Monday, November 30, 2009

St Anne’s Church on Indian Island, Old Town, Maine

This is St Anne’s Church on Indian Island, Old Town, Maine. This picture shows the Convent, which on Google Earth, appears to be gone. The church is white in the photo and also shows white snow all around. Currently the church is brown.
I attended Mass there as a child. We used to walk across the old metal bridge, sometimes, as my home was not far away. The wind always seemed to blow down the Penobscot River so we were most always chilled even with hats pulled over our ears.
My Gephyrophobia, or bridge phobia, made the walk interesting to say the least.
They had a 5pm mass on Sunday that was very short (30 minutes and no singing). At the time there were no Saturday masses so you would see the people who would sleep in on Sunday or workers from the day shift at the pulp mill still in their work clothes and smelling of black liquor (like rotten eggs). The Indian children used to raise hell in the front pews at times and the priest would give them the evil eye. After mass we would walk home and look for something for supper (this was the only meal of the week you were on your own in my mother’s house)


New information:

National Register of Historic Places
(added 1973 - Building - #73000141)


  1. Ste-Anne (mother of Mary, grandmother of Jesus Christ) is particularly beloved of Acadians and First Nations people in Canada.
    Among the Native Americans it is probably because they already revered elderly, wise women so when the Catholic missionaries arrived they identified with her. I'm no expert on this subject but it's something I've read in several places and I found it interesting that this Maine church you're speaking of also served a native population.
    Evelyn in Montreal

  2. Hello Scott,
    Thank you once again for another fine entry in the Festival of Postcards. The latest issue has just been published at:
    and your St-Anne post is in the section "Postcards in the past tense".
    Evelyn in Montreal

    P.S. It would be helpful to readers if you could copy the permalink url into your post so they can navigate back and forth between the Festival and your post. Thanks!

  3. I read or heard somewhere that the British burned the church...Is that true? Thank you.
    Alice Carleton (born and grew up in Old Town)

  4. According to the website of the Catholic diocese of Portland (, St. Ann's on Indian Island is the oldest continuous site of Catholic worship in New England. The original church building dated to 1688 and was burned by the British in 1723. The currently-standing church was built in 1828-30.

    Liam in Bangor

  5. This church is special. I reside within walking distance and have known the priests during the last 20 years. Unfortunately the frequency of masses has declined due to the non availability of fathers to tend to their congregation. In the past much more cultural interaction with the members of the Penobscot Nation was practiced. Not so much any more.
    Walt (Old Town, ME)