The town of Millinocket is unique on many levels. Recognized as a gateway to some of Maine’s most iconic wilderness, Millinocket was once a thriving mill town. In recent years, however, the town has been in economic decline since the mill closed. Thousands lost their jobs and many of the town’s buildings and services were shuttered.
Literally built by the Great Northern Paper Company, Millinocket was a thriving community for the better part of a century, where good jobs were available right out of high school, per capita incomes were some of the highest in the state, and the community could support good schools, a hospital, library, and vibrant downtown. As in countless Northern Forest communities, however, the paper mills that once employed thousands are gone. In the Katahdin region, Great Northern Paper in Millinocket closed in 2008; the mill in East Millinocket was shuttered in 2014.