Franco-American Collection

Emile Lacasse

"People would make...meat pie at Christmas, New Years they'd have alot of meat pies.  They couldn't make those meat pies ahead and of course they had big families...And of course where they came from was the same background I did.  I knew the people there ate meat pie and I think 1960 was the top year.  That year from the first of December to the twentieth during the Christmas rush we made over 15,000 meat pies."

Emile Lacasse (b. 1924, St. Rose de Waterford, QC) immigrated with his family as a child to Jackman, Maine.  After graduating high school, he moved to Lewiston and worked building Liberty Ships during World War 2 (probably at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard or Bath Iron Works).  In 1945, he opened a lunch counter at 2 Chestnut Street, in the heart of the Little Canada neighborhood of Lewiston.  "Emile's Diner" would become "Lacasse's Bakery", which would operate for 59 years, until 2004.  The bakery was well-known in the Franco-American community, particularly for its traditional toutières (meat pies).

In this interview with Carroll McIntire, conducted May 12, 1994, Lacasse talks about his work at the shipyard and the bakery.

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