Maine: An Encyclopedia

Grand Isle

Location Map for Grand Isle (2003)

Location Map for Grand Isle (2003)

Year Population
1970 797
1980 719
1990 558
2000 518
2010 467
Grand Isle Population Chart 1860-2010

Population Trend 1860-2010

Geographic Data
N. Latitude 47:15:22
W. Latitude 68:07:46
Maine House District 150
Maine Senate District 1
Congress District 2
Area sq. mi. (total) 35.2
Area sq. mi. (land) 34.3
Population/sq.mi. (land) 13.6
County: Aroostook

Total=land+water; Land=land only
Our Lady of Mount Carmel (2003)

Our Lady of Mount Carmel (’03)

[GRAND-ile] is a town in Aroostook County, incorporated on March 2, 1869 from Grant Isle Plantation. The name was changed to Grand Isle in 1872. It commemorates the large and fertile island within the town and in the middle of the St. John River just south of the village of Lille.

Lille is home to an extraordinary Catholic church, a nationally recognized historic place.

Main Village (2003)

Main Village at Grande Isle (2003)

Small Fire Station in Lille (2003)

Fire Station in Lille (2003)

Settled in 1805, is offered refuge to Acadians fleeing the British in the 1750’s. Its population has dwindled consistently for forty years.

Farmhouse and Barn (2003)

Farmhouse and Barn (2003)

In addition to Grand Isle, the main village, it has two others, also on U.S. Route 1: Lille about three miles east of the main village, and Notre Dame in the extreme eastern portion of the town.

Thibodeau Island in the St. John River (2003)

Thibodeau Island in the St. John River (2003)

Thibodeau Island in the St. John River (2003)

Thibodeau Island in the St. John River (2003)

U.S. Route 1 and the Bangor and Aroostook Railroad both hug the Maine side of the St. John River, which forms the state’s northern border with Canada.

Form of Government: Town Meeting-Select Board.

Additional resources

Guy Dubay correspondence, research materials, and writings, MCC-00334, Acadian Archives/Archives acadiennes, University of Maine at Fort Kent. (Cataloger Note: The subjects focus on the people, culture, and history of the Saint John River Valley in Maine and New Brunswick.)

Homecoming ’93: Grand Isle, Lille, Les Concessions. Madawaska, Me. Saint John Valley Publishing Co. c1993.

National Register of Historic Places – Listings

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic (Notre Dame du Mont-Carmel) Church

[in Lille on U.S. Route 1] Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church typifies a style of church architecture once common to the St. John River Valley. When the Webster-Ashburton Treaty of 1842 fixed the boundary between Maine and New Brunswick as the St. John River in this area, at the request of local residents, Bishop Fitzpatrick of Boston dedicated the small chapel of Our Lady of Mr. Carmel in 1848.

Officially these Catholics were under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Fredericton, New Brunswick. The chapel at Mr. Carmel was a mission administered by Diocese.

After years of discontent, the American Catholics petitioned Pope Pius IX in 1864 to be separated from the Diocese of Fredericton. In 1870 the Americans of Madawaska came under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Portland. The original chapel of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel was at a site about six miles up the river from Van Buren. A cross now marks the spot.

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church, built between 1893 and 1903, is the second church to stand on this site, the first having been erected in 1876 with materials from the chapel. The old church was remodeled into a school and convent.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel (2003)

Our Lady of Mount Carmel (2003)

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This entry was last modified: July 21, 2015 03:41 PM

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