In 1842, the new Bloomfield Academy was constructed in Skowhegan. The new brick building replaced the very first Bloomfield Academy, a small wooden building that had been built in 1814 and served as the high school until 1871. After that, it housed elementary school classes until 1980.
French Canadians who emigrated to the Lewiston-Auburn area faced discrimination as children and adults -- such as living in "Little Canada" tenements and being ridiculed for speaking French -- but also adapted to their new lives and sustained many cultural traditions.
St-Jean-Baptiste Day -- June 24th -- in Lewiston-Auburn was a very public display of ethnic pride for nearly a century. Since about 1830, French Canadians had used St. John the Baptist's birthdate as a demonstration of French-Canadian nationalism.