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On the Border: 1940

On the Border: 1940

October 1940. "International bridge between Calais, Maine, and New Brunswick, Canada." Crossing the Saint Croix River to the town of Saint Stephen. Medium format acetate negative by Jack Delano for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.


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All the better to process you with

This Google Earth photo supports the Google Street View provided by alexinv. Both sides now have much bigger facilities and vehicles on both sides are detoured through multiple lane checkpoints.

Big Changes

Having crossed over this border entry many times both as a child with my parents in the 1960s and then later as an adult, the changes from 1940 are remarkable. The US side has a small brick building that has changed little in my memory over those years, but as can be seen in the photo that was posted in the comments the Canadian side is much more elaborate now. As a Canadian, I always found re-entry into Canada a very unpleasant process as border service agents seem to assume you are lying regardless of what you tell them. I remember as a child in the '60s with my parents crossing back into Canada after a week or 10 days touring around New England, and having the agent do a complete search of our car with a fine-tooth comb. He seemed proud when he opened the cooler in the trunk and found a single can of Schlitz among the sodas and food items that my dad had forgotten about, and made him pour it out on the pavement. Jerk.

What scale is that?

It looks like a town built by a model railroad enthusiast. I bet it was a great place to live back then.

From Canada today

Both border control points are far more elaborate today. Google Street View came nowhere near the border on the US side, but it did on the Canadian side. The Canadian checkpoint on the left, and the bridge straight ahead.

Spelling question.

Is that the Canadian (British) spelling of Shorpy? Having had both parents grow up in Canada and many Canadian relatives, I became quite accustomed to the many variations in our spelling. And pronunciation.


Me thinks you typed too fast!

[Canadian spelling. - Dave]

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