Acadians & the St. John Valley

If you have read Longfellow's "Evangeline" and you have wanted to know more about the story… experience her culture and people first hand here in the St. John River Valley.

"Among the Acadians who had been deported to England and France, the largest group subsequently went to Louisiana in 1785, despite having been guaranteed lands in France. The heavily populated countryside of France was not appealing to people who were accustomed to a very different environment in North America. Most of the Acadians who had been living in destitute conditions in the American colonies eventually made their way to either Québec or Louisiana."

"The exact date of the arrival of the first settlers at "Madawaska," as the Upper St. John Valley region was known, remains a subject of speculation. The best-known history of the area, written in 1920 by Father Thomas Albert ([1920] 1985), claims that the first Acadian landing occurred on the southern shore of the valley in 1785, at what is now St. David parish, in the present-day town of Madawaska, Maine. Contemporary research has confirmed that the first petition to the New Brunswick legislature requesting land in the Upper St. John Valley was dated 1785 (Craig 1988: 127). While the precise location of the first arrival is unknown, Maine Acadians generally recognize the site in St. David parish as being symbolic of the landing."

"Settlement spread along the river, first to the west, then to the east. By 1831 there were about 2,500 settlers along a 45-mile stretch of the Valley, from the mouth of the Fish River to a few miles east of Violette Brook (Deane and Kavanagh 1831). The banks of the larger tributaries, like the Madawaska, the Green (Verte), the Grand (Grande), and the Fish, were settled early, especially near their confluences with the St. John."

To learn more click here or visit:

The Acadian Village
Van Buren - (207) 728-7272

Tante Blanche Acadian Museum
Madawaska - (207) 728-4272

Voici the Valley Cultureway


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