Category Archives: Lewiston-Auburn

“The Hour is Critical” – Franco-Americans in the Great War

Our element, like all others, maybe even more than all others – bound by tradition and character – must get involved, and cooperate. Such was the firm pronouncement of La Justice of Biddeford, Maine, on its front page for April 12, 1917, just a few days after the US Congress had declared war on Germany. The prominent column, entitled […]

A New England Mardi Gras – The International Snowshoe Convention of 1925

“Fun for all, and all for fun,” was the verdict of one local newspaper; “a Mardi Gras” reminiscent of the pre-prohibition era, according to another. On the weekend of 7-8 February, 1925, eight hundred French Canadian snowshoers descended on the city of Lewiston, Maine (population 30,000), for two days of revelry and winter sports. The festivities, […]

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

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.  […]

Suppressing the Franco Vote: Literacy Tests, Court Challenges & the KKK

“There are 8,000 French Canadians in Biddeford, and they are reputed to be excellent people, peaceable, industrious, frugal, and the only allegation that can be made against them is that the French Canadian men are almost unanimously Democrats.  For being Democrats they are suffering persecution…Every French Canadian who has been naturalized  by the Biddeford court […]