Down East 2013 ©
Photograph by Susan Cole Kelly
Think of the word Acadia, and potato fields aren’t usually what come to mind. Unless, that is, you happen to live in northern Maine. That’s where you’ll find thousands of Acadians, descendents of the French-speaking Canadians who were ejected from their homes by the British in the eighteenth century. Many worked their way south to Louisiana where they became Cajuns (a southern twist on the word Acadians). And a fair number migrated to the rolling hills of Maine’s border country. The town pictured here is considered the center of Acadian culture in the Pine Tree State, and you can still commonly hear French spoken in its streets or in the potato fields. The month of May in this upcountry community of 4,534 — the northeasternmost town in the U.S. — means spud seeds; thousands of acres are plowed and planted in the spring. Driving around the sprawling burg, you’d never guess that the largest employer in town is actually a paper mill. (Workers at the company recently voted to take an 8.5 percent pay cut to keep the plant viable.) If visitors to the other Acadia knew how beautiful it was here, under the warm spring sun, they might well drive north rather than Down East. Have you ever visited the “Land of the Porcupine”? Send us a note at P.O. Box 679, Camden, ME 04843; fire off an email to email@example.com; or post a comment at www.DownEast.com  if you can identify it.