• Wooded river with church along banks

    Maine Acadian Culture

    Maine

Acadian Village

Roy House

Exterior of Roy House

NPS/Meg Scheid

General Public - mid-June to mid-September
School Tours - mid-September to October 1
Special Tours (10 or more people) - May 31-October 31

Admission: Adults: $5; Students: $2.50

Acadian Village
P.O. Box 165
Van Buren, Maine 04785
207-868-5042

The 17 buildings overlooking the St. John River in the Acadian Village retain the cultural heritage of the Acadians who settled in the St. John Valley during the mid-eighteenth century.

The settlement reflects and incorporates those traits inherent to the Acadians. These skills include fishing, lumbering, and ship building. A number of these dwellings are significant in terms of their distinct Maine Acadian construction such as nautical features of “ship knees,” used for supports in construction, which can be seen in the Morneault house and the Acadian barn.

The buildings have been moved to the village or built on site. The site is owned and operated by Notre Héritage Vivant/Our Living Heritage. The Acadian Village is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Buildings included:

Notre Dame de L’Assumption Chapel - Our Lady of Assumption Chapel
A replica of an early eighteenth century log church. The belfry houses one of the oldest bells in the valley.

Blacksmith Shop
Reconstructed from an old shop and barn. The shop’s large double doors accommodated horses for shoeing.

The David St Amand School - The Hamlin Schoolhouse
The oldest schoolhouse in the community in use from the 1880s until 1952. It was formerly located in Hamlin, Maine.

The Country Store
Serving as the entrance to the village. The building also serves as a “Recognition Hall” honoring the people who were instrumental in preserving the village. Local arts and crafts are sold there.

The Rossignol Barn – The Acadian Barn
Constructed of small round wood squared off on one side of the roof with vertical barnboard walls. The barn was originally located in Hamlin, Maine.

Morneault House
Built between 1855-1857, this is the oldest house in the valley. The house has many examples of Acadian architecture which incorporates nautical features in its construction including “ship knees” used for supports. The walls are caulked with unburned lime and flax. The Morneault house served as a post office in the early 1900s. Its original location was in Grand Isle, Maine.

The Morneault House and the Levasseur‑Ouellette House (built in Cyr Plantation, Maine, 1859) are typical of homes built during the mid‑nineteenth century by financially successful Maine Acadians. In form they are characteristic of the Georgian massing style popular on both sides of the North Atlantic by the early 19th century. The walls of both these one‑and‑a‑half‑story dwellings are built of square‑hewn logs (pièce‑sur‑pièce) covered by clapboard siding.

The Roy House
A log structure moved to the Village from a location near Hamlin, Maine, is another example of 19th‑century Maine Acadian house construction. Its hewn log walls (pièce‑sur‑pièce) have been corner‑joined with trunnels in the stacked and pegged style. It is a form that has apparently never been documented in the field.

Additional Facilities
The Acadian Village features additional historic buildings—including several more homes, workers' quarters, a shoe shop, barber shop, and railroad car house—and hosts many local cultural events. Four modern buildings house temporary art exhibits, a gift shop, meeting hall, and chapel.

 

Did You Know?

Log building

Maine Acadians speak "Valley French," a mixture of old French and English plus some Quebécois terms. "Valley French" is principally spoken rather than written.