Don Guillerault - click for larger photo. Photo credit: Journal Tribune.The Biddeford Mills Museum mourns the passing of Don Guillerault, one of the founding tour guides and Board Members, and the original Treasurer of the Biddeford Mills Museum since 2012.

Don passed away August 7th, 2017 at his home surrounded by his family. Don was born and raised in Biddeford. He completed the West Point Pepperell Apprenticeship program and went to work there. He worked at Fairchild Semiconductor and SD Warren before returning to West Point Pepperell where he remained the rest of his working life. Don was a member of Painchaud's Band and served on the Biddeford Housing Authority, the City Council and the School Board.

Don was an absolute treasure of history, gentility, honesty and dedication. His passion for Pepperell history knew no bounds and his tours were enjoyed by more than 1500 visitors over 4 seasons. He was a truly special individual and the Board and Staff Volunteers of Biddeford Mills Museum express its condolences to his family, friends, co-workers and anyone whose life was touched by Don. We will miss him dearly.

Please click here if you would like to make a donation in Don's memory to Biddeford Mills Museum.

 

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At one time, the textile mills in Biddeford, Maine were considered the heart of the York County region.

Poised on the banks of the Saco River, the extensive mill district hummed with activity, weaving together the lives and livelihoods of numerous individuals. The fabric of the community was based on pride in craftsmanship, strong work ethic, and innovation in production; these values ensured the long-term success of textile manufacturing in the city.

As time passed and the tides of fortune changed, the mills and the downtown area of Biddeford suffered from shifting economic forces in the United States and abroad.

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Yet beneath the visible emptiness of the mill buildings, a thread of hope ran through the memories and the stories of former mill workers; while the passion of visionary individuals resurfaced within the structures along the riverbanks.

Today, the Latin term resvrgam, embedded in the fence line of the North Dam Mill entrance, reminds visitors that the mills are ‘rising again’. The history of the people whose values established and sustained this region deserves to be documented, preserved, and shared. The Biddeford Mills Museum, through research, exhibits, programs, and events, will ensure that the rich heritage of the mills informs the generations to come.