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Fort Kent Historical Society digital postcard collection Edit




  • 1905-1973 (Creation)
  • Date acquired: 2019-05 (Other)


  • 0.3 Cubic Feet (Whole)
    2 photograph albums

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  • Historical

    The Fort Kent Historical Society is in fact two separate organizations, the first dating to the mid 1920s, the second established nearly a half century later. In 1925, a group of prominent, civic-minded Fort Kent citizens gathered to form a society to “promote the study of History, Literature, and village improvement.” (State of Maine Certificate of Organization of a Corporation, organizational meeting report, December 4, 1925). They filed incorporation papers with the state of Maine for a non-profit corporation named the Fort Kent Historical Society (hereafter FKHS) on December 4, 1925. Original officers were Paul D. Thibodeau, president; William J. Audibert, treasurer; and Fora Bradbury Pinkham, clerk. The first five directors were Niles C. Pinkham, Mabel K. Theriault, Richard F. Crocker, Irené Cyr, and Hedwidge Pelletier.

    Virtually nothing is known about the achievements of the first FKHS, which seems to have gone inactive shortly after its foundation. Its existence faded from local memory, and when the Fort Kent Historical Association formed in the 1970s, organizers were initially unaware of the antecedent organization.

    In 1974, a group of Fort Kent citizens began meeting for the purpose of organizing a local historical association. James I. Hoyt and Dr. Roger L. Grindle, then professor of History at the University of Maine at Fort Kent, were particularly active in this effort, recruiting UMFK students and staff as well as community members. By May 1974, the group, known as the “Fort Kent Historical Association,” had created a new set of by-laws and elected their first slate of officers: James Hoyt, president; Miriam Aungst, vice-president; Daniel Michaud, secretary; and Robert Ouellet, treasurer. Members of the first board of directors were Alphy St. Pierre, James Thibodeau, Lois Currier, Donat Michaud,Lowell Daigle, and Emily Evans.

    By October 1974, when the Association held its first annual meeting, the society counted 73 active members, 3 junior members, and 1 contributing member. The Association continued to be very active over the next six years, raising funds, building collections, holding membership and board meetings, developing historical displays, and operating a one-room museum on the second floor of the former Fort Kent Town Hall. Officers included Roger Grindle (President), Lucille Pelletier (Vice President and Public Relations), Jack Vanek (Secretary), and Donald Raymond (Treasurer).

    In the late 1970s, the Association adopted “Fort Kent Historical Society” (FKHS) as their official name. During this period, the FKHS, under the leadership of Dr. Grindle, negotiated the donation to the Society by the Bangor and Aroostook Railroad of its former Fort Kent branch station, which had operated from 1902 until 1979. The FKHS Building Committee, chaired by James Grandmaison, also negotiated the sale of the branch station property to the Society in 1980.

    As a result of these initiatives, the FKHS relocated its collections permanently to the station house and officially opened the doors of the museum on July 24, 1982. On April 21, 1989, the Fort Kent Railroad Station was placed on the National Registry of Historic Places. Since the opening of the museum, the Society’s energies have focused primarily on restoration work, exhibit preparation, and the production of documentary videotapes.
  • Scope and Contents

    This collection consists of 304 colored and black and white postcards collected by the Fort Kent Historical Society and Chad Pelletier. The images are mostly from Fort Kent and from the St. John Valley representing businesses, churches, schools, hospitals, street views, aerial views, B&A railroads, international bridge, convent, etc. The postcards are dated from 1905 to 1973.
  • Language of Materials

    Collection materials are in English.
  • Technical Access Restrictions

    A visit to the Acadian Archives at UMFK is recommended to access the digital files.
  • Related Materials

    MCC-00123 Fort Kent Historical Society Collection on Fort Kent (ME) MCC-00333 Acadian Archives/Archives acadiennes collection on the Bangor and Aroostook Railroad in Fort Kent (Me.) MCC-00343 Fort Kent Mill Co. (Fort Kent, Me.) accounts ledger MCC-00372 Fort Kent (Me.) postcards MCC-00444 Fort Kent Historical Society digital collection of the Bangor and Aroostook Railroad Co. images (MAHC grant project)
  • Existence and Location of Originals

    Originals are at the Fort Kent Historical Society.
  • 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
  • Preferred Citation

    Fort Kent Historical Society digital postcard collection, MCC-00455, Acadian Archives/Archives acadiennes, University of Maine at Fort Kent
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Material was lended to the Acadian Archives to make a digital copy in May 2019.
  • Processing Information

    A digital copy was created.

External Documents