The isolated people of Frenchville chopped lumber and farmed, and later they mined and worked on the railroad. The world left them alone and they stuck together. Most fascinating of all, for almost 150 years, their French language persisted.
Today, Frenchville is a shell of its former self. There is only one fluent French speaker remaining, and the fossil fuel industry is stripping or fracking away whatever clues there are to the past.
The people and places that I photographed during several periods of residency in the town served both as a reference to the past and a realization of the present.
In an attempt to see history in the present, these photographs are both a document of the end of this cultural enclave and a representative chronology of the history of the town. There are a cast of characters and a series of events that are sequenced in a way to tell the complete story of a place that came and went.
The voice of Nestor Bilotte