Biddeford in York County, Maine — The American Northeast (New England)
The Society Saint Jean-Baptiste de Bienfaisance / La Société Saint Jean-Baptiste de Bienfaisance
— The Museum in the Streets® —
The fraternal society, "La Société Saint Jean-Baptiste de Bienfaisance," built its quarters at the corner of Main and Elm Streets in 1895. Organized in Biddeford at the close of the Civil War, July 15, 1867, its founders were Alphonse Dion (who started the movement), Alphonse Paré, Henri Lord (first president), and Joseph Parent. The large brick building had stores on the ground floor, offices on the second and a hall and stage on the third floor.
Biddeford's first moving picture was shown in National Hall in this building in April 1907. The shows ran continuously from noon to 6:00 p.m. and 7:30 to 10:00 p.m. The society was also known to draw entertainers from Canada who offered French plays and musicals. It also sponsored a rifleman marching group called the "Fusiliers Laurier."
Erected 2006 by The Museum in the Streets®. (Marker Number 22.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, Music • Entertainment • Fraternal or Sororal Organizations. In addition, it is included in the The Museum in the Streets®: Biddeford, Maine series list. A significant historical month for this entry is April 1907.
Location. 43° 29.668′ N, 70° 27.555′ W. Marker is in Biddeford, Maine, in York County. Marker is at the intersection of Main Street and Elm Street (U.S. 1), on the left when traveling west on Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 315 Main St, Biddeford ME 04005, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. McArthur Library / La Bibliothèque McArthur (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); St. Joseph's Church / L'Église St. JosephSt. Mary's Church / L'Église St. Mary (about 500 feet away); Tracy House / La Maison Tracy (about 600 feet away); The Opera House / La Salle de L'Opéra (approx. 0.2 miles away); Biddeford City Hall / L'Hôtel de Ville (approx. 0.2 miles away); John E. Maxson (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Lincoln Street Mill and Clock Tower / La Filature Et Sa Tour Sur La Rue Lincoln (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Biddeford.
Credits. This page was last revised on November 19, 2021. It was originally submitted on November 19, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 154 times since then and 58 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on November 19, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.