The French-Canadians have been present in Maine since 1611. In the 1880's large numbers migrated to Augusta from Quebec Province. They were lured here by "quick money" they could make at the Edwards Mill. "When they first came, they had problems with the Irish from Boston" wrote a historian. Discrimination was prevalent. Street-fights and boycotts of the French area became common. Many of the French people could not speak English and became the lowest class of people in Augusta, boosting the Irish up a notch. They lived in mill housing and quickly filled up "the hill" as the North End of the City was called.
On the evening of September 21, 1922, a group of twenty-four Franco-Americans met in the basement of Morin's Shoe Store on Water Street in Augusta. The result of that informal meeting has become one of the foremost of Augusta's civic organizations.
At the first gathering they decided the club would coordinate the interests of its members and give the Franco-Americans a voice not only in the actions of its own group but also in the affairs of the community as a whole. The clubs' formal purpose: "The purpose of Le Club Calumet shall be for the propagation of the French language and intellectual development, by means of music, literature, education, and anything else the club shall judge beneficial to the interest of Franco-Americans."