Category Archives: Lewiston-Auburn

This Country is Big Enough and Rich Enough for Everyone:” A Plea for Tolerance from Lewiston-Auburn’s Jews

On April 29 1892, Solomon Robitscheck wrote to Lewiston’s Le Messager objecting to the newspaper’s characterization of the city’s small population of Jewish peddlers. Two weeks earlier, Le Messager had published an editorial reprimanding Franco Americans who purchased items from the peddlers. Le Msssager’s argument was primarily economic – Franco Americans should patronize Franco owned […]

A Rough First Week of School for Lewiston’s Dominican Sisters

In 1903, Father Alexandre-Lousi Mothon, the curé of the Dominican monastery in Lewiston, wrote to the community of Dominican Sisters of Nancy, in France, asking them to send a some of their members to Maine to teach the Franco-American children of Lewiston. Initially, the children of the city’s French Canadian immigrants were educated by lay […]

Enjoying the Long Weekend? Thank Franco-Americans for New Year’s Day

  New Year’s Day (le jour de l’an) is traditionally a special holiday for Franco-Americans, with a history stretching back through Canada and France. Some American observers thought it resembled Thanksgiving and Christmas rolled into one day that held religious, familial, and social significance. A reporter for the Lewiston (Maine) Evening Journal visited a Franco-American family in […]

Poetry from the Lewiston Mills of 1909

In the early twentieth century, thousands of children worked in Maine’s manufacturing industries – in textile mills, shoe shops, granite quarries, and sardine canneries. These children faced dangerous working conditions, worked long hours, and missed out on the opportunity for an education. Although the state did pass a series of laws to regulate child labor, these […]

Confronting the Klan in 1920s Maine

The history of Maine’s brief, but intense, association with the Ku Klux Klan is becoming increasingly well-known. Along with a large portion of the country in the early 1920’s, Maine was home to a Klan chapter with a significant membership, which held significant sway over local politics. While the Klan had its beginnings with former […]