On July 3, 1922, the Catholics of St. David, Maine, and surrounding communities gathered for an imposing and unprecedented ceremony on the banks of the St. John River. After a church service and addresses from religious dignitaries, Bishop Louis S. Walsh of Portland led a procession to a giant cross that awaited his blessing. The cross marked the location where, in 1785, Acadians had—according to local tradition—begun to form new communities after thirty years of tragedy and uncertainty. It seemed the Acadians were finally having their day in the sun.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so what is a picture of a book worth? The Acadian Archives has a rich collection of books and periodicals in addition to our archival and genealogical materials. These items span all age levels and a variety of topics, from local history to educational resources to childhood classics. If a title catches your eye, stop by the Archives, or reach out to us via email or phone.
Beginning in 1755, British colonial leaders forcibly removed thousands of Acadians from their homes in what are today the Canadian provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. Many Acadians were dispersed in Britain’s North American colonies; others were imprisoned in Halifax or sent to Europe. Yet more families escaped and found refuge in the St. Lawrence River valley. The deportation created a cycle of migrations that would last into the 1780s. Through this process, a people that had numbered 14,000—concentrated in the Bay of Fundy region and wishing to stay aloof of imperial rivalries—melted into small diasporic communities, isolated from one another, that spanned the length and breadth of the Atlantic Ocean.
There is no such thing as a cultural backwater. There are, however, under-resourced areas that lie beyond the reach of state institutions and that must blaze their own path. For generations, such was the case of the Upper St. John Valley.
Il n’y a pas de périphérie lorsqu’il est question de culture, chacune ayant sa légitimité. Il existe cependant des régions moins favorisées qui sont hors de la portée des institutions étatiques et qui doivent tracer leur propre chemin. Ce fut longtemps le cas de la vallée du haut fleuve Saint-Jean.
Chers amis, chères amies,
C’est avec plaisir que nous lançons ce blogue qui portera sur les collections et les nombreuses activités des Archives acadiennes à Fort Kent.
Dans les mois à venir, nous mettrons en vedette les ressources que nous offrons à la communauté et qui peu à peu deviennent accessibles en format numérique. Ce blogue vous informera aussi des événements que nous organisons. Dès aujourd’hui, il porte les réflexions et les trouvailles des étudiant(e)s qui nous soutiennent aux Archives. Le premier billet nous vient de Layla Cole, l’une de nos stagiaires de longue date. Bonne lecture!
We are pleased to launch a blog feature that will provide a glimpse of the collections and many activities of the Acadian Archives here in Fort Kent.
In the coming months, we will throw a spotlight on the incomparable resources that we offer to the community and that are increasingly accessible in digital format. This blog will also provide details of the events we are planning. Beginning today, it offers a snapshot of the experiences and finds of our work-study team members. The first post was penned by Layla Cole. Enjoy!