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Aroostook Historical and Art Museum

Houlton POW camp

In 1944 a prisoner-of-war camp for captured German soldiers was established in Houlton with other satellite sites around the region. Many of the prisoners elected to work on local farms planting and harvesting potatoes, working in the woods and in a local food processing plant. Working for about a dollar a day, the same pay as a private in the German army, the POWs worked hard and were appreciated by the local residents.

POW farm workers, Houlton, 1944
POW farm workers, Houlton, 1944

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Aroostook County Historical and Art Museum

Prisoners-of-war also worked in the post exchange (PX). Seated on chairs are American civilian employees and U.S. Army soldiers.

Camp Houlton Post Exchange staff, 1945
Camp Houlton Post Exchange staff, 1945

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Aroostook County Historical and Art Museum

A German soldier who was a barber by trade served as the camp barber for the U.S. soldiers.

German barber, Camp Houlton, 1945
German barber, Camp Houlton, 1945

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Aroostook County Historical and Art Museum

In 1945, ten Camp Houlton prisoners of war built this bridge over Cook's Brook near Houlton.

Bridge over Cook's Brook, Houlton, 1945
Bridge over Cook's Brook, Houlton, 1945

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Aroostook County Historical and Art Museum

Some prisoners-of-war found relief from camp tedium through arts such as carving, jewelry making and painting which was sometimes given or sold to camp guards..

German POW painting, Houlton, 1945
German POW painting, Houlton, 1945

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Aroostook County Historical and Art Museum
Painting of Mont Saint Michel, ca. 1945
Painting of Mont Saint Michel, ca. 1945

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Aroostook County Historical and Art Museum