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Wilfred Dumont engraved sketch on wood of the Fort Kent blockhouse

 Collection
Identifier: MCC-00495

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of an engraved sketch of the Fort Kent Blockhouse on a round piece of softwood, probably pine, made by Wildred Dumond in 1960. The area is also engraved with the name Fort Kent State Normal School Est. 1878. The circumference has a rope-like engraving measuring a half-inch wide. The piece measures about 14.5 inches in diameter and is ¾ of an inch thick and has a golden tone with some preservative. The reverse side has the name of Wilfred R. Dumont ’60 engraved in the natural wood. Wilfred’s name is written twice in ink on the reverse side.

Dates

  • 1960-00-00
  • Other: Unknown

Historical

On February 21, 1878, Maine governor Selden Connor approved and signed an act, which would establish a training school for teachers in the Madawaska territory. This step meant that people in the region could be trained so they could teach at schools within the territory, and thus begin educating and "Americanizing" the people of the St. John Valley.

Throughout its years as the Madawaska Training School, the University of Maine at Fort Kent saw multiple expansions, curriculum additions, and a total of three principals. New dorms and classroom facilities were built, and changes were made to include a normal school curriculum in 1927, with the program being expanded in 1934 and again in 1948. The last principal to serve the school under its name of Madawaska Training School was Richard F. Crocker, who served the school from 1926 to 1955. An electrical fire caused the destruction of the original Nowland Hall. This disaster lead to the State Board, which was already seeing declining enrollment at the school, having to decide whether the training school would remain open. The Alumni Association rallied to increase the enrollment at the school in an attempt to save the school. The result, alumni acting as recruiters for the school, was believed to not only be able to save the school, but was hoped to eventually make the possibility of changing MTS into a four year college a reality. Their efforts were ultimately successful in keeping the school off of the chopping block, and the name of the school was changed to Fort Kent State Normal School that same year. The school became a four-year college and change names three times; first to Fort Kent State Teacher's College in 1961, then to Fort Kent State College and finally to the University of Maine at Fort Kent in 1970. Originally established as a teaching school, UMFK's teaching program remains one of the strongest in the state. However, programs such as Applied Forest Management, Electronic Commerce, Public Safety Administration, Nursing, Computer Applications, Behavioral Science, Biology, Business Management, English, Environmental Studies, French, Social Science, Criminal Justice and Human Services are also available to students.

A university of continued academic growth and diversity, the University of Maine at Fort Kent's growth has been greatly influenced by the rich history of itself and the region it serves. Born of the need to educate the local culture, the University of Maine at Fort Kent continues to live up to its history of academic excellence. Though it now serves the global community, UMFK will always be a part of the rich cultural history of the St. John Valley

Historical

The Fort Kent Blockhouse is located at the confluence of the Fish River and the St. John River in Fort Kent, Maine. The blockhouse is the only fortification relating to the "Bloodless" Aroostook War of 1838-1839, and the border dispute between Great Britain and the United States. The signing of the Webster-Ashburton Treaty in 1842 settled the boundary dispute between Maine and New Brunswick and reduced the need for a fort, although federal troops remained there until 1845 to protect Maine’s and the United States’ interests in the region.

The blockhouse is a two-story structure. Its walls are built of square-hewn cedar logs, some of which measure over 19 inches in width. It is an excellent example of early 19th-century military architecture. The blockhouse serves as a museum and is maintained by local Eagle Scouts in cooperation with the Bureau of Parks and Recreation, Maine Department of Conservation. The state-owned blockhouse is on the National Register of Historic Places as well as being a National Historic Landmark.

Extent

.31 Cubic Feet (1 box) ; 14.5 inch in diameter

Language of Materials

English

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Unknown
Author
Anne Chamberland
Date
2020-09-23
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