BIDDEFORD—On Friday, March 25 at 5:30pm, the Heart of Biddeford will kick off the third annual La Fête du Printemps, a weekend celebrating Franco-American culture, with a showing of several carvings by local folk artist Adelard Coté (1889-1974). In addition, hand-made childrens books written in French by First Level French students at Biddeford High School will also be on display.
Coté, born into a peasant farm family in Ste-Sophie, a small town near Quebec, became an accomplished blacksmith. He left Canada as a young man to seek his fortune and landed in Biddeford in the early 1900s, where he was hired by Pepperell Manufacturing Company as a blacksmith.
Coté’s desire for adventure unsatisfied, he left Biddeford for a brief stint working in a light bulb factory in New York City, and to wander the province of Manitoba and Saskatchewan before returning to Biddeford in 1920 to open his own blacksmith shop.