About this Blog

Juliana L’Heureux is a freelance writer whose articles about Maine’s Franco-American history and culture have appeared in Portland newspapers for 25 years. She serves on the Maine Franco-American Leadership Council.

Juliana and her husband Richard live in Topsham ME. Feel free to contact her at Juliana@mainewriter.com.

Previous entries

April 2014

March 2014

February 2014

January 2014

December 2013

November 2013


October 2013

September 2013

Monday March 10, 2014 | 10:50 AM

            In 1924, the first snowshoe club in the United States was founded in Lewiston, Maine by Louis-Philippe Gagne (1900-1963), who later became the city’s mayor.

 Snowshoe club founder Louis-Philippe Gagne later became mayor of Lewiston

Louis-Philippe Gagne (1900-1963) is the founder of American snow shoe clubs. He later became mayor of Lewiston, Maine 1947-48

Snowshoes became popular with the French as soon as the Native Americans introduced them to the colonial explorers, trappers and settlers. Snowshoes were given the name “raquetteurs” by the French, because their design looked like tennis rackets. 

Friday March 07, 2014 | 09:45 AM

               Le Grand Derangement justifiably continues to raise tragic emotions among those who study and learn about the terrible tragedies of 1755, when the British brutally expelled the French Acadian families from Nova Scotia. 

Although the tragedy is repeatedly studied and the events verified, a surprising number of people still don’t know about this history, even though it negatively impacted several thousand people. Nearly 400 years later, the Acadian expulsion raises sad emotions whenever information is learned and the humanitarian catastrophes that occurred are described. Millions of people of Franco-American heritage can trace their ancestry to someone who was a part of the expulsion.

 Ann Sullivan of Waterville provided detailed historic information about the events leading up to the Acadian expulsion, to over 90 attendees at a brown bag lunch talk on March 4, at the University of Maine Augusta (UMA), in the Holocaust and Human Rights Center (HHRC) of Maine, in the Michael Klahr Center.

Ann Sullivan at UMA

Monday March 03, 2014 | 09:49 AM

            Our family has adopted the tradition of enjoying eating jambalaya on Mardi Gras.

            Since Mardi Gras traditions are decidedly inherited from the French, especially from the 18th century Louisiana settlers, we’ve made it our family’s practice to enjoy some of the cuisine associated with the modern revelry. Our rendition of jambalaya accompanies a lemon meringue pie dessert, as our Mardi Gras supper.

In the past, Maine’s Franco-Americans haven’t enjoyed the custom of hosting colorful Mardi Gras parades and jovial parties, like those experienced in Louisiana.

Rather, for Franco-Americans, Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) is the day to eat and drink before Lent begins. Mardi Gras is the Tuesday before Mercredi des Cendres (Ash Wednesday), marking the beginning of the six weeks of austerity, observed during the liturgical le Carême (the Lenten season), that leads up to Easter.

Friday February 28, 2014 | 10:06 AM

                Franco-American voters are influential in all of Maine's elections.

Christian Potholm is Professor of Government at Bowdoin College, as well as a political analyst and an enthusiastic expert about Maine’s Franco-American voters. His knowledge is based on his experiences and writings about Maine’s Franco-American voting patterns since 1972, when he advised former Maine Senator William Cohen, during his first campaign for the second Congressional district.

James Myall coordinator of The Franco-American Collection at USM-LA and Christian Potholm

James Myall (left) coordinator of The Franco-America Collection at USM-LA with Dr. Christian Potholm, professor at Bowdoin College and a political analy, speaking on "The Franco-American voter".  

Monday February 24, 2014 | 10:31 AM

Be sure to check out the oral history link:  www.curtislibrary.com/record-your-story/               

A genealogy room located on the second floor level of Brunswick’s Curtis Memorial Library in Brunswick opened on Thursday, February 20th.

Brian Bouchard, 38, is a lifelong Brunswick resident and the chairman of the Pejebscot Geneological Society. He’s also the Vice-President of the Maine Genealogical Society. He says the genealogy room is needed in the Mid Coast area.  “It opens up space in the library for local people to meet, exchange, preserve, research and publish their family’s historical data,” he says. A unique feature of the Curtis Memorial Library’s genealogy room is a book scanner created inside of a lobster trap.

Brunswick Genealogy Room Bouchard and Doucett