Item 148663 - Main Street, Van Buren, ca. 1911

Item 148663 - Main Street, Van Buren, ca. 1911
Contributed by Acadian Archives
Item 148663
Main Street, Van Buren, ca. 1911
4675px x 3018px - 15.6"w x 10.1"h @ 300dpi  |  Need a larger size?
*Credit line must read: Collections of Acadian Archives
Image Info

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 photograph depicts approximately the same stretch of Main Street, from the same angle, as MMN item 31474. The Gagnon and Klein stores can be seen in both images on the right-hand side. Jacob Klein, a Russian Jew, had a clothing business. The other store likely belonged to Honoré (or Henri) A. Gagnon.

The card is postmarked 1911. It was produced by William M. Prilay of Pittsfield, Maine. Prilay was, according to the census of 1920, a retail merchant.

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