Text by Andrew Patrick
Images from Maine Historical Society
The nineteenth century was a time of upheaval in Ireland and of great promise in the United States. Economic depression and famine made Ireland a difficult place to live, and the burgeoning fortunes of Americans made emigration to the new land attractive.
Many of Maine's Irish immigrants arrived in the mid-nineteenth century. Primarily poor, Catholic, and uneducated, they found labor-intensive jobs and harsh discrimination. Despite these problems, the Irish managed to slowly eke out a living in their new home.
By the beginning of the twentieth century, Irish-Americans were an integral part of the state.