Edmund S. Muskie Oral History Collection


Don Nicoll

Document Type

Oral History

Publication Date


Interview Number

MOH 051


Anne Freeman was born Anne Desjardins on November 21, 1912, in New Canada Plantation, Maine. Her parents were both at one-time schoolteachers, but were farmers when she was growing up. She attended the New Canada public schools until fifth grade, grade school at the convent in Fort Kent, Maine, and graduated from Fort Kent High School. After schooling, Anne began work for J.C. Penney in Fort Kent. There she met a clerk at the A&P by the name of Joe Freeman. Joe eventually became manager of the A&P, and they moved to Presque Isle. They bought a tea house in Presque Isle, expanded it, and renamed it the Presque Isle Grill. During World War II, they were busy feeding the soldiers that had returned from Europe, and they fed the prisoners that worked in the Northern Maine fields. In the late 1940s, they sold the restaurant and opened a Pepsi bottling plant in downtown Presque Isle. Anne and Joe were Democrats. They were strong supporters of Ed Muskie and the Democratic Party in Maine.

Scope and Content Note

Interview includes discussion of : Northern Maine during the Depression; Joe Freeman; getting into the restaurant business; operating a Presque Isle restaurant during WWII; becoming a Pepsi bottler; registering Democrat in Northern Maine; 1954 Democratic campaigns; Ed Muskie’s progression in politics; Joe Freeman’s political ambitions; and meeting the Muskies in Washington.

Use Restrictions

Copyright Bates College. This transcript is provided for individual Research Purposes Only; for all other uses, including publication, reproduction and quotation beyond fair use, permission must be obtained in writing from: The Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library, Bates College, 70 Campus Avenue, Lewiston, Maine 04240-6018.