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Gerry Morin Evangeline collection

 Collection
Identifier: MCC-00245

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of an engraving and a lithograph depicting Evangeline Bellefontaine of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem, Evangeline; two Sebastian Miniatures figurines, Evangeline and Gabriel; 15 pieces of glazed Evangeline Canada pottery by Canuck Pottery circa 1958. (see inventory for list).

Both the engraving and the chromolithograph are of the same original image, an oil painting of Evangeline created by Thomas Faed in approximately 1854. The original oil painting was one of two images of the character Evangeline that hung in Longfellow's home in Portland, Maine (information on Faed's original painting from the Maine Historical Society). The engraving, which is untitled, was published by F. Sala and Co. of Berlin, Germany. The chromolithograph was published by Colton, Zahm, and Roberts of New York. The lithograph bears the same title and inscription as the original painting: "Evangeline. 'Sat by some nameless grave, and thought that perhaps in its bosom He was already at rest, and she longed to slumber beside him.'" While neither image is dated, both firms were producing similar work between 1850 and 1890.

In June 2020, two Sebastian Miniatures collectable figurines and a Sebastian Miniatures Collectors Guide were added to this collection. The figurines, Gabriel and Evangeline, and the book were sent by Mr. Morin in February 2020 to be added to this collection. Evangeline’s figurine measures 6.6cm tall and the base is 2.6cm in diameter. Evangeline’s figurine is wearing a blue green bonnet, yellow handkerchief and apron, light green shirt and orange skirt and is standing on a round light yellow base. Gabriel is 6.9cm tall and his base is 2.8cm in diameter. Gabriel is wearing a light green tricorn hat, yellow golden jacket and knee high sox, and light green pants. The figurines were probably made between 1941 and 1945 in the Arlington, Massachusetts studio and have no labels nor were they imprinted. Although, on page 29 of the book, the figurines show a date of 1939. The book, Sebastian Miniatures Collectors Guide, has a copyright date of 1980 by Sebastian Studios.

In July 2020 were added 15 pieces of glazed pottery Evangeline Ware made in Saint John, New Brunswick and/or in Labelle, Quebec. There are three teacups with three saucers, six coffee mugs, one sugar and one creamer bowl, and one teapot with lid. All items are dripped glazed green on brown or dripped glazed green on green and all are in excellent condition.

Dates

  • approximately 1870
  • Other: Date acquired: 1997
  • Modified: 2020

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

No restrictions on access.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright has not been assigned to the Acadian Archives/Archives acadiennes. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Acadian Archives/Archives acadiennes

Historical

Canuck Pottery, Ltd. - Saint John, N.B. then c. 1964 Labelle, Quebec. Operation was a continuation of Foley Pottery .Canuck Pottery was established as a continuation of Foley Pottery c1938 in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. Foley Pottery began c1890's by James Foley, born in England in 1857, and continued under his son Fenwick Foley in the Foley residence. Fenwick's sons Percy and Alponse started Canuck Pottery with a new factory building about 2 miles from their home. Originally known for making coloured jugs for perfume and souvenir novelties, they began creating dinnerware and decorative items naming the line Evangeline Ware. An early ad from the 1940's touted their use of Fundy clays handcrafted by descendants of the original Acadian settlers.

Biographical

Gerry Morin, son of Ida Pelletier and Joseph Denis Morin, was born in Ste-Agathe, Maine on February 1945, the 10th child of a family of 13 children. He was raised in a typical French-Catholic home where the language spoken was uniquely French. He never heard spoken English until enrolled in the elementary schools in the community. From that point on, all his education was uniquely in the English language. His French was totally oral and spoken, really never exposed to French books, magazines, newspapers, or other written format. Most of his education was taught by the nuns of the Daughters of Wisdom. Many of these nuns were originally from New York and the curriculum was basically that which they had been educated under, very Irish and English.

He graduated from St Agatha High School in 1963 and enrolled as a Freshman at Fort Kent State College. While at FKSC, he worked in the library on a part time basis. Gerry was part of the team responsible for the physical movement of the library collection from Cyr Hall to its present site (which was until that time the gymnasium). During that time, he had decided to pursue a library degree and had enrolled at Louisiana State University. At the last minute, he changed his mind and decided to take a year or two off to earn extra money. Late that September, he accepted a teaching position in MSAD #33(St. Agatha and Frenchville). The temporary break lasted over 27 years. During his teaching career, his duties included teaching self-contained classes, Junior High Reading, and finally district librarian.

During his first years of teaching, the teachers of MSAD #33 were given the opportunity to take part in a federally funded bilingual program. The summers were filled with workshops on personal growth and discovery, self-assertion techniques, and sensitivity training. As a result of these workshops, Gerry rediscovered his roots and identity. Sponsored trips to Montreal, Quebec City, towns along the south shore of the St Lawrence and a summer course in Dijon, France made him realize the richness and depth of his cultural heritage. It served as the impetus for him to organize and lead the efforts to establish the Ste-Agathe Historical Society. If he wanted the town’s story preserved and promoted then it would have to be done the citizens of that town. Waiting for outsiders and "experts" to come around and tell our story was now becoming an unrealistic expectation.

Gerry taught school until the mid-1980's when the opportunity to pursue his Master’s degree in Library Science became a reality. He enrolled in the Masters of Library Science at Clarion University of Pennsylvania. Gerry spent a full summer at their home campus. Other courses were offered at the University of Maine at Orono. He completed the MLS in the summer of 1987 and at which time Gerry was serving as the MSAD #33 District Librarian. He served in that capacity until 1994. In 1995, Gerry accepted the position of Library Director for the Dyer Library in Saco, Maine and retired from that position in 2003.

His main residence has been Old Orchard Beach for the past 15 years and Gerry spends many weekends rummaging through used bookshops, flea markets, and antique shops looking for material related to the St John Valley history, language, or culture.

After all these years, he is still intrigued by the amount of historical information which was never introduced in their education or shown to them as they were growing up. Gerry cannot understand why they were never given the opportunity to know the full richness of their cultural heritage or language. It is his hope that many of the items given to the Acadian Archives will provide the next generation with the opportunity to discover their heritage and story.

Extent

1.35 Cubic Feet (2 oversize boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Immediate Source of Acquisition

All items were sent to us by Gerry Morin through his brother in 1997 and 2020
Author
Kathryn Donahue
Date
20090000
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Acadian Archives Repository

Contact:
University of Maine at Fort Kent
23 University Drive
Fort Kent ME 04743 United States