photographs, allowing today's generation to view Milo's lively and to some extent, long lost past. Practically all of the items in our collection have been donated from those who share a concern for preserving our community's heritage. That same consideration has been shown time and time again, particularly when it came time to acquire our present home for the museum ten years ago. It has been an affirmation of our preservation mission to have the support of the community.

The Milo Historical Society now faces the need to seek additional support to preserve our museum and historic collection. To ensure that we are taking the correct course in our efforts, we recently received a professional assessment of the building and our collection by conservation experts. Their report has pointed to a number of measures that need to be addressed in the short and long term in order to secure the preservation of the building and the artifacts. The good news is that in spite of our limited budget and manpower, we are doing many of the right things to preserve our collection. Unfortunately, we are facing some significant issues with our building that need to be taken care of and are beyond the means of our organization. The dilemma is that no matter how well we catalog and preserve the individual items and memories of Milo's past, if we don't have a secure home to house them in we cannot guarantee their future. We hope this fund raising effort will be viewed as a collective community show of support for our mission, with donations coming from Milo citizens, past and present. Donations of any amount possible will be greatly appreciated. As we said in the beginning, our hope is that the work carried out today to preserve the past will have meaning in the future. For more information on Milo's history and the Historical Society and Museum, visit our web site at www.milohistorical.org. We welcome you to join the society ($5) and come to our meetings held on the third Thursday of the month. Donations and memberships may be made out to the Milo Historical Society and mailed to Virgil Valente, Society President, 1 Prospect St., Milo, Maine 04463.

The Milo Historical Society wishes to remind everyone that they still have a number of the Milo High School Treasured Scenes tree ornaments. This ornament commemorates the Milo High School Panthers. The tree ornaments, which are individually gift boxed, sell for just $7 each. A brass display stand is available for an additional $3. They will make an excellent gift for someone who has moved from the area. Because the holiday ornaments are a " Limited Edition" item, it is recommended that residents purchase them early while supplies last. Ornaments can be purchased at the following locations:
Monroe's residence, 23 Park St., Milo, phone (207) 943-2268
Virgil Valente, 1 Prospect St., Milo, phone (207) 943-2167.
The ornaments will also be available at Maine Savings Credit Union during selected sale dates, the Milo Historical Society Museum and at the Milo High School Alumni banquet.

Milo Historical Society 2007-2008 Dues :
Active Membership: $5.00
* Student Membership (under 18 yrs.): $2.5
Patron Membership: $25.00
Return membership dues and/or contributions to:
The Milo Historical Society c/o Allen Monroe, 23 Park Street, Milo, ME. 04463
Name: ___________________________________________________________
City:________________________ State: ________ Zip:_____________________

NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.