Maine: An Encyclopedia
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Frenchville

Location Map for Frenchville

Location Map for Frenchville

Year Population
1970 1,375
1980 1,450
1990 1,338
2000 1,225
2010 1,087
Frenchville Population Chart 1870-2010

Population Trend 1870-2010

Geographic Data
N. Latitude 47:16:36
W. Latitude 68:23:41
Maine House District 150
Maine Senate District 1
Congress District 2
Area sq. mi. (total) 29.2
Area sq. mi. (land) 28.6
Population/sq.mi. (land) 38.0
County: Aroostook

Total=land+water; Land=land only
Sign: Welcome, Bienvenue, Frenchville (2003)

Sign: Welcome, Bienvenue, Frenchville (2003)

is a town in Aroostook County, incorporated on February 23, 1869 under the name Dickeyville. The name was change to Frenchville on January 26, 1871 in recognition of the French-Acadian population of the town.

In 1899 it set off land to form Saint Agatha and ceded more land to the town in 1927.

St. John River Valley (2003)

Fields and Hills in the St. John River Valley (2003)

St. John River Valley (2003)

St. John River Valley (2003)

Its northern border is with Canada along a great bend in the St. John River. A potato farming community, it has lost population over the past three decades.

Town Office and Fire Station (2003)

Town Office and Fire Station (2003)

The Village of Frenchville (2003)

Frenchville Village (2003)

St. Luce Church (2003)

St. Luce Church (2003)

The Roman Catholic mission in Frenchville became a parish, which extended into New Brunswick, on February 12, 1843.

The first Ste-Luce Church in Upper Frenchville, a wooden structure, was built in the early 1840s. St. Luce became a parish of the Diocese of Portland on August 16, 1870. The church burned in 1884 and was replaced by the one shown here.

The Frenchville Historical Society’s “Caboose” (the red car in the photo at right below) was originally built by the Pullman Company in December 1943 as a “Troop Sleeper Car.” After the war it was obtained by the Bangor & Aroostook Railroad to be refitted as a caboose. The Society was fortunate to receive this caboose as a donation in the Fall of 1988.

Water Tank on the B&A Line (2003)

B&A Water Tank (2003)

Station House on the B&A Line (2003)

B&A Station House (2003)

“The Green Water Tank” as it is affectionately called, built in 1910 by the B & A RR, has a capacity of 50,000 gallons. In its early days, trains carrying wood products, and even providing passenger service, would stop at the tank for a “fill her up” pit stop.

Also built in 1910, the “Station House” stands next to the tower. The first station agent was Maxime Chasse, whose tenure lasted from December 31, 1910 to November 28, 1921. Agents’ duties included knowing the routes, rates, and the availability of cars for freight shipment. They were responsible for shipping and receiving as well as delivery, and had to provide conductors with switching lists, keep a record of car seals, and be responsible for all freight selling activities in town. After the station was retired in 1971, the B & A Railroad sold the station house to Gerard Raymond. As with the water tower, the railroad company maintains ownership of the land.

Form of Government: Town Meeting-Select Board-Manager.

Additional resources

**Banville, Beurmond. “Historic Corriveau Mill in Frenchville town down.” Bangor Daily News. August 5, 2005. p. B3 in edition 1. http://archive.bangordailynews.com/2005/08/05/historic-corriveau-mill-in-frenchville-torn-down/ (accessed March 9, 2015)

Bond, Vivian. A Time for “Remembering”: the Sisters of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary in the United States, 1899 August 1999. Rimouski (Québec) Publications R.S.R. 1999. [University of Maine at Fort Kent, Blake Library]

Freeman, Bonita. Frenchville, Maine, and its Traditions of Folk Medicine. Thesis (Honors)–University of Maine, 1968. [University of Maine, Raymond H. Fogler Library, Special Collections; University of Maine at Fort Kent, Blake Library]

Frenchville Historical Society Internet Web page, September 6, 2003 at http://aroostook.me.us/frenchville/society.html.

Frenchville, Maine: A Guide for Growth. Prepared by Northern Maine Regional Planning Commission … [et al.] Frenchville, Me. Frenchville Planning Board. 1973. [University of Maine, Raymond H. Fogler Library, Special Collections; Maine State Library]

A History of Frenchville Compiled by Hal & Emma (Martin) Underhill with Special Listing of 125 Years of Frenchville Town Officers prepared by Linda Ouellette. Frenchville, Me. Frenchville Historical Society. 1994. [University of Maine at Fort Kent, Blake Library]

*Maine. Historic Preservation Commission. Augusta, Me.   Text and photos from National Register of Historic Places: http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/nrhp/text/xxxxxxxx.PDF and http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/nrhp/photos/xxxxxxxx.PDF

Frenchville Railroad Station and Water Tank: 95000723.PDF

Raymond, David R. A History of Sainte Luce Parish, Upper Frenchville – Frenchville, Maine, 1843-1993. c1993. [University of Maine at Fort Kent, Blake Library]

University of Maine at Fort Kent, Blake Library.  Special collections, including student papers and moving image recordings of interviews with local individuals.

National Register of Historic Places – Listings

Corriveau Mill

[US 1, S side, 0.3 miles Southwest of junction with Paradis Road, Upper Frenchville [demolished 2005] The Corriveau Mill was listed on National Register in 1994 but was demolished in 2005.  The carding side of the mill had a Schofield Wool-Carding Machine built around 1803. It was last used by Mrs. George Corriveau in the mid-1960s.

The building housing the 150-year-old wool-carding mill and gristmill has been falling down and was unsafe. Locally known as the “Red Mill,” it was built probably in the early 1900s. The equipment was much older. The gristmill was operating as far back as 1845.

The carding mill operated in Fort Kent then moved to Canada and finally to Frenchville at the turn of the 1900s. The carding mill processed as much as 70,000 pounds of wool a year. It still carded as much as 300 pounds of wool a day in the 1960s.**

Frenchville Railroad Station and Water Tank

Railroad Museum in Frenchville (2003)

[308 US 1] Built in 1910 when the Bangor and Aroostook Railroad was extending eastward from Van Buren, the Station and Water Tank are well preserved examples of these once common railroad buildings. The station is one of only a handful that survives along this important northern Maine railroad. The water tank is the most intact of only two such structures that remain in the entire state. Midway between Madawaska to the east and Fort Kent to the west, Frenchville was among the last communities to be connected to the B&A Railroad.

Architecturally, the Station is one of the most modest stations along the entire railroad. Most common B&A stations featured a broad gable on hip roof whose eaves extended well beyond the frame walls. This design is exemplified by the surviving stations at Fort Kent and in modified form at Oakfield.* [See photos above.]

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This entry was last modified: February 02, 2017 09:12 PM

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