Historical articles from the ETRC
Articles from the ETRC Archives
Starting in 2011, the ETRC Archives began putting together a series of articles for the Sherbrooke Record on historical events, people and places in the Eastern Townships. Below you will find the articles that have already appeared this year. For articles that appeared in 2011, please click here. For articles that appeared in 2012, please click here.
Our most recent articles:
The Village of Lorne
Even a quick look through old maps and directories from the around the Eastern Townships will show a great number of place names that have long since disappeared. Some of them continue to live on through a road sign here and there, while others exist only in a few memories or on addressed envelopes from letters sent long ago.
One such place is the small village of Lorne, which was situated in Shipton Township, very close to the border of Tingwick. The biggest driving factor of the village was probably that it was situated along the Grand Trunk Railway and served as the railway station for Kingsey Falls. The village of Lorne was also sometimes referred to as Kingsey Station or Kingsey Siding because of this.
In the 1890s, it had a post office, a saw mill and a general store along with the station and could claim a population of 100. For a time, Lorne also had a one-room schoolhouse, which Ethel D. Pope taught at in 1908. The photograph here, which is not in great condition unfortunately, shows a class at the Lorne school from around 1904 and includes: Miss Brock, Winnifred Pope, Mabel Roy, Eva Pope, Norman Lay, Arthur Pope, Merreck Holigan, Winnie Holigan, Isabel Pope and Hattie Holigan. In her recollections of the schoolhouse at Lorne, Ethel wrote that it was closed around 1909. After obtaining her teaching degree from MacDonald College, Ethel moved out west and was a teacher in Manitoba for many decades.
Did your family once live in or around the Lorne/Kingsey Station area? Maybe you have some old photos or papers from the area? If so, please consider the ETRC Archives as an eventual, permanent home for these documents. Each document, whether it be a letter, photograph or ledger, helps to preserve the precious history of our region.
This article appeared in the Sherbrooke Record on 6 May 2013.
Loyalist Gilbert Hyatt and Ascot Township
The Hyatt family came to the United States from England in the mid-17th century. With the onset of the American Revolution, Abraham Hyatt and his family, then living in Schenectady, NY, supported the Loyalist side. In show of this support, he and two of his sons, Gilbert and Cornelius, enlisted with the King’s Loyal Americans.
As with many Americans, the Hyatt’s decision to remain loyal to the British crown left them the target of persecution, ridicule, and susceptible to the seizure of land and businesses. Around the late 1770s, Abraham Hyatt, his wife, and his ten children (Gilbert, Cornelius, Abraham, Jacob, Charles, Isaac, Joseph, Anna, Mary, and Merriam) took refuge in the province of Quebec.
After a proclamation permitting the colonization of the Eastern Townships, Gilbert Hyatt and 204 associates requested the Township of Ascot. In 1792, having obtained authorization to survey the township, Gilbert and many members of his family settled in. It was not until 1803, however, that he and 30 associates received the letters patent for the land. After close to a decade of delays and anticipation, many of the original petitioners were disqualified and still others received less than the usual 1200 acres. Receiving less than he had anticipated, Gilbert Hyatt found himself at a financial loss after having personally funded the surveying of the township and his settlement, along with the settlement of other families, in Ascot.
Gilbert Hyatt recognized the value of topography of the area and established a grist mill at the confluence of the Magog and St. Francis Rivers. The site was originally known as Hyatt’s Mills but was renamed Sherbrooke, after Sir John Sherbrooke, in 1818. Additionally, Gilbert Hyatt held a number of public offices. He was appointed as Justice of the Peace in 1806 and as Commissioner to administer the oath of allegiance to applicants for land in the Township of Ascot in 1808. He died in Sherbrooke on Sept. 17, 1823, at the age of 62.
This article appeared in the Sherbrooke Record on 22 April 2013.
The Grand Old Man of Dudswell
Reverend Thomas Shaw Chapman, once known as the Grand Old Man of Dudswell, spent much of his life as pastor of the congregation of St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Marbleton. Chapman was born in Richmond County on January 10th, 1824 to Thomas Chapman and Jane Armstrong. He studied to become a minister at Bishop's College, in Lennoxville, and helped fund his tuition through carpentry work as well as teaching. Chapman was ordained as an Anglican priest in 1848.
Following his ordination, Rev. Chapman ministered around Quebec as a travelling missionary for a year and spent part of this time at Grosse Isle during a cholera outbreak. His diaries from this time describe his experiences as he rode horseback from St. Hyacinthe, to Melbourne, to Clifton in his mission work. The reverend’s diary entries also describe the difficult conditions at Grosse Isle during the time of cholera, sometimes burying as many as 10 people a day.
In 1850, Rev. Chapman was appointed to parishes in Dusdwell and South Ham, Westbury, Stoke, Wotton, Weedon and part of Wolfestown. He married Jane Green Early on June 2nd, 1851. Together, the couple had five children: Edward, Henry, Mary, Nellie, and Carrie. Rev. Chapman’s focus was later directed to the parish of Dudswell where, beyond serving as a faithful pastor, he also worked tirelessly to improve the conditions of the rural roads, establish a local model school and advocated for railway service in the area. His ingenuity was recognized on at least one occasion when he was given an award for his design of a snow plow capable of making double-track winter roads. Rev. Chapman passed away February 29th, 1912 and is buried at the Saint Paul Anglican cemetery in Marbleton.
This article appeared in the Sherbrooke Record on 8 April 2013.
"Tim-ber!": Logging in the Townships
At end of the 1800s and early part of the 1900s, logging was the winter preoccupation for farmers in the Eastern Townships. Even today, it is not unusual for farmers to supplement their incomes with logging. A century ago, winter was a prime time to fell trees when frozen roads made the transport of heavy logs possible. Furthermore, without other crops to tend to, winter was the season when farmers had the time to go out to the woods.
Interestingly, even into the 1870s, with a limited demand for lumber and forests stretching for kilometres, fire was still the most common way for settlers to clear the land. However, with the arrival of steam-powered sawmills, other technological advances in sawmills, and the expansion of the railway network, the capacity of the people of the Townships to process and export lumber was significantly increased. As a result, the forestry industry grew significantly in the last few decades of the 1800s. After the trees were felled, they were “limbed out”, when branches would be cut off and the larger ones kept to be used as firewood. Teams of horses would take the logs to a nearby sawmill, to a railway siding, or to a river or lake to await the spring thaw and log drives.
Kathleen Waldron McLeod, recounting memories from her childhood in East Clifton, described logging as “what a farmer did between chore time and chore time once the snow fell. Even though the town had been incorporated for soe forty years, there was still tall, straight, virgin timber standing in the wood lots of every fram. And very often the farmer’s best cash crop.”
This article appeared in the Sherbrooke Record on 11 March 2013.
McCammon's General Store, Inverness
In the early 1860s, James and Margaret (nee Hall) McCammon emigrated from Ireland to Canada East, eventually settling in Inverness Township. Probably a newly married couple when they arrived, their two children were born in Quebec: Maria, around 1861, and John, in 1863. Although the McCammons were not among the earliest settlers, who were primarily Scottish, to Inverness, they made their mark on the economic history of the village of Inverness. When James and Margaret first arrived, James worked to provide for his family as a farmer and shoemaker but, by 1881, he had established himself as a hotel keeper, which he did until his death in 1901.
John McCammon, James and Margaret’s only son, married Mary Ann Whyte in 1887. Around that time, John set up his general store in Inverness, providing a wide variety of goods such as sugar, seed for crops, rice, boots, parasols, textiles, and, eventually, gas to the people of the area. Together, John and Mary Ann had seven children, six surviving to adulthood: John W., Margaret A., James H. (died as a baby), George D., Alexander M., Andrew D., and Harriet M. The McCammon General Store remained in the family, run by Andrew, until the mid-1940s when it was bought by Ernest Perreault. Later on, the Fradette family bought the store and eventually turned it into a grocery store.
This article appeared in the Sherbrooke Record on 25 February 2013.
The Photographs of Newton Brookhouse
Newton Brookhouse was born in Castletown, Lancashire, England on 22 July 1849. Upon finishing school, he went into business with his brother George in the paper industry, which led him to travel to Canada on a few occasions. In 1880, Brookhouse emigrated to Canada with his family. Settling in Montreal at first, he soon afterwards moved to Magog, where he bought Elder Mitchell's farm. In addition to farming and stock raising, he devoted himself to photography and much of his work depicts scenes from around Lake Memphremagog, in particular Georgeville and Magog. He died February 6th, 1917 at the age of 68 and was laid to rest in the Ives Cemetery on the Georgeville Road.
There are hundreds of Brookhouse photographs floating around and the ETRC is fortunate to have over 300 of his glass plate photograph negatives. The photographs include a number of views of the Magog texile mill, a few recognizable buildings and businesses (such as the Park House Hotel in Newport), and many unidentified portraits. If any readers, well-acquainted with the people of Magog and Georgeville’s past, would like to visit the ETRC to try to idenitify some of them or simply look at these interesting old photos, please contact us to arrange a visit.
This article appeared in the Sherbrooke Record on 11 February 2013.
The Henry Family of Lennoxville
For three generations, the Henry family held a notable place in Lennoxville’s community. It began with Charles Stewart Henry who was born in Hatley Township in 1820. He studied watchmaking in Montreal but then returned to Lennoxville to set up his watchmaking business with a small machine shop in the back. In 1846, he married Cynthia Bowen and they had four children together: George (1847-1908), Charles (1852-1853), Ella (1855) and Katherine Ellen (1856-1934). From the photographs we have that are stamped with “C. S. Henry, photographer,” it appears that Charles was also interested in photography. Charles Henry died in 1901 and is buried in Malvern Cemetery.
George Henry worked as a watchmaker at the Waltham Watch Company in the United States as a young man but later returned to Lennoxville to work in the family business: C. S. Henry & Son. Here he continued to make watches until his death in 1908. George married Elizabeth Burrill and they had two children: Charles William and Edward George.
Dr. Edward (a.k.a. Ned) G. Henry received a B.A. from Bishop's University and went on to receive his M.D. from McGill University in 1905. Around 1906, he established his medical practice in Lennoxville. In 1937, Edward moved his practice to Gould, Quebec and retired in 1959. With his first wife, Ethel Ward, he had three children: Terriff, Donald and Douglas. With his second wife, Mary Morrison, he had one child: George. Edward died in 1992 and is buried in Malvern Cemetery.
From the Henry family, we have an collection of views from Lennoxville, photographs of the family and of Bishop’s University. Included among the photographs shown here is one of Edward’s house in Lennoxville. Unfortunately, we don’t know where in Lennoxville it was located. If any readers recognize the house and can identify where it is, or where it might have been, please let us know!
This article appeared in the Sherbrooke Record on 28 January 2013.
UPDATE: With the help of readers, we were able to identify the location of Dr. Henry's house at 85 Queen Street in Lennoxville, which is now the offices of Robert Downey, notary. After Dr. Henry moved to Gould, the house was owned for a time by a Mrs. Knutsen and has had a number of owners in its lifetime.
Taking a 300-Year Look Back Into History
While at a party over the holidays, I was asked what the oldest document we have here at the ETRC was. At the time, I knew I had seen letters and legal documents from the 1790s in the course of my work and responded to my questioner with this general date. However, this made me curious: what is the very oldest original document we have? After a search through our database and going through some boxes, the verdict is in!
The oldest original document in the ETRC Archives is a deed of sale from 1671. The deed is between Charles Brown and his son, John Brown, and comes from Essex County in Massachusetts. This particular document is part of a collection from Annie Brown Fergusson, whose family later immigrated to Canada and settled in Windsor in 1806. Consisting largely of land deeds and wills, this collection includes a number of documents from the late 1600s and early 1700s.
However, one of the earliest documents we have from Quebec dates from 1783. It is a passport issued by Sir Frederick Haldimand, then Captain-General of Quebec, for the safe passage of John Savage and his brother from Quebec City to what was known as the “Loyal Blockhouse” on Lake Champlain. The purpose of the trip was apparently to bring their family effects to the Blockhouse. An American Loyalist, Savage fought for the British during the Revolutionary War and, later, in 1801 received a letters patent for Shefford Township. Savage remains a prominent figure in Townships history and is recognized for his contributions to the development of Shefford, in part by opening roads and organizing religious services. He also remained active in the militia as Captain of the 2nd Battalion of the Eastern Townships Militia.
This article appeared in the Sherbrooke Record on 14 January 2013.