Book on Valley a collaborative effort

9 years ago

   PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Local author Dottie Hutchins and Paul Cyr Photography have announced the publication of their new book, “ACADIAN ROOTS: Images of the St. John Valley.” This recently released bilingual, 186-page, full-color photo book is out in time to help celebrate the upcoming World Acadian Congress (CMA) 2014.
“ACADIAN ROOTS” is now available in print and on disc (in PDF format). For a “sneak peek” at the book, please visit The official central Aroostook launch of the book is set for Thursday, July 17 at 4 p.m. in the McCain Conference Room at TAMC’s A.R. Gould Memorial Hospital. Hutchins and Cyr will be on hand to talk about the project, their inspiration, and how it all came together.
“We know there are many residents of central Aroostook – like my partner in this venture, Paul Cyr – who have ‘Acadian Roots,’” said Hutchins. “The book launch event at TAMC’s new conference center will give folks the opportunity to re-connect with their heritage, and provide others the chance to better understand the incredible culture and beauty that defines the St. John Valley and her people just before tens of thousands of visitors descend on the region to experience the same.”
In “ACADIAN ROOTS,” Hutchins and Cyr combine their talents to create a unique view of the upper St. John River Valley. Lise Pelletier, director of the Acadian Archives at UMFK, provides French translation of the text and adds cultural flavor by inserting a series of short stories and sayings typical of The Valley.
“ACADIAN ROOTS” provides a virtual tour of northernmost Aroostook County and parts of New Brunswick and Quebec, Canada through a collection of Cyr’s aerial and ground photographs of more than 27 towns on both sides of the St. John River. The bilingual book blends the physical beauty of The Valley with a unique genealogical perspective on its history and heritage. Cyr’s captivating photos are introduced by a short story tracing his Cyr-Sire ancestors from France to Acadie to the upper St. John Valley. It follows their epic survival surrounding the 1755 expulsion of Acadians from Nova Scotia, to their settlement at Madawaska three decades later. The Cyr family provides a moving example of the resilience of the Acadian people.
“Through Paul’s camera lenses, readers can see Main Street of most every town in The Valley,” said Hutchins. “He also captures forestry and farming scenes, along with wildlife, nature, and many landmarks throughout The Valley. Paul’s photographs and the story of his Acadian ancestors, coupled with Lise Pelletier’s cultural inserts and translation, make a magical combination.”
Pelletier said, “When Dottie told me she wanted to write a book about The Valley, Paul Cyr’s photographs immediately came to mind as the perfect complement. Paul’s artistic ability to capture nature at its most awe-inspiring has won him thousands of admirers from The Valley and beyond. And, since the book was to be a reflection of the culture and history of our area, it was evident that it should be in both English and French.”
The book is made possible by more than 90 local sponsors and is artfully designed by Jean Cousins. It is sold at local stores and other venues, and will be available for sale at the July 17 book launch at TAMC. Copies sell for $29.95 each. Hutchins and Cyr will also personalize copies at the launch event.