Today in Maine’s Franco History: January 10

Today in Maine’s Franco History is a look back at important dates in the history of Maine’s Franco-American communities. It will run throughout 2020, the bicentennial year of Maine’s statehood. Your suggestions for additional events, people, and institutions to celebrate are most welcome.

January 10, 1951: The first game of hockey played on artificial ice in Maine takes place at the St Dominic’s Arena in Lewiston. The arena, built in 1949, was owned by the Dominican Fathers who ran the parish of Sts Peter and Paul in Lewiston. The original arena burned in a fire in 1956, but was rebuilt and is today re-branded as the Colissée. In addition to numerous hockey matches, the arena also hosted the Muhammad Ali – Sonny Liston heavyweight championship fight in 1965.

Interior of St Dominic’s Arena, ca 1950. Image: University of Southern Maine, Franco-American Collection.

James Myall

About James Myall

While I currently work for an Augusta-based non-profit, I spent four years as the Coordinator of the Franco-American Collection at the University of Southern Maine. In 2015, I co-authored "The Franco-Americans of Lewiston-Auburn," a general history of that population from 1850 to the present. I was also a consultant for the State Legislative Task Force on Franco-Americans in 2012. I live in Topsham with my wife and two young daughters.