Category Archives: Franco-American News and Culture

Bienvenue! Haitian students learn about Franco-Americans

Haitian students sponsored by CIEE

LEWISTON, Me– Maine’s French heritage, language and immigrant history was showcased on Thursday, July 18, when high school students from Haiti visited Lewiston, to learn about the city’s Franco-Americans. Sixteen high school students from Haiti and two advisers were guests at the Franco-American Collection (The Collection), located in the University of Southern Maine Lewiston Auburn […]

Bringing Lourdes Home- a pilgrim’s story

The Basilica of the Rosary in Lourdes France

Goose River Press Anthology 2018, edited by Deb Benner, published my pilgrim’s essay. It’s an honor to have an essay included with the many talented writers and poets who contributed to the anthology. “Bringing Lourdes Home” describes events that happened during a 2001, journey my husband and I made, when we visited the beautiful Lourdes […]

New Auburn Maine history and the St. Louis Church bells

In celebrating the City of Auburn’s 150th anniversary, the community is preparing to include the beautiful St. Louis bells in a lovely city monument. The four historic Paccard Foundry bells, made in France in 1915, will be central to a municipal tower memorial to honor the community’s Franco-American heritage. I want to thank Gerard Dennison […]

Samuel de Champlain history in the USM Osher Map Library

Doris Bonneau and Andrea Quaid at USM Osher Map with Les Voyages

PORTLAND- A special tour of the Osher Map Library at the University of Southern Maine gave the Franco-American Collection’s Board, and friends an opportunity to learn about Samuel de Champlain’s artistic cartography and his writings. A value added surprise was when those of us on the tour learned about the Osher’s copy of Les Voyages, […]

Le Grand Dérangement- debate about the great Acadian upheaval

Two Acadian historical references

NEW BRUNSWICK, Canada–  Although historians can disagree about who initiated the original order to deport the Acadians during the 1755, le grand dérangement, the fact is, the French settlements in Nova Scotia had precedence over the English, who forcibly evacuated them. It was a time of terrible turmoil that causes the history of the incident […]

Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in history, poetry and cultural tourism

Le Messager donated by Lewiston native Donat Veilleux

LEWISTON, Me-  It’s typical for coincidences to occur in triplicate. This memorable trifecta cliché came to mind, when a cluster of serendipitous occurrences raised my awareness about how Lewiston’s beautiful Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul has contributed to Franco-American heritage. As a matter of fact, the Basilica’s history has hosted thousands of generational transitions […]

D-Day remembered – Franco-Americans among the greatest generation

Henry L'Heureux with his Purple Heart.

This is what General Dwight D. Eisenhower said to his troops before the June 6, 1944, invasion of Normandy, France: “Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely…..I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle. We […]

Franco Trail map and cultural tourism

program launced at the Gendron Franco Center in Lewiston

“…we say it is time to shout out our pride to all who are here to listen and learn about our history…,”  Rachel Desgrosseilliers. LEWISTON, ME– One of the challenges I’ve encountered about Franco-Americans has been about how to build awareness for the 400 years of history, and culture shared by 25 percent (or more) […]

World War II Franco-American veteran interview

Lamontagne World War II

On Memorial Day 2019, it is appropriate to publish some of the transcribed oral history I was fortunate to recently record on audio, when my husband and I visited Franco-American World War II veteran Gerard Lamontagne with his wife Solange (Thibodeau), at their residence in Scarborough.  Mr. and Mrs. Lamontagne were lifelong residents of Sanford. […]

Pictures of the Franco-American Day in the Maine State Capitol

Le grand derangement plaque and Le Club Calumet

AUGUSTA, ME-  Franco-American Day at the State Capitol was a cultural success. On Thursday, May 16, 2019, the Maine Legislature held a joint session in the House of Representatives to recognize the Franco-American heritage evident throughout the state.  Eleven citizens were inducted into the Franco-American Hall of Fame during formal legislative ceremonies.  This special recognition […]