Embark on a journey of discovery and witness French speakers’ impact by following New England’s Franco-Route!
Meet us in Biddeford and Lewiston-Auburn, Maine, Lowell, Massachusetts, Manchester, New Hampshire and Woonsocket, Rhode Island! Follow the Route!
The New England Franco-Route will guide you to the places where thousands of French Canadians settled to work, live and play at the turn of the 20th century. The rich cultural heritage that the French Canadians have created throughout New England’s beautiful states will amaze you!
The Franco-Route recounts the story of approximately 1 million French Canadians who left their country in search of a better life in the booming industrial region of New England. All over the region, these new immigrants created “little Canadas,” bringing their language, religion and culture to their new country.
By following this Route, which links five partner cities which share this heritage, you will discover the motivations, struggles, dreams and achievements of these newcomers. You will visit the museums, churches and genealogy centers that preserve this history, as well as the theaters, restaurants and microbreweries that creatively express that heritage today. More importantly, you will engage with the proud and dynamic communities that have their Francophone history and heritage at their core!
“If we wish to preserve the best of our proud heritage, we must act now. If we are to maintain our cultural roots, we must live in consonance with the Quebecois motto, Je me souviens – “I remember”- and adapt. That is the challenge of the future.”— The Franco-American Committee of the Rhode Island Heritage Commission