The County 2017 | Aroostook County Tourism - Page 44

THE COUNTY | 2017 ARE YOU FROM THE COUNTY? Millions of Americans FRENCH ACADIANS French Acadians have a strong presence in Aroostook County. The term Acadia refers to France’s 17th-century colony, l’Acadie, on America’s North Atlantic coast. Eventually, the Acadians traveled up the St. John River and resettled in northern Aroostook. With a heritage that includes fishing, lumbering, and shipbuilding, you can see French Acadian sites throughout the St. John Valley, including homesteads, chapels, schools, and shops dating back to the 18th century. Experience this culture’s sparkling music and dance, and distinctive dishes like poutine or ployes, at local festivals. AMISH can trace their ancestry back to The County. Whether it be our native peoples, the French Acadian, Scotch-Irish, or Swedish—each have woven their traditions into the American story. Aroostook County’s small Amish settlements, in Smyrna and Fort Fairfield, are relatively new, dating back to the 1990s. Since then dozens of families have established traditional farms and businesses. Grab this opportunity to glimpse their way of life and browse healthy, organic foods and wood crafts. IRISH & SCOTCH-IRISH The Irish and Scotch-Irish began immigrating to North America in the 1700s, establishing permanent settlements in Aroostook and forming an English-speaking enclave among the Acadian French. These folks introduced potato-farming, an economic driver for Aroostook County ever since. Life was hard, but they were buoyed by hard work and sparkling wit. NATIVE AMERICANS Aroostook County is home to the Aroostook Band of Micmacs and Houlton Band of Maliseets. The Micmacs were among the first native North Americans encountered by European explorers. The Maliseets are part of the larger Maliseet Nation of North America. Aboriginal ancestors lived and hunted off the land throughout Aroostook County. Today, the Micmac tribal government is in Presque Isle; the Maliseets are in Houlton. Both tribes display their heritage through crafts, museums, farms, and markets. About 1869, Maine’s state immigration commissioner traveled to Sweden and recruited 51 immigrants to start a new life in the northern Maine forests. The colony, known as New Sweden, prospered and expanded to neighboring townships—Westmanland, Stockholm, and Woodland. Enjoy local festivals, music, and foods for a taste of Swedish heritage. For more information about the cultural heritage of the region visit our website or call Judy at 888-216-2463. 42 SWEDISH COLONY