Franco-American labor history in Old Town Maine

Published in 1985 from interviews conducted during The Federal Writers' Project

French-Canadian immigration into New England was driven by the opportunities for finding employment in the logging and various textile manufacturing industries.  “The First Franco-Americans: New England Life Histories From the Federal Writers’ Project 1938-1939” was published in 1985, by C. Steward Doty, at the University of Maine. This anthology described the motivation to find work, […]

Feast-ivals! Poutine and more


On Saturday, September 8 , the Gendron Franco Center on Cedar Street in Lewiston will host the first Lewiston-Auburn Poutine Feast-ival from 4 to 8 PM., in the street and inside the Franco Center. Food trucks will encourage participants to “graze” through the many flavors of  French-Canadian favorite poutine recipes. A history of this potato based recipe attributes its origins […]

Franco-Americans through the eyes of “Beau frog”

Shenna Bellows at HHRC

AUGUSTA, Me-  I was pleased to recently see some of  the life’s work of the late Peter Archambault, of Madawaska, when I visited the Holocaust and Human Rights Center, on the Campus of the University of Maine Augusta (UMA) and the Michael Klahr Center Exhibit Space. It is the mission of the HHRC to “…promote […]

From Maine to France and Somehow Back Again – World War I biography

Mark D. LeBlanc and John M. LeBlanc

LEWISTON, Me – A special perspective about World War I, was presented in a biography, written by the grandson of the Maine veteran, John M. Longley, of Maine, who served in “The War to End All Wars“. When World War I (1914-1918) history is discussed, I immediately reflect on my husband’s family. In fact, my […]

Franco-American history in Augusta observed at Father Frank’s retirement

Father Frank Morin in Augusta at St. Augustine's Church on Sand Hill

Attending the retirement party in early July for our friend Father Frank Morin, in Augusta, gave me the opportunity to think about the history of the church and the clergy who created the foundation for the Franco-American community and the “St. Augustine Church on Sand Hill”. My husband and I were invited to attend the […]

Adieu Consul General of France in Boston Valéry Freland

Severin Beliveau Valery Freland and Doris Bonneau

AUGUSTA, Me- Franco-Americans have enjoyed the support and friendship of Valéry Freland, a diplomat who has served for three years as the Consul General of France in Boston.  At a July 17, reception, the representatives from Maine’s Franco-American communities and state leaders gathered at a reception hosted by Severin Beliveu, at the law offices of […]

Lewiston’s Basilica inspires ongoing historical research

Julie_Ann Baumer author of Basilica book

Even from a distance away, the twin spires of Lewiston’s Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul architecture captures attention on the city’s skyline. All eyes gaze upward when the image of the Basilica is observed while entering the City of Lewiston from any direction. Indeed, the Basilica is an architectural inspiration made possible by the […]

Snowshoes in Franco-American history and culture

Antique snowshoes

Even in the July heat, when Maine air temperatures hovered in the upper 90’s F, the thought of another winter is, always, only 6 months away.  Snow shoes (raquette à neige), relics of winters past, were a generous loan provided to me for the purpose of adding them to the archives and exhibits in the Franco-American […]

Classic French fairy tale is top notch entertainment now playing at Maine State Music Theater

Beauty and the Beast program

BRUNSWICK, Me – There’s a charmingly distinct French story line in the highly entertaining and excellent professional production of Beauty and the Beast, playing for three weeks at the Maine State Music Theater, in Brunswick, on the Bowdoin College campus. La Belle et la Bête ~ Beauty and the Beast, is French fairy tale written […]