Local author will discuss his book on L-A railroad

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LEWISTON — Local historian Douglas Hodgkin will speak on his new book, “The Lewiston and Auburn Railroad Company, 1872-2009,” on Monday, May 10, in Callahan Hall at the Lewiston Public Library.

 The railroad was used by ancestors of area residents who immigrated from the farms of Quebec to work in the mills. Their destination, the Grand Trunk Depot on Lincoln Street, still stands today.

 Hodgkin’s talk will be illustrated with a slide show of many of the historic photos from his book, including images of the Grand Trunk Depot as well as the old Lewiston Junction and Danville Junction stations, both demolished long ago.

 In his book, Hodgkin points to the railroad as a vehicle for transmitting and maintaining French-Canadian traditions, including the proliferation of snowshoe clubs. He describes a scene from 1929 when a trainload of snowshoers arrived in Lewiston to attend the International Snowshoe Congress. On this occasion, the Grand Trunk Depot platform, as reported in the Lewiston Evening Journal, “teemed with life, music, radiant faces, joyous voices, color, color, color,” the last a reference to the array of bright hues displayed in the dozens of different club uniforms. The celebration was marred, according to the news story, only by the burns suffered by one visitor when his clothing caught fire on the train to Lewiston “due to having (his uniform) cleaned so recently.”

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The talk will begin at 7 p.m.  Admission is free.  The library is at 200 Lisbon St. For more information, call 513-3135.

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