The Acadians of York County – Few but not Forgotten

La_Deportation_des_Acadiens_par_Henri_Beau

A threat to security; a liability on the public purse; unwanted and unwelcome.  Those sentiments have been applied to today’s refugees, especially this election cycle – but they were also the feelings of many New Englanders to the thousands of Acadians who found themselves placed in towns across Massachusetts (including the District of Maine) in […]

“The World’s Greatest College Athlete” – and Maine Olympian – Robert Legendre

Robert Legendre at the 1920 Olympic Games. Photo colorized by The Georgetown Metropolitan

When the United States Olympic athletes appear in the opening ceremonies of the 2016 games in Rio, they’ll be wearing shoes made in Auburn by Rancourt & Co., a Franco-American family company with deep roots in the city’s shoemaking history.  But they won’t be the first Franco-American contribution of Maine’s Twin Cities to the Games.  […]

Watch: Canadian Immigration to Maine, 1850-1940

Canadian immigration map

Where do Maine’s Franco-Americans live?  That’s a question that’s at once both easy and difficult to answer.  The easy answer recalls large population centers well-known for their Franco-American communities – Lewiston, Biddeford, Waterville, Sanford, Augusta, Old Town, and places in the Saint John River Valley like Fort Kent, Madawaska, and Sainte Agathe. But there’s another […]

The 14th Colony – Maine and the Invasion of Canada, 1775

This past week saw the celebration of Independence Day in the US, of course, but also Canada Day north of the border. Over the winter of 1775-6, Maine was the setting for an audacious but ultimately failed bid that, if successful, would have had drastic ramifications for the history of both countries. Colonel Benedict Arnold, […]

All in the Family – The Franco-Americans of Yarmouth

Yarmouth, Maine, is not generally considered a “Franco-American town” – and with good reason.  The US Census Bureau estimates the Franco-American population of the community at about 630, or 11% of the total.  But, small as it may be, Yarmouth’s Franco-American community has an interesting story to tell. Apart from its diminuitive size, one distinguishing […]

Daniel Mitchell’s Decade Among the Abenaki

One Saturday evening, in the early spring of in 1752, three boys were bringing home the cattle from the common pasture near the meetinghouse in North Yarmouth, Maine [1], back to Benjamin Mitchell’s farm. It should have been a relatively routine chore for the lads, aged seven, eleven and twelve.  But at the intersection of Main Street and […]