Author (Your Name)

Margaret Bernier, Colby College

Date of Award


Document Type

Senior Scholars Paper (Open Access)


Colby College. Sociology Dept.




The Franco-American community of Waterville , Maine has been largely ignored until very recently. This, of course, was partially due to the fact that they were not predominant in the upper echelons of local politics, business, and industry before the 1950's because of dicrimination and economic insecurity. Within their own ethnic community there were remarkabe number of leaders in privately owned, small, ethnic businesses and in the professions. These men provided the Franco-Americans with symbols of success that contributed to their ethnic pride. The few studies and accounts on the French of Waterville, most notably one compiled by Albert Fecteau in 195I, focused upon these successful Franco-American businessmen and professionals and their contributions to the community. The purpose of this study is not to undermine the importance of these successful men, but it is an attempt to account for the notable achievebents of the working class Franco-Americans who contributed their labour, their votes, and their efforts to improve working conditions through striking even in the face of discrimnation and financial insecurity. This group has been ignored in almost all the written accounts of Waterville, and this error must be rectified. The Franco-Americans--laborers, businessmen, and proffesionals, all contributed to the character and to the prosperity of Waterville.


French Americans -- Maine -- Waterville -- History, Working class -- Maine -- Waterville -- History