Item 148639 - Main Street, Van Buren, ca. 1909

Item 148639 - Main Street, Van Buren, ca. 1909
Contributed by Acadian Archives
Item 148639
Main Street, Van Buren, ca. 1909
4720px x 3046px - 15.7"w x 10.2"h @ 300dpi  |  Need a larger size?
*Credit line must read: Collections of Acadian Archives
Image Info

The caption on this postcard reads, "Van Buren, Me. Bird's-eye view, Upper part." The photograph was likely taken from the steeple of the old St. Bruno church (demolished in the mid-1940s) and would therefore be facing west.

The stretch of the St. John River between Van Buren and St. David was the first area settled by Acadian and French-Canadian families that traveled upriver in the 1780s. From its farming roots, Van Buren developed into an important regional milling center; thanks to the St. John Lumber Company, it could boast the "largest long lumber mill east of the Mississippi" in the first decade of the twentieth century. The facilities and operations would be sold to the Lacroix Brothers of Quebec in the 1920s. Van Buren was also the principal commercial center on the U.S. side of the river prior to the 1950s. It was home to the only French-language newspaper ever published in Aroostook County.

The only date comes from the postmark. London-based Raphael Tuck & Sons published this postcard; it was printed in Germany. Edouard G. Grondin, whose name appears on the face of the card, appears in the census of 1910 as a watchmaker in Van Buren. He was then a neighbor of Jacob Klein, whose shop appears on MMN item 31474. By 1920, Grondin had returned to Waterville, where he and his wife Clara had married in the early years of the century.

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