On Tuesday evening, July 30th, nearly forty people gathered at the Brownville Community Church to view home movies recorded in Brownville Junction and along both the Canadian Pacific and the Bangor & Aroostook Rail lines by Sam Michaud and his son, Andrew, in the 1940s and 50s. These videos first came to the Brownville-Brownville Junction Historical Society’s attention when Andrew’s son, John, contacted Susan Worcester to see if the Society would be interested in having them if the family separated the relevant material from the much larger content of mostly family events.
President Susan Worcester was pleased that so many people – local citizens and people from “away” – took the time to attend. Along with people from Brownville, the Junction, and Ebeemee, those attending drove from East Millinocket, Sangerville, Presque and Old Orchard Beach to see the videos. People who summer in the area and live as far away as New Hampshire, New York, and North Carolina attended, as well.
“It was very special to have John Michaud and his sister and cousin take the time to attend the presentation. A much enjoyed addition to the movies was the commentary offered by John McCormick who summers at Sebec Lake. He was able to add a great deal of information about where along the rail lines the videos were taken as those attending “rode along” on the trains. John also brought along the movie camera, a 16mm Keystone Movie Camera Model A-7, used to shoot all of the footage shown.” said Worcester. “Everyone attending seemed to enjoy and appreciate the look back in history.”
Due to the heat and the limitations of space at the Parish House Museum, the viewing was moved next door to the Community Church where adequate seating and air conditioning was available. Worcester thanks Barbie Shedd and Walter MacDougall for their help in opening and closing the parish hall for this gathering and to the church members for allowing the Society to use their facility.
For information about the Brownville-Brownville Junction Historical Society or about the videos, contact Susan at 965-8070 or drop in at the museum Tuesdays/Thursdays from 10am to 2pm. You can also view the videos on YouTube.com:
"Brownville Junction, Maine - Main St. scenes 1939-58”:
Different day – different place. Milo Garden Club Summer Fair, August 10, Kiwanis Building, 11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. We will be having the usual perennials, plants, produce, baked goods, an enlarged silent auction display, and added this year will be face painting,, books/puzzles and a jewelry boutique. Our usual luncheon, will be served. We will also be having a person from the U of M Extension Service to answer questions and a flower arranging demonstration by Hazel Durant (Sweetpea Floral owner).
Staff, Piscataquis Observer • July 23, 2019
BROWNVILLE — Autumn Finkle of Brownville, a graduate of Maine Connections Academy (MCA) the state’s first online public charter school, has graduated with a prestigious Mitchell Scholarship as well as a MELMAC scholarship. Finkle will be enrolled this fall as a freshman at Husson University in Bangor, where she plans to study nursing.
The Mitchell Scholarship awards Finkle $10,000, paid out in four annual installments of $2,500. “In an effort to help more Maine students attain higher education,” the scholarship is presented to more than 130 graduating high school seniors throughout the state. The MELMAC scholarship, awarded by the MELMAC Education Foundation, awards $1,500 to a graduating senior from each Maine high school.
Finkle has been enrolled at MCA since her freshman year. Her favorite high school class was Japanese. In her words, “If you’re not happy or not succeeding at a regular public school, then check out MCA. It allows you to work from home and at your own pace.”
Outside of school, Finkle is a junior member of the American Legion Auxiliary. She enjoys helping veterans, active military and their families. This summer she’s working in Jonesport. Among the many animals Finkle enjoys at home are cockatiels, parakeets, a rabbit and a pit bull.
Maine Connections Academy is the first statewide, tuition-free, online charter school for students in grades 7-12. Now in its sixth year, MCA provides students with the flexibility to learn from anywhere there is an Internet connection. They enjoy a personalized approach to education, with an award-winning curriculum, certified Maine-based teachers, dynamic electives, cutting-edge technology tools and engaging social activities. For more information visit
Stuart Hedstrom • July 21, 2019
BROWNVILLE — If you want to get a glimpse of mid-20th century life in and around Brownville/Brownville Junction and the railroads across Maine you can now do so with footage compiled via home movies shot from 1939 into the 1950s. The scenes are on two DVDs and posted on Youtube under “Brownville Junction, Maine — Main St.” — or “Michaud family home movies” — at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGmiUCzRe2s and https://youtu.be/wYCzTEHGbOQ. The second clip features the railroad footage.
The Brownville-Brownville Junction Historical Society will screen the soundless DVDS on a large screen during its next meeting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 30 at the Parish House Museum on Church Street.
Society President Susan Worcester said organization officials first learned about the existence of the footage two years ago when Ken Hatchette came to town for a signing with his book on the Canadian Pacific Railroad in Brownville Junction.
Worcester said the author signed on a Friday and Saturday and halfway through the second day a man named Andrew Michaud came up to Hatchette and said he was the best man at Hatchette’s parents’ wedding. She said the two former town residents quickly got talking about their memories.
“Mr. Michaud died last July,” Worcester said, mentioning his daughter traveled from Virginia to drive her father from Scarborough to Brownville to meet Hatchette. “His children were cleaning out old things and they knew he had a lot of home videos.”
The historical society president said when Andrew Michaud was 12 in 1939 his father Sam bought a movie camera for the two of them to use. The elder Michaud ran the commissary that supplied food and cooks for the Canadian Pacific Railroad track maintenance crews from the 1920s to the 1950s.
“They had a fair amount of footage on the rail line along the Canadian Pacific Railroad from Quebec through Maine to New Brunswick and also home videos of the Junction, a lot of this video was shot around town,” Worcester said with the two DVDs playing on her laptop set up at the Parish House Museum.
She said this is the first time videos have been presented to the Brownville-Brownville Junction Historical Society. “This is one of a kind stuff,” the society president said.
Worecester said the same camera was used for the next decade and a half. Andrew Michaud’s sons hoped to track down the brand and model and the Youtube clips have been updated to say their father and grandfather used a 16mm Keystone Movie Camera Model A-7. In the 1950s the home movies switched from black and white to color.
“They said they would be happy to share those with us,” Worcester said as historical society officials heard about the found footage from John and Joe Michaud who had...Read More
Staff, Piscataquis Observer • July 19, 2019
By Judy Harrison
Amanda and Ricky Badger had been living in their Ferry Road home in Milo for just two weeks when it suddenly exploded at about 8 p.m. on Aug. 24, 2018.
The couple had returned that evening from running errands in Bangor knowing that McKusick Petroleum of Dover-Foxcroft had come earlier in the day to install a regulator on a propane tank used to fuel their gas cook stove.
They turned the tank on, checked their stove and sat down on the couch in the living room to watch television.
Twenty minutes later the house exploded.
In the 11 months since, Amanda and Ricky Badger have had to recover from their injuries, put their lives back together and deal with the explosion’s lasting impact. This week, they received a nearly $550,000 settlement to help.
“I remember a really loud bang and a bright light,” Amanda Badger, 38, said Wednesday, recounting the night of the explosion. “I recall the feeling of flying through the air, seeing a ball of fire, but not feeling hot and waking up outside on the ground with something on top of me.”
Ricky Badger Jr., 37, crawled out from under debris and found his wife lying on her stomach on the lawn with pieces of the roof on top of her legs. He carried her away from their home to the road, his wife said.
“The house was not on fire but I could hear smoke alarms going off,” she said. “It was just flat like a pancake. There was dust in the air. There was an electrical wire down and part of the lawn was on fire.”
The only thing left standing was the garage.
Because their cell phones remained somewhere in the flattened house, the Badgers began walking toward a neighbor’s house to call 911. Although the closest neighbor was not home, they were able to flag down a driver and get help.
It was not until she was at Maine Medical Center in Portland receiving treatment for burns on her wrists when she received an important voicemail on her replacement cell phone: Someone from McKusick Petroleum had called to warn the Badgers not to turn on the propane because there was “something going on in the house.”
The $550,000 settlement the Badgers received this week came from McKusick Petroleum, according to the couple’s attorney, Joseph Baldacci of Bangor. Half of the money went to reimburse the couple’s homeowners’ insurance company, he said, and the rest was compensation for their personal injuries and the trauma they suffered.
About half the money was for the loss of their home and its entire contents, he said. The other half was for personal injuries and the traumatic impact the explosion has had on their lives.
McKusick Petroleum declined to comment on the settlement.
“We have worked hard on this case for most of the last year,” Baldacci said. “We are very pleased with the...Read More