Map of "The Plains," Waterville, 1911
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In 1911, the area known as "The Plains" was a neighborhood almost entirely populated by recent French-Canadian immigrants to Waterville from the Beauce region of Quebec.
French-Canadian immigration to Waterville began in the mid-1800s. These first immigrants spread the word of plentiful jobs to be found in the town and so entire families moved from their farms to this neighborhood.
Given the tight-knit nature of the community, the language barrier of many of the residents, and the fact that many of them worked in mills within walking distance, there were plentiful small shops in the neighborhood run by other recent immigrants, allowing people to do their shopping close to home and in their native tongue.
This map shows the density of the population in this area, as well as many of the shops and stores.
The map is one of a set of maps of the City of Waterville produced by the Sanborn Map Company.