UMFK to host book launch of “Mills of Madawaska”

11 months ago

FORT KENT, Maine — The University of Maine at Fort Kent Acadian Archives/Archives acadiennes will welcome author Joseph Ralph Theriault for the launch of both volumes of “Moulins du Madawaska/Mills of Madawaska” from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 10, in Powell Hall, room 123 (Acadian Archives entrance) on the UMFK campus.  

The event is free and open to the public.

The book is the culmination of years of research on an essential aspect of Valley history. From the dawn of the Acadian era in the Madawaska territory, the flour mills, sawmills, and wool carding mills produced the food, shelter and clothing necessary to sustain the local community. The first volume focuses on the culture and history of 12 of the early mills in the St. John Valley, while the second volume is a historical register of the 250 mills that existed in the Valley from 1785 to 1985.

The son of Théodule and Elsie Dubé Theriault, Joseph Ralph Theriault grew up in Upper Frenchville. He is an electrical engineer by profession and a retired officer of the United States Air Force. He worked for the Raytheon Company in Lexington, Massachusetts, for many years. 

Theriault founded the Terriot Acadian Family Society in 1999, which boasts about 125 members.

“These two volumes represent a colossal undertaking,” said Patrick Lacroix, the director of the Acadian Archives. “Mr. Theriault’s work helps us understand countless facets of Valley history. It is a privilege to be able to welcome him to campus and to share his work with the community.”

The event is organized by the Acadian Archives with support of the Terriot Acadian Family Society, the publisher of “Moulins du Madawaska/Mills of Madawaska.”

The author will offer remarks and answer questions. Copies of the book will be available for sale and signing. Copies will be available for sale on site. Softcover editions of volume one and volume two are priced at $15 and $25 respectively; hardcover copies are $25 and $35.