The Info List - Lewiston, Maine

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LEWISTON (English pronunciation: /ˈluːᵻstən/ , French pronunciation: /ˈluːᵻstə/ ; officially the CITY OF LEWISTON, MAINE) is the second largest city in Maine
and the most central city in Androscoggin County . The city has a population of 36,202. Located in south-western Maine, the city borders the coastal sideways of the Gulf of Maine
and is south of Augusta , the state's capital and north of Portland , the cultural hub of Maine. It is one-half of the Lewiston-Auburn Metropolitan Statistical Area , commonly referred to as "L.A." or "L-A." Lewiston exerts a significant impact upon the diversity , religious variety, commerce, education, and economic power of Maine. It is known for a relatively low cost of living , substantial access to medical care , and an extremely low violent crime rate. While the dominant language spoken in the city is English , it is home to the largest French-speaking population in the state ; the language is spoken by nearly 15% of locals.

With a total of 2,441 business establishments , the city has a service-based tertiary economy worth approximately $4.1 billion in gross domestic product (GDP) output, primarily in the natural resources , mining, finance, insurance, real estate, rental/leasing, transportation, and utilities sectors . The influx of Somali and Bantu immigrants has created a secondary goods-manufacturing economy that supplements economic growth. The spread of globailzation and capital/labor flight has made the economy of Lewiston small-scale, underdeveloped, and growing. Although 63.3% of the population composes the labour force , 23.2% of the permanent population (excluding college students and those visiting) live in poverty with an average income of $37,500.

The Lewiston area traces its roots to 1669 with the early presence of the Androscoggin tribe (the namesake of the county the city resides in ). In the late 18th century, the area slowly became populated by New French families and was incorporated as "LEWISTOWN" in 1795. The presence of the Androscoggin River
Androscoggin River
and Lewistown Falls made the town an attractive area for manufacturing and hydro-power businesses. The rise of Boston
rail and textile tycoon Benjamin Bates saw rapid economic growth rivaling that of Cambridge , Worcester
, and Concord . The increase in economic stimulus prompted thousands of Quebecers to migrate causing a population boom ; the populace rose from 1,801 in 1840 to 21,701 in 1890. During the mid-19th century, Lewistown was the wealthiest , and most rapidly growing city in Maine
and began to develop a distinct upper-class in the Frye Street District . The Bates Mills (numbered 1-5) employed thousands of Lewistown locals, Canadians, and Europeans maintaining itself as the largest employer for three decades. The town\'s reationship with Bates was strained with the 1861 Lewistown cotton riots , but gradually improved over time during the American Civil War
American Civil War
. During the war, local preacher Oren Burbank Cheney founded the Maine
State Seminary , the first coeducational university in New England and one of the first universities to admit black students before the Emancipation Proclamation . Lewistown quickly became associated with the liberal arts and was incorporated as "Lewiston" in 1864, a year before the college was chartered as Bates College
Bates College
. The mid-20th century saw the expansion of textile investments and the 5,000-person Lewiston-Auburn Shoe Strike of 1937. Lewiston was the final stop of John F. Kennedy before he assumed his presidency; he spoke at a park now known as "Kennedy Park." It was also the site of the 1965 Muhammid Ali vs Sonny Liston
Sonny Liston
rematch , where the iconic photo of Ali standing over Liston with his hands up was taken.

The city is home to the only basilica in Maine, Basilica
of Saints Peter and Paul , 15 colleges and universities, 44 listings on the National Register of Historic Places , the Androscoggin Bank Colisée , the Stephens Observatory , the Olin Arts Center , the Bates College Museum of Art (BCMoA) and two significant general hospitals: Central Maine
Medical Center and Saint Mary\'s Regional Medical Center . Lewiston hosts the Bates Dance Festival , the Patrick Dempsey Challenge , Liberty Festival, Festival FrancoFun, The Great Falls Balloon Festival, and the Emerge Film Festival.


* 1 History

* 1.1 Conception * 1.2 Colonial beginnings * 1.3 Industrial development and Benjamin Bates * 1.4 Lewiston-Auburn Shoe Strike * 1.5 Textile
investment * 1.6 Economic diversification and renaissance * 1.7 Somali and Bantu migration * 1.8 National Register of Historic Places listings

* 2 Geography

* 2.1 Neighborhoods

* 2.1.1 Downtown * 2.1.2 Webster Street neighborhood * 2.1.3 Pond Road neighborhood

* 2.2 Climate

* 3 Demographics

* 3.1 2010 census * 3.2 2000 census * 3.3 Language * 3.4 Voter registration

* 4 Economy

* 4.1 Large businesses * 4.2 Lisbon Street * 4.3 Main Street * 4.4 Top employers

* 5 Arts and culture

* 5.1 Library * 5.2 Museums * 5.3 The Franco Center * 5.4 The Public Theatre

* 5.5 Events

* 5.5.1 Emerge Film Festival * 5.5.2 The Great Falls Balloon Festival * 5.5.3 Festival Franco * 5.5.4 Liberty Festival * 5.5.5 Patrick Dempsey Challenge

* 6 Sports and recreation

* 6.1 The Androscoggin Bank Colisée * 6.2 Ali vs Liston rematch * 6.3 Lewiston Maineiacs * 6.4 Maine

* 7 Education

* 7.1 Colleges and universities * 7.2 Public schools * 7.3 Private schools

* 8 Media

* 8.1 Newspapers * 8.2 Television * 8.3 Radio

* 9 Infrastructure

* 9.1 Transportation

* 9.1.1 Public transportation * 9.1.2 Roadways and major routes * 9.1.3 Bridges * 9.1.4 Airports and bus station

* 10 Notable people * 11 In popular culture * 12 References * 13 Further reading * 14 External links



The Lewiston area was formerly inhabited by peoples of the Androscoggin (or Arosaguntacook) tribe. The Androscoggins were a tribe of the Abenaki nation. Facing annihilation from English attacks and epidemics of new infectious diseases, the Androscoggins started to emigrate to Quebec
circa 1669. They were driven out of the area in 1680, sometime after King Philip\'s War (1675-1676). The governor of New France
New France
allocated two seigneuries on the Saint Francis River which is now known as the Odanak Indian Reservation; and the second was founded near Bécancour and is called the Wolinak Indian Reservation.


A grant comprising the area of Lewiston was given to Moses Little and Jonathan Bagley, members of the Pejepscot Proprieters, on January 28, 1768 on the condition that fifty families lived in the area before June 1, 1774. Bagley and Little named the new town Lewistown. Paul Hildreth was the first man to settle in Lewiston in the fall of 1770. By 1795, Lewiston was officially incorporated as a town. At least four houses that have survived from this period are currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places .

King Avenue and Ralph Avenue were named after Ralph Luthor King, who owned the land located near the fairgrounds. Elliott Avenue was named after his wife, Grace O. Elliott, whose son eventually built the family home at 40 Wellman Street.


Rail and textile tycoon, Benjamin Bates .

Lewiston was a slow but steadily growing farm town throughout its early history. By the early-to-mid-19th century, however, as water power was being honed, Lewiston's location on the Androscoggin River would prove to make it a perfect location for emerging industry. In 1809, Michael Little built a large wooden sawmill next to the falls. Burned in 1814 by an arsonist , it was later rebuilt. In 1836, local entrepreneurs—predominantly the Little family and friends—formed the Androscoggin Falls Dam
, Lock "> Child going to work at 5:30 a.m. in Lewiston, 1909. Photo by Lewis Hine .

This began the transformation from a small farming town into a textile manufacturing center on the model of Lowell, Massachusetts . The creation of the Bates manufuacturing trusts saw rapid economic growth, positioning the city as the weathiest city in Maine, and created budding affluent district such as the Main Street–Frye Street Historic District . Although the odd-majority of the population was working class , a distinctive upper class was emerged at this time. The Bates Mill remained the largest employer in Lewiston from the 1850s to the mid-late 20th century. Saints Peter and Paul Basilica, one of only a few basilicas in New England, and the only in Maine, located on Ash Street

In 1853, the Grand Trunk Railway was built, connecting Maine
to the St. Lawrence River , Montreal
, and the Canadian Maritimes , and making Portland the winter port for Canadian trade. Subsequently, trains connected Quebec
with Lewiston on a daily schedule. During the Civil War , the high demand for textiles helped Lewiston develop a strong industrial base through the Bates Enterprise. However, the concentration of wealth in Benjamin Bates sparked the 1861 Lewiston cotton riots which prompted him to give thousands of dollars back to the city and expand the employment opportunities at his mills. In 1861, a flood of French-Canadian immigration into Maine
began, spawned by industrial work opportunities in Maine
cities with water power from waterfalls. This brought a significant influx of Québécois millworkers that replaced the former Yankee millgirls. Lewiston's population boomed between 1840 and 1890 from 1,801 to 21,701. Canadiens settled in an area downtown that became known as Little Canada, and Lewiston's character has remained largely Franco-American ever since. In 1855, Maine
preacher traveled from Parsnfield to Lewiston to establish is institution of higher learning in the city. In 1855, the Maine
State Legislature was petitioned by Lewiston locals to found the Maine
State Seminary . The school opened in 1855, was educated the working class of Maine
while also providing education for blacks and women at a time when other universities barred the activity. At its founding it became the first coeducational college in the United States and one of the earliest proponents of abolitionism .

During this time, in 1863, Lewiston was incorporated as a city. In 1872, St. Peter's church was built in Lewiston. This was the first French-Canadian national church in Maine. In 1864, the Maine
State Seminary was renamed Bates College
Bates College
in honor of Benjamin Bates .

In 1880, Le Messager , a French language
French language
newspaper, began printing in Lewiston to serve its predominant ethnic population. The local Kora Shrine was organized in 1891 and held its first meetings in a Masonic temple on Lisbon Street. This group would from 1908 to 1910 build the Kora Temple on Sabattus Street, the largest home of a fraternal organization in the state. Architect George M. Coombs designed this Moorish style structure.

leaders decided to build a cathedral in which the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland could relocate. Construction of the Church of Saints Peter and Paul began in 1905 and ended in 1938, mostly funded through thousands of small donations from Lewiston residents. It is the largest Roman Catholic Church in Maine, and Lewiston's most prominent landmark. While the Diocese of Portland did not relocate to Lewiston, the church nevertheless became a basilica in 2004. It is one of the few American basilicas located outside of a major metropolitan area. Black and white photo of Lewiston factories c. 1910


Main article: Lewiston-Auburn Shoe Strike

In 1937, one of the largest labor disputes in Maine
history occurred in Lewiston and Auburn. The Lewiston-Auburn Shoe Strike lasted from March to June and at its peak involved 4,000 to 5,000 workers on strike. After workers attempted to march across the Androscoggin River from Lewiston to Auburn, Governor Lewis Barrows sent in the Maine
Army National Guard . Some labor leaders, CIO Secretary Powers Hapgood , were imprisoned for months after a Maine
Supreme Judicial Court judge issued an injunction seeking to end the strike.


Bates Mill and canal c. 1915

After World War I, profits from the textile industry in New England mill towns such as Lewiston, Biddeford , Manchester, New Hampshire , Waterbury, Connecticut , and Fall River , Haverhill , Lawrence and Lowell, Massachusetts began to decline. Businesses began moving to the South due to lower costs of power from more modern technologies (Lewiston's water wheel technology gave way to hydroelectricity , cheaper transportation (as most cotton and materials came from the South), and cheaper labor).

Starting in the late 1950s, many of Lewiston's textile mills began closing. This gradually led to a run-down and abandoned downtown area. Chain stores previously located downtown—Woolworth\'s , W. T. Grant , S. S. Kresge
S. S. Kresge
, JC Penney and Sears Roebuck —shut their doors or moved to malls on the outskirts of Lewiston or Auburn. The city's flagship department store, the four-story B. Peck "> Statue in Kennedy Park, Lewiston, commemorating fallen soldiers in the Civil War

In May 2004, the city officials announced a plan for urban renewal near the downtown area. The plan was to demolish several blocks of 19th-century millworker housing, lay new streets with updated infrastructure, construct more owner-occupied, lower-density housing, and build a boulevard through one neighborhood using federal Community Development Block Grant funds provided over a period of ten years. Some residents of the affected neighborhoods felt that the plan was initially announced with little input from them. They formed a neighborhood group called "The Visible Community", which has since been actively involved in the planning process, and resulted in cooperation between neighbors and city officials to redesign Kennedy Park , including input on the location of new basketball courts, and feedback regarding creation of the largest all-concrete skate park in Maine.

Downtown is home to a new headquarters for Oxford Networks, along with a $20 million upgrade in local fiber-optics, a new auto parts store, a campus of the for-profit Kaplan University , the headquarters for Northeast Bank , a parking garage, and the newly renovated Maine Supply Co. building, listed on the National Register of Historic Places . That facility is now called the Business
Service Center at Key Bank
Key Bank
Plaza, and is home to the local Chamber of Commerce
Chamber of Commerce
, the Lewiston-Auburn Economic Growth Council, and an arrangement with a number of business service providers.

The area's renaissance has gained local, regional, and national recognition. In 2002 and again in 2006, the L-A area led the state in economic development activity, according to the Maine
Department of Economic and Community Development's list of business investments and expansions. In a 2006 KPMG International study measuring the cost of locating and maintaining a business, Lewiston ranked first among the New England communities analyzed, and finished 24th out of 49 U.S. communities analyzed.

Lewiston earned a 2007 All-America City
Award designation by the National Civic League . The national competition "recognizes communities whose residents work together to identify and tackle community-wide challenges and achieve measurable, uncommon results." 10 cities are selected as All-America Cities each year.

In 2017, Forbes
Magazine named Lewiston one of its top 25 places to retire, citing relatively low cost of living, good access to medical care, and extremely low violent crime rate.


Hospital Square in c. 1910 Main articles: History of the Somalis in Maine
and History of the Bantus in Maine

In 1999, the United States government began preparations to resettle an estimated 12,000 refugees from the Bantu minority ethnic group in Somalia to select cities throughout the United States. Most of the early arrivals in the United States settled in Clarkston , Georgia , a city adjacent to Atlanta . However, they were mostly assigned to low rent, poverty-stricken inner city areas, so many began to look to resettle elsewhere in the U.S. Empire Theatre in 1907

Word soon spread that Lewiston had a low crime rate, good schools and cheap housing. Somalis subsequently began a secondary migration from other states to the former mill town, and after 2005, many Bantus followed suit.

In October 2002, then- Mayor
Laurier T. Raymond wrote an open letter addressed to leaders of the Somali community, predicting a negative impact on the city's social services and requesting that they discourage further relocation to Lewiston. The letter angered some persons and prompted some community leaders and residents to speak out against the mayor, drawing national attention. Demonstrations were held in Lewiston, both by those who supported the immigrants' presence and those who opposed it.

In January 2003, about 32 members of a white supremacist group from Illinois demonstrated in Lewiston to denounce Somali immigrants. This prompted a simultaneous counter-demonstration on the campus of Bates College to demonstrate support of the Somali community. The rally repudiating the white supremacists attracted 4,000 attendees, including governor John Baldacci , Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins and other officials. Mayor
Raymond was reportedly out of town on vacation on the day of the protests.

In August 2010, the Lewiston Sun Journal reported that Somali entrepreneurs had helped reinvigorate downtown Lewiston by opening shops in previously closed storefronts. Amicable relations were also reported by the local Franco-American merchants and the Somali storekeepers.


* Androscoggin Mill Block * Atkinson Building * Bergin Block * Bradford House * Captain Holland House * College Block-Lisbon Block * Continental Mill Housing * Cowan Mill * Dominican Block * Dr. Louis J. Martel House * Dr. Milton Wedgewood House * First Callahan Building * First McGillicuddy Block * First National Bank * Grand Trunk Railroad Station * Hathorn Hall , Bates College
Bates College
* Healey Asylum * Holland-Drew House * James C. Lord House * John D. Clifford House * Jordan School * Kora Temple * Lewiston City
Hall * Lewiston Public Library * Lewiston Trust and Safe Deposit Company * Lord Block * Lower Lisbon Street Historic District * Lyceum Hall
Lyceum Hall
* Maine
Supply Company Building * Manufacturer\'s National Bank * Marcotte Nursing Home * Oak Street School * Odd Fellows Block * Osgood Building * Pilsbury Block * Saint Mary\'s General Hospital * Savings Bank Block * Second Callahan Block * Sen. William P. Frye House * St. Joseph\'s Catholic Church * Basilica
of Saints Peter and Paul * Trinity Episcopal Church * US Post Office-Lewiston Maine
* Union Block


Kennedy Park in 2017

According to the United States Census Bureau , the city has a total area of 35.54 square miles (92.05 km2), of which, 34.15 square miles (88.45 km2) is land and 1.39 square miles (3.60 km2) is water. Lewiston is drained by the Androscoggin River
Androscoggin River
, which is located on its western border. The city is bordered by Auburn beyond the river, as well as the towns of Greene , Sabattus , and Lisbon . It is located between Portland , the state's biggest city and cultural center, and the state capital of Augusta .



Downtown Lewiston runs from Oxford Street up to Jefferson Street, and from Adams Avenue to Main Street. This is the most densely settled area of the city, home to about half the population. It contains mostly housing, although on Lisbon Street and Main Street, it is entirely businesses. This neighborhood was once the commercial hub of the whole county, but with the city's economic decline, many downtown stores closed and the former mill housing became run-down, resulting in fallen land values. But like many post-industrial centers, there has followed a period of renovation and revitalization that continues today. Kora Temple Shrine Lewiston City

This neighborhood includes:

* Lisbon Street Business
District * Country Kitchen Bread Factory * Kaplan University * Lewiston City
Hall * Bates Mill Complex * Lewiston Police Department * Kennedy Park * The Public Theatre * S.S. Peter and Paul Basilica * Agora Grand Event Center , formerly St. Patrick's Church * St. Joseph\'s Church * Central Maine
Medical Center * Railroad Park * Androscoggin Bank Colisée * Bourque's Central Market * Farmers Market

Webster Street Neighborhood

Consisting mostly of suburban mid-income housing, this neighborhood runs between Lisbon and Webster Streets, East Avenue, and Alfred Plourde Parkway. Schools that serve this neighborhood are Farwell Elementary, Martel Elementary, Lewiston Middle School, and Lewiston High School.

Pond Road Neighborhood

This neighborhood is bounded by the triangle formed by Pond Road, Randall Road, and Sabattus Street (Route 126). This neighborhood is mostly mid-income suburban residential. This area is served by McMahon Elementary, Lewiston Middle School, and Lewiston High School.




AVERAGE HIGH °F (°C) 29 (−2) 32 (0) 41 (5) 53 (12) 66 (19) 75 (24) 81 (27) 79 (26) 70 (21) 59 (15) 46 (8) 33 (1) 55.3 (13)

AVERAGE LOW °F (°C) 11 (−12) 13 (−11) 24 (−4) 34 (1) 45 (7) 55 (13) 61 (16) 60 (16) 51 (11) 41 (5) 31 (−1) 18 (−8) 37 (2.8)

AVERAGE PRECIPITATION INCHES (MM) 3.5 (89) 3.4 (86) 4.0 (102) 4.1 (104) 3.7 (94) 3.7 (94) 3.4 (86) 3.2 (81) 3.0 (76) 3.9 (99) 5.0 (127) 4.5 (114) 45.3 (1,151)

Source: Weatherbase




1790 532

1800 948


1810 1,038


1820 1,312


1830 1,549


1840 1,801


1850 3,584


1860 7,424


1870 13,600


1880 19,083


1890 21,701


1900 23,761


1910 26,247


1920 31,791


1930 34,948


1940 38,598


1950 40,974


1960 40,804


1970 41,779


1980 40,481


1990 39,757


2000 35,690


2010 36,592


EST. 2016 36,140




As of the 2010 census , there were 36,592 people, 15,267 households, and 8,622 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,071.5 inhabitants per square mile (413.7/km2). There were 16,731 housing units at an average density of 489.9 per square mile (189.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 86.6% White , 8.7% Black or African American , 0.4% American Indian and Alaska Native, 1.0% Asian , 2.0% Hispanic or Latino (of any race), 0.6% from some other race , and 2.6% from two or more races.

In 2010, there were 15,267 households of which 27.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.5% were married couples living together, 13.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.2% had a male householder with no wife present, and 43.5% were non-families. Of all households, 34.4% were made up of individuals and 12.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.90.

The median age in the city was 37.4 years. 22.1% of residents were under the age of 18; 12.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 24.1% were from 25 to 44; 25.3% were from 45 to 64; and 15.5% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.1% male and 51.9% female.


As of the 2000 census, there were 35,690 people, 15,290 households, and 8,658 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,047.0 people per square mile (404.2/km²). There were 16,470 housing units at an average density of 483.2 per square mile (186.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 95.7% White, 1.1% Black or African American, 0.3% American Indian and Alaska Native, 0.8% Asian, 1.3% Hispanic or Latino (of any race), 0.4% from some other race, and 1.7% from two or more races.

People of French-American descent were by far the most represented ethnic group in Lewiston, with 29.4% being of French-Canadian descent and 18.3% French (the two were listed as separate categories in the census although the vast majority were of French-Canadian descent). Following French were Irish at 10.2% and English at 9.9%.

There were 15,290 households out of which 25.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.9% were married couples living together, 11.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 43.4% were non-families. Of all households, 35.9% were made up of individuals and 13.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.17 and the average family size was 2.81.

The median income for a household in the city was $36,743, and the median income for a family was $46,289. Males had a median income of $38,881 versus $30,465 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,014. About 16% of families and 21.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 35.8% of those under age 18 and 17.7% of those age 65 or over.




English 24,250 72.51%

French 8,620 25.77%

Spanish 280 0.83%

Other languages 293 0.88%




Democratic 10,400 42.11%

Unenrolled 8,636 34.97%

Republican 4,307 17.44%

Green Independent 1,351 5.47%

TOTAL 24,694 100%



* Central Maine
Medical Center : Founded by Edward H. Hill in the mid-1860s CMMC (Central Maine
Medical Center) is located downtown at High Street. The campus includes several large parking facilities, a LifeFlight of Maine
helipad. In recent years the hospital has created the Central Maine
Heart and Vascular Institute, and the Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope and many affiliated long-term care facilities, clinics and practices throughout central and western Maine. The current president of the hospital chain is Peter E. Chalke. The Central Maine
Medical Family is located a block away from the hospital on Bates Street in the Lowell Square Building, a refurbished textile factory. CMMC recently underwent major renovations to their emergency department. The Lewiston Sun Journal on Park Street * Country Kitchen Bakery: Country Kitchen is located in downtown between Lisbon and Park streets. Country Kitchen currently services all of the United States. It operates a second factory a few hundred feet away between Canal
and Lincoln streets. * Walmart
Distribution Center: Walmart
currently operates a 485,000-square-foot (45,100 m2) warehousing facility in Lewiston. It is the state's largest facility, and is one mile (1.6 km) from exit 80 on I-95 on Alfred M. Plourde Parkway. This facility currently services all New England Walmarts. * Sun Journal : The Sun Journal is a daily newspaper that is headquartered on Park Street. It operates several different offices throughout Central and Western Maine. In Androscoggin County it prints the City
Edition, news about the Lewiston-Auburn area. They also print the Oxford County, Franklin County, and State Editions. It is the third largest newspaper in the state. * Modula - System Logistics: An engineering and manufacturing company which designs and builds automated storage equipment used in distribution centers around the country.


* Downtown Lisbon Street: Lisbon Street is the commercial and government center of Lewiston. In its downtown section, it features many law offices, the city library, the district court, several pawn shops , Senator Susan Collins ' office, several stores created by and for the Somali community, and a variety of restaurants and shops including Forage Market, The Vault, Gallery 5, Marche, Niky's, FUEL, Orchid, Mother India, and Bear Bones Brewery. Downtown Lisbon Street is also home to the Emerge Film Festival as well as Art Walks on the last Friday of each month during summer. * Upper Lisbon Street: Past downtown features several malls, including the Lewiston Promenade Mall and the Lewiston Mall. There are also many chain restaurants, some car dealerships, and many other private businesses.


A home in Lewiston, off Main-street

Main St. in Lewiston is US-Route 202, ME-Route 11, and ME-Route 100.

* Downtown Main Street: Main Street starts near the downtown area at the Governor James B. Longley Memorial Bridge, which crosses from Auburn. Crossing into Lewiston, one passes Veterans Memorial Park, a large park on the waterfront that commemorates all veterans. Next is a small hydro-plant that was used to power the textile mills located on Canal
Street. After the canal bridge there is the downtown section of Main Street. It features the L.L. Bean
L.L. Bean
Call Center located in the Peck Building, a TD Bank branch, the former St. Joseph's Church, Central Maine
Medical Center, in addition to many other businesses. * Upper Main Street: Past downtown there are several businesses and several chain stores and restaurants, but it is mostly residential. The street is lined with large 19th century Victorian mansions, some of which remain houses and some which have been converted into doctors' offices.


According to Lewiston's 2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:


1 Central Maine
Medical Center 2,381

2 St. Mary\'s Health System 1,798

3 TD Bank 1,026

4 Bates College
Bates College

5 Walmart

6 Affiliated Computer Services 500

7 McKesson 440

8 Geiger 322

9 Liberty Mutual 307

10 Lepage Bakeries 303



* The Lewiston Public Library has played a major role in the emerging culture of Lewiston. It was renovated and expanded in 1996. The library is located downtown on the corner of Lisbon Street and Pine Street and has over 100,000 books in its collection. Recently, it has opened the Marsden Hartley Cultural Center, holding various events such as concerts and film festivals.

Bates College
Bates College
Museum of Art


* Museum L-A: Museum L-A is a museum in a former textile factory building. It honors the people who worked and lived in this community. At Museum L-A visitors can walk through a simulated production line, then view exhibits covering the textile, shoe, and brick industries that once thrived in Lewiston and Auburn. The museum is currently located in Bates Mill Number 4 in the Bates Mill Complex. In June 2009 the museum acquired Camden Mill and plans on moving to those facilities once it is refurbished. * Bates College
Bates College
Museum of Art: Located on the Bates College
Bates College
Campus, the Bates College
Bates College
Museum of Art features a wide variety of art. The art students at this school create much of this city's art life. * The Atrium Gallery: Located at the University of Southern Maine campus in Lewiston. This Museum features a wide variety of art. * Captive Elements Art House: Located at 223 Lisbon Street, displaying a collection of local artists' work.


The Franco Center opened in 2000 in what was formerly St. Mary's Parish. The performing arts center programs events for both Franco-American related performances as well as other cultural displays, such as the Center's Piano and Celtic Series. The diverse programming of the venue hosts both local and international performers. The Center also hosts events and serves as a museum of the city's Franco-American past with historical artifacts and documentation on display as well as a small library.


Lewiston also features The Public Theatre, which puts on different plays throughout the year with about six to eight productions per season. It is located downtown on Maple St. It was formerly located on Park street. It features all types of plays, with actors from all over the world. Its offices are located in Auburn at the Great Falls Plaza.


Emerge Film Festival

The Emerge Film Festival was first held in June 2014 in downtown Lewiston and Auburn.

The Great Falls Balloon Festival

The Great Falls Balloon Festival is an event that is held one weekend in August every year. The Festival includes launching of balloons, games, and carnival rides. The launch sites take place at several open parks on the Lewiston-Auburn Androscoggin Riverfront. People come from all around the country and Canada to see the festivities.

Festival Franco

Formerly known as Festival de Joie, Festival FrancoFun is held annually at the Androscoggin Bank Colisée and is a celebration of the city's Franco-American heritage. The festival features performances from French-Canadian musicians as well as native French-Canadian food .

Liberty Festival

Held on July 4 of each year, the festival is the name given to the fireworks event over the Great Falls of the Androscoggin River
Androscoggin River
in between the twin cities. The fireworks are launched in West Pitch Park in Auburn. Major viewpoints of the fireworks are Veterans Park, railroad Park and Great Falls Plaza in Auburn.

Patrick Dempsey Challenge

Lewiston hosts the annual Dempsey Challenge, which began in 2009. The event, hosted by Lewiston-native Patrick Dempsey , in a run/walk and cycling fundraiser for cancer research. In its opening year the event raised over one million dollars. The event has attracted famous athletes from all around including participants in the Tour de France . All the proceeds go to the Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope at the Central Maine
Medical Center.



The center of sports in Lewiston is the Androscoggin Bank Colisée (formerly known as the Central Maine
Civic Center). The Lewiston Maineiacs , the only American team in the Quebec
Major Junior Hockey League played their first season in 2003–2004 and dissolved the team after the 2010–2011 season. The Colisée is also the home to the state Class A and Class B high school hockey championships each year. The city as a whole is known for its strong passion for the game of hockey, likely related to its French American heritage. Two Lewiston schools, Lewiston High School and St. Dominic Regional High School (now located in Auburn), combine for over half of the state class A high school hockey championships in the state's history. During the 2013–14 American Hockey League season, the Portland Pirates will play their first 12 home games at the Colisée while the Cumberland County Civic Center is being renovated.


In May 1965, Lewiston became the venue for a World Boxing Association heavyweight title rematch between Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali
and Sonny Liston
Sonny Liston
; Ali had defeated Liston in a controversial fight in Miami Beach, Florida in February 1964, and the World Boxing Council was demanding an immediate rematch, which was against WBA rules. The rematch was originally planned to be held in Boston
, but was halted by Massachusetts
boxing authorities due to licensing issues. Promoters were eventually able to frame a lucrative deal moving the fight to the Colisée in Lewiston. As the venue held less than 3,700 spectators, only 2,434 fans were present, setting an all-time record for the lowest attendance for a heavyweight championship match. The fight was the scene of the famous photograph of Ali standing over Liston taunting him with his glove.


Main article: Lewiston Maineiacs

The Lewiston Maineiacs were a major junior hockey team that played in the Quebec
Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL)/la Ligue de hockey junior majeur du Québec (LHJMQ). The Maineiacs moved to Lewiston in 2003 from Sherbrooke
, Quebec
and were the only team in the QMJHL located in the United States. They played their home games at the Androscoggin Bank Colisée in Lewiston. In 2006–2007, the Maineiacs won the Jean Rougeau Trophy for having the best record in the QMJHL, won the President\'s Cup as QMJHL playoff champion, and represented the league at the 2007 Memorial Cup . Several Maineiacs alumni have played in the National Hockey League , including Jaroslav Halák , Jonathan Bernier , David Perron , and Alexandre Picard .


Main article: Maine

The Maine
Nordiques were a professional hockey team that operated within the North American Hockey League from 1973 to 1977. They were based at the Central Maine
Youth Center in Lewiston. The Nordiques served as a farm club for the Quebec
Nordiques of the World Hockey Association .


Lewiston's public education system has recently seen a number of new buildings constructed for Farwell Elementary School and Pettingill School, now replaced with the 600 Student capacity Geiger Elementary School. Plans to redo the cities Thomas J. McMahon School are under way. Bates College
Bates College
, located in central Lewiston

The city is also home to, and often associated with liberal arts, Bates College
Bates College


* Maine
College of Health Professions * Bates College
Bates College
* University of Southern Maine
- Lewiston/Auburn Campus * Central Maine
Community College - Auburn * Kaplan University


Lewiston Public Schools operates public schools.

* Lewiston High School (9-12) 1,446 students * Lewiston Regional Technical Center (9-12) * Lewiston Middle School (7-8) * Farwell Elementary School (K-6) * Raymond A Geiger Elementary School (K-6) * Governor James B Longley Elementary School (K-6) * Martel School (K-6) * Montello School (K-6) * Thomas J McMahon Elementary School (K-6)


* The Discovery School (PK-12) * Saint-Dominic Academy * Vineyard Christian School (PK-12)



* Lewiston Sun Journal prints a daily newspaper in four different editions statewide. The Sun Journal was the recipient of the 2008 New England Daily Newspaper of the Year and the 2009 Maine
Press Association Newspaper of the Year. * Lewiston Evening Journal ran from 1866 to 1987. * The Twin City
Times is a free weekly newspaper printed in Auburn. It is publicly available in Lewiston as well. It features local news, and short articles.


Lewiston is part of the Portland television market , and receives all major channels in that market. WGME-TV and WCSH both have local bureau in the city, and are located across the street from each other on Main Street.


Lewiston is part of the Portland radio market , and receives most major stations in that market.

* WFNK 107.5 FM ( Frank FM ) is licensed to the City
of Lewiston; however they broadcast from the Time and Temperature Building in Portland. * WRBC 91.5 FM is Bates College's radio station. * WLAM 1470 AM is an adult-standards/oldies station owned by Bob Bittner, of Bath, Maine



Public Transportation

The city of Lewiston uses the Citylink or Purple Bus system. Passengers use Citylink in collaboration with Auburn and Lisbon.

The downtown shuttle is the only line that requires no fare at all. It runs through the downtown of both Lewiston and Auburn. It maintains only one line that goes into Lisbon. The Citylink services on average approximately 235,000 people a year.

Roadways And Major Routes

* Interstate 95 : Formerly Interstate 495 , runs through Lewiston. It is Exit 80 in Lewiston. Exit 80 exits out onto Alfred Plourde Parkway in the Industrial Park. Provides fast connection to Portland being 45 minutes away, Bangor which is two hours away, and Boston which is two hours away. * U.S. Route 202 : Main Street in Lewiston is 202 as well as ME-Route 11, and ME-Route 100. It runs straight through the center of downtown to the business parks outwards of town, and the northern Lewiston suburbs. Connects Lewiston to Auburn and Greene. Provides fast transportation to Augusta and Kennebec Valley. * Maine
State Route 196 : Starts in Lewiston at U.S. Route 202, Main Street. In Lewiston it is Canal
Street, which turns into Lisbon Street. This route connects Lewiston to Lisbon, and makes easy access to the towns of Topsham, and Brunswick. This route ends on U.S. Route 1 in the City
of Brunswick, Maine
. It connects to Interstate 295 in Topsham. * Maine
State Route 126 : Starts in Lewiston at US Route 202, Maine Street. In Lewiston it is Sabbatus Street. It connects Lewiston to the town of Sabbatus.


* Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bridge: Built in 1973 to commemorate the veterans of the Vietnam War . It connects Lewiston to Auburn. It provides fast transportation from Russell Street, and Main Street to Auburn's Mt. Auburn Ave, and shopping centers on Center Street and the Mall Area. * Governor James B. Longley Memorial Bridge: Connects Main Street in downtown Lewiston to Court Street in Downtown Auburn. Named after Lewiston resident and Governor of Maine
James B. Longley . * Bernard Lown Peace Bridge: Connects Little Canada and New Auburn. Starts in Lewiston as Cedar Street and starts in Auburn as Broad Street. Commemorates former Lewiston resident and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Bernard Lown .

Airports And Bus Station

* Auburn/Lewiston Municipal Airport : The official airport of the two cities. It currently provides general aviation facilities. Although the city is serviced by an airport, most people use the Portland International Jetport for commercial flights in and out of the state. * Oak Street Bus Station: Greyhound Lines operates a bus line out of Lewiston. The bus lines go as far as Bangor and Boston. From those two destinations more travel opportunities are available.


* Franco-Americans portal

Main article: List of people from Lewiston, Maine


* The Farmers\' Almanac is printed in Lewiston. * Lewiston is the setting for the fictitious Kingdom Hospital
Kingdom Hospital
, featured in the thirteen-episode miniseries developed by horror writer Stephen King . In 1999 when King was struck by a car while walking in Lovell, Maine
, he was flown by helicopter and treated at Central Maine
Medical Center in Lewiston. In the mini-series, the hospital is built on the site of a textile mill which made military uniforms during the Civil War , which the Bates Mill and other Lewiston textile factories actually did. King attended elementary school in the nearby town of Durham, Maine
and high school in the neighboring town of Lisbon Falls, Maine
* Twins Francis Edgar Stanley and Freelan O. Stanley invented the photographic dry plate process, that they used in their studio on Lisbon Street in the late 19th century. They later sold the patent to a company that became Eastman Kodak . They eventually went on to invent the Stanley Steamer .


* ^ A B "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau . Retrieved November 23, 2012. * ^ A B "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017. * ^ Brault, Gerard J. (1986). The French-Canadian Heritage in New England. UPNE. ISBN 9780874513592 . * ^ "Lewiston, Maine
Charter". Archived from the original on 2016-12-30. * ^ "Population per square mile, 2010". www.census.gov. Retrieved 2017-05-10. * ^ "Lewiston and Auburn, Maine
About Bates Bates College". www.bates.edu. Retrieved 2017-05-10. * ^ A B "Lewiston is one of the best places to retire in the US, according to Forbes". Retrieved 2017-04-25. * ^ A B "25 Best Places to Retire in 2017". Retrieved 2017-04-25. * ^ "In Maine, a little French goes a long way". Public Radio International. Retrieved 2017-05-10. * ^ "In Maine, A Common Language Connects French Canadians, African Immigrants". NPR.org. Retrieved 2017-05-10. * ^ "Little Lewiston, ME has 34 languages in the school system!". Refugee Resettlement Watch. 2016-05-08. Retrieved 2017-05-10. * ^ "Population per square mile, 2010". www.census.gov. Retrieved 2017-05-10. * ^ Writer, Edward D. MurphyStaff (2016-09-20). " Economic growth in Maine\'s cities slowed in 2015 - Portland Press Herald". Press Herald. Retrieved 2017-05-10. * ^ "Population per square mile, 2010". www.census.gov. Retrieved 2017-05-10. * ^ "Somali Community in Maine
Receives Support From Local Mayor". NECN. Retrieved 2017-05-10. * ^ Gibney, James (2015-11-10). "How a Somali community could help save Maine\'s economy - CentralMaine.com". Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel. Retrieved 2017-05-10. * ^ A B "Lewiston, Maine, Revived by Somali Immigrants". Newsweek. 2009-01-16. Retrieved 2017-05-10. * ^ "Lewiston-Auburn, ME Economy at a Glance". www.bls.gov. Retrieved 2017-05-10. * ^ "Population per square mile, 2010". www.census.gov. Retrieved 2017-05-10. * ^ A B C D Coolidge, Austin J.; John B. Mansfield (1859). A History and Description of New England. Boston, Massachusetts. pp. 188–191. * ^ Report on the Agencies of Transportation in the United States 1880 by United States Census Bureau (Washington DC: 1883). * ^ Alan Taylor, Liberty Men and Great Proprietors (1990), p. 239. * ^ A B C Johnson, Chase (1980). The Life of Benjamin E. Bates. Adams Media. * ^ Johnnett, R. F. (1878). Bates Student: A Monthly Magazine. Edmund Muskie Archives, Bates College, Lewiston, Maine: Bates College. p. 2. * ^ "Mr. Benjamin E Bates - Robin\'s Bates Mill Project". sites.google.com. Retrieved December 13, 2015. * ^ "Lewiston, ME - Official Website - The Future of Kennedy Park Gazebo". www.lewistonmaine.gov. Retrieved 2017-05-10. * ^ "Ali Vs. Liston The Night Lewiston, Maine
Can Never Forget - New England Today". New England Today. 2016-06-04. Retrieved 2017-05-10. * ^ Writer, Mark EmmertStaff (2015-05-24). "The Maine
moment that made Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali
- Portland Press Herald". Press Herald. Retrieved 2017-05-10. * ^ "Muhammed Ali Vs. Sonny Liston: The \'Worst Mess In History Of Sports\'". NPR.org. Retrieved 2017-05-10. * ^ Araton, Harvey (2015-05-19). "The Night the Ali-Liston Fight Came to Lewiston". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331 . Retrieved 2017-05-10. * ^ Elder, Janus G. A History of Lewiston, Maine
with a Genealogical Register of Early Families page 52. * ^ " Maine
Emigration and Immigration Learn FamilySearch.org". familysearch.org. Retrieved January 11, 2016. * ^ Chase, Harry. Bates College
Bates College
was named after Mansfield Man. Edmund Muskie Archives: National Resources Trust of Mansfield. p. 5. * ^ Varney, George J. (1886), Gazetteer of the state of Maine. Lewiston, Boston: Russell * ^ "September 1857: The Maine
State Seminary opens 150 Years Bates College". www.bates.edu. Retrieved 2016-02-21. * ^ "Bates College: A Brief History". Archived from the original on May 28, 2010. Retrieved 2010-01-12. * ^ Mary Caroline Crawford,The College Girl of America and the Institutions which make her what she is, (LC Page, Boston: 1904), pg. 284 * ^ "A Brief History 150 Years Bates College". www.bates.edu. Retrieved 2017-05-10. * ^ A B History of Lewiston, Maine
(municipal site) * ^ Voyer, Andrea M. (October 21, 2013). Strangers and Neighbors: Multiculturalism, Conflict, and Community in America. Cambridge University Press. pp. 155–. ISBN 9781107657748 . Retrieved November 19, 2014. * ^ "LEWISTON NAMED ALL-AMERICA CITY". Lewiston Auburn Maine
It's Happening Here!. Retrieved November 19, 2014. * ^ A B Perceived Barriers to Somali Immigrant Employment in Lewiston - A Supplement to Maine\'s Department of Labor Report * ^ A B "The New Yankees", Mother Jones , March/April 2004 * ^ The Great Somali Welfare Hunt * ^ A B C D " Maine
Somalis Generate Dueling Protests Small white supremacist group is outnumbered by 4,000 who show up to rally against racism.". Los Angeles Times. Associated Press. 12 January 2003. Retrieved 2 November 2016. * ^ Somali stores bring people back to Lisbon Street Lewiston Sun-Journal, August 30, 2010 * ^ "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau . Archived from the original on January 24, 2012. Retrieved November 23, 2012. * ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 29, 2011. Retrieved December 8, 2011. , accessed December 2007. * ^ Lewiston city, Maine
- Population Finder - American FactFinder * ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau . Archived from the original on August 15, 2014. Retrieved August 4, 2013. * ^ Modern Language Association Data Center * ^ "Registration and Party Enrollment Statistics as of January 7, 2015" (PDF). Maine
Bureau of Corporations. * ^ City
of Lewiston CAFR * ^ "Most Popular". CNN. * ^ " Maine
Nordiques Statistics and History". hockeyDB.com. Retrieved December 2014. Check date values in: access-date= (help ) * ^ " Bates College
Bates College
Best College US News". colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved March 21, 2016.


* Elder, Janus G., A History of Lewiston,