St Mary's Church, Lewiston, ca. 1960
St Mary's (Ste Marie) was the second Franco-American parish in Lewiston. The existing SS. Peter and Paul Parish (SS Pierre et Paul) was divided in 1907, on account of the growing French-speaking congregation.
The building replaced an earlier small chapel that had been erected at the corner of Lincoln and Chestnut Streets to serve the Franco community of Little Canada, which was some distance from the SS Peter and Paul Church on Ash and Bartlett Streets in Downtown Lewiston.
The church was not finished until 1927, by which time several other French parishes were established in Lewiston - Holy Cross (Ste Croix) and Holy Family (Ste Famille) in Lewiston and St Louis (St Louis) in Auburn. Work had also begun of the grand basilica of SS Peter and Paul.
The church continued to serve the French-speaking community of Little Canada until many of Maine's parishes were consolidated and churches closed in response to declining congregation sizes. St Mary's closed in 2000, and today houses the Franco-American Heritage Center, a performing arts venue.
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