History and Heritage

Dance to the moon

After spending part of the summer on the lower Great River (the Ottawa River), where she was about to reach the majestic Magtogoek (the walking path, now the St. Lawrence River), Tête de Huard had returned to his camp on the lake, which the French would call Saint-François-Xavier.  He was not with his daughter, Trout agile; for the past five years, she had been with the family of the man she had met at the summer camp. The Algonquin, unlike the Iroquois, lived under a patriarchal regime. They already had two boys and a daughter, of whom Tête de Huard and his wife were most proud. They would help ensure the survival of the Weskarinis, who had been decimated by the diseases brought by the Whites and by wars with their better armed traditional enemies, the "Bad snakes".

As a nomadic people living on land that was unsuitable for farming, the Algonquin had little practice in cultivating the soil. Instead, our man spent the week hunting with his cousin's band. The Canada Geese and White Geese that were passing through had partly paid the price. Many beavers had also been trapped along the streams that flowed into the Lake and its tributaries. "The watersheds (?) were the basic units of traditional land management, serving as territorial boundaries for families, bands and tribes" (Wikipedia).  Nothing would be lost of the beaver, whose flesh was prized. In the next summer, the skins of these rodents would have great value in exchange for the tools and weapons the French possessed. They would keep some of it to make winter clothing. 

They had also managed to kill two moose that a warrior had seen in a dream. The latter would ensure that the small band would have ample food supplies for the coming weeks. In addition, their wives and daughters "traditionally responsible for domestic chores, children, making clothes, gathering or preparing animal meat" (Wikipedia) might well garnish the dishes that would be shared during the Moon Dance Festival, the one that happens around what the white people call the Autumn Equinox. This hunt, along with the spring hunt, was the most fruitful, but the Algonquin would continue this activity throughout the winter with their snowshoes on. Fish, fresh or dried, would not fail to complete the menu.   

The "Moon Dance in honour of Grandmother in early fall" was part of the Algonquin ceremonies to mark the times. Tête de Huard would take time to perfect his make-up; to adjust his ceremonial dress and distinctive headwear feather. He would often ask for the "talking stick" during the feast, which would bring the whole group together, thus avoiding the cacophony that could result from the absence of any rules; anyone would then have to raise his hand to be allowed to interrupt him. (Couldn't this custom replace the current rules that govern our municipal sessions?) Only the cry of the loon, which would be late in following the geese, could be accepted as derogation... He would not speak for more than a pipe smoking (half an hour). He would evoke the highlights of the hunt. He would thank the master-spirits who guided them to the animals to be killed, while blessing the protector of each warrior. And then, one would sing around the fire while playing the drum.

For a few days, the forest landscape of hills and valleys all around began to display a splendid color palette where reddish hues would dominate. Then the leaves would accumulate on the ground. Would winter be mild or difficult? You had to rely on Grand Manitou and make sure you had plenty of food, firewood, hides and other necessities to prepare for it.      

  By Carl Chapdelaine

Sources : Fall 2010 Newsletter

Translation with DeepL & Linguee.

Heritage at risk?

In the Heritage dossier of its latest issue of La Mémoire, the Société d'histoire et de généalogie des Pays-d'en-Haut presents the work of Mrs. Christiane Brault, who has returned to the Board of Directors as DG. "In the last two years, I have conducted inventories of buildings of interest, traced the history of people who have marked our landscape and unearthed unpublished documents".

There have already been many calls for photos, stories of old Montfort families, anecdotes, etc.; they have largely contributed to the notoriety of the famous Newsletter of the Lake Saint-François-Xavier Association, whose disappearance is regrettable. Didn't Mrs. Brault follow the same approach, which she says allows us to reappropriate "a missing thread in our history and that of our ancestors"?

Aren't we aware that without an active and constant willingness to search for our past, without a collective effort to safeguard our houses or other heritage buildings, the stories of our ancestors or their photo collections, we risk letting a page of this history disappear forever?

In this last issue, Mrs. Brault focused on the presentation of several presbyteries in the region; those that have not been able to remain on their feet until today, as well as those that still exist. Their use had to be redefined, often as community centers as for churches of Wentworth-Nord. Today, the one in Sainte-Lucie-des-Laurentides, a superb building on Chemin des Hauteurs that has become a bed and breakfast, is for sale.
 Du Proprio

Translated with DeepL.

ByCarl Chapdelaine

The forgotten past

We were able to see the interest of Montfort residents in the history of its colonization or even a more recent past; it should not be less for the whole of Wentworth-Nord. Remarkable and praiseworthy efforts of authorities and enthusiasts have left us a few collections of photos and articles on history; not to mention the scholarly historical and genealogical publications of our national Fernand Janson... Mayor François Ghali has also let us foreseen, in August 2018, the possible creation of a small museum of ancient artifacts, taking advantage of the legacy of tools from the late municipal councillor Alary.

However, it is obvious that, as the years go by, part of this past is being erased forever. Pictures certainly lie dormant in precious albums owned by the descendants of the municipality's early settlers or in their own collections. For them, they may represent only a personal interest; they may well be buried with their owners on the last day of their lives.

The search for the route of the old Montfort colonization railway is one that has prompted several initiatives. Of course, the transformation of part of this route by the Aerobic Corridor is of a great help. Articles, published in La Mémoire, by the Société d'histoire et de généalogie des Pays-d'en-Haut and accompanied by current or archival photos, thus retraced the relocation of Montfort Junction. This research was coupled with all the appeal of the steam train and the entire infrastructure that goes with it here.

The life of the Orphanage, at the source of the birth of the village, aroused as much interest, if not more. The stories of the Montfortians may have been a valuable source of information here. The route and shape of the pipe feeding the old sawmill at Deer Lake, which we ourselves have studied, even became part of the analysis required by the inspection of the dam on Lake Saint-François-Xavier, which had been leaking lately.

We were given the opportunity to reproduce by hand the layout of the settlement roads on the Municipality's current main road network, using old plans published by Mr. Janson and a current topographical map. It was therefore of great interest to us to recently receive from Mr. Chris Teron, a vacationer at Lake Notre-Dame, in a property owned by his wife's family for 110 years, the announcement that he had surveyed the land, with GPS support, almost the entire route of the old road. It is a section leaving the current Route 329 and going to Laurel.

Among other sections of this settlement road, the one bypassing the head of Lake Saint-François-Xavier in the strip separating it from its tributary, Lac-à-la-Croix, no longer exists. That is where they now had to concentrate their research to complete this route and called for help. Without any precise documents at our disposal, we are of no help to them. Some long-time residents at the Lake and in the area may have in mind or otherwise have some information that could guide our passionate researchers. The old trace of this section may still exist on some private or public cadastral plan.

Whether for this project or for any other project that will help us retrace the past for future generations, don't be stingy with your old documents; leave a copy with a historical and genealogical society or any other entity that could immortalize them. Whether it is about what lived on the land or in the lakes, as the volunteers at CIEL so passionately encourage us to discover, we must not let it disappear forever...

By Carl Chapdelaine

La Mémoire from the SHGPH

This week saw the publication of the spring 2020 issue of La Mémoire, by the Société d'histoire et de généalogie des Pays-d'en-Haut; a publication that is always very much appreciated. For all those interested in the genealogy and history of this corner of the country, its colonization, the birth of its towns and villages, its institutions, its families and many other titles, the venerable collection of these Mémoires must be an invaluable source of information. They could be compared to an encyclopaedia that is still in development, thanks to the work of enthusiasts.

But the SHGPH is not only that. Located at the Chalet Pauline-Vanier in Saint-Sauveur, currently closed due to the Covid-19, it has archives; thanks to its invaluable volunteers, it organizes conferences; it undertakes research; it initiates projects throughout the region, some of which have involved Wentworth-Nord. If its website does not offer La Mémoire in Reading, it is hoped that, with some superior help, this treasure will one day be available to all Internet users.

Readers who live in the region, and even those who, like the undersigned, are just passing through, can enjoy the old photos, stories and anecdotes that fill the pages of this quarterly magazine. Unlike other scholarly publications, La Mémoire is designed to be easy to read, attractive in its presentation and short, yet content-rich articles. In each issue, there is bound to be more than one that will arouse your interest, whether it be the history of the steam train, the birth of the resort or, in the present, the story of the Curé Labelle, the former presbyteries, a blacksmith, etc., or the Aboriginal presence.

An article that appeared in the June 2005 issue, by the late André Tisson, is reprinted by Ms. O. Pinard in this publication; it dealt with the Sainte-Lucie-des-Laurentides-Doncaster 17 Mohawk Indian Reserve. The existence of this reserve was personally unknown to us until recently. But where did it come from? That's quite a story, and this article will tell you.

The family of young André Tison lived a mile from the reserve. The Mohawk guardian allowed the boy to go fishing for brook trout. He had taught him that the reason they were so small was that they reproduced among members of the same family. The article describes the birth of the first reserve on Mount Royal; the missionaries had managed to attract Indians from different tribes to this mission and had built huts for them. But the brandy sellers were prowling around and the protected people had to be taken away from their appetite. The reserve was found at Sault-au-Récollet, on the banks of the Des-Prairies River; then near Lac des Deux-Montagnes; then, with the help of the federal government, from Oka to Sainte-Lucie-des-Laurentides-Doncaster 17. The latter, a Mohawk hunting and fishing area, remains almost uninhabited.

But don't be fooled here by our shortcut with its rounded corners, get the magazine or borrow it from the Wentworth-Nord library, which must have a copy.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)


By Carl Chapdelaine

321 Chartier Street

History of the building located at the 321 Chartier Street
Wentworth-Nord (Montfort)

On April 2, 1891, the missionaries of Mary of Notre-Dame-de-Montfort obtained by Letters Patent, lots 5 and 6 in the 11th rank. Lot 6 includes a large part of the village of Montfort today and lot 5, located further east, is a wooded area. 

Félix Cyr, born in the Mirabel area, is the son of François-Xavier and Sophie Kavanagh. The "Cyr" family is one of the pioneering families in the Montfort sector. In 1881, François-Xavier and Sophie are settled near Lake Pelletier in the 4th rank with their 6 children. On January 27, 1890, at the age of 22, Félix Cyr married Malvina Forget at the Notre-Dame-des-Nations parish in Montfort. This couple is among the first to get married in Montfort. Indeed, the building of the orphanage opened its doors in June 1885. In the autumn of 1900, Felix already has a family of 5 children. He decides to buy land to eventually build a house.

It is Father Armand Bouchet, Senior Priest in Notre-Dame-de-Montfort, who deals with real estate transactions. The land sold - 74 feet front by 208 feet deep - has no building, however, Felix must build a house or dependence within 2 years. Despite the abolition of the seigneurial regime of New France in 1854, the missionaries of Mary behaved like lords by demanding to be paid in perpetuity an annual rent of $3 on a capital of $75, at 4% / year, and this, as long as the buyer has not paid back the principal and interest in one amount! But Felix Cyr will not keep this land long.

In the summer of 1902, sawyer Ferdinand Migneron buys this land; but there is no mention of whether there is a house or an outbuilding on it. Seven years later, Marie Elmire Leclaire, of Montreal, acquires the land on which there is now a wooden house. Ferdinand Migneron continued his route towards Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts. Marie Elmire is renting the house to the Montreal tramway operator, Désiré Vézina, for a few years.

On August 15, 1914, Marie Elmire died, and her husband Édouard Thomas Lachambre, as heir, took over the house. Édouard works in Montreal as a manager. In the winter of 1915, he took a second wife, Ernestine Cloutier. In doing so, Edward gives his wife Ernestine the house located on the village road in Montfort.

Two years later, Ernestine sold her Montfort property for $100 to Albertine Labrecque, the wife of Montreal lawyer Arthur Zénon Morin. This land no longer has any construction! What happened? There is no doubt that the fire quickly made the pioneer hut disappear. At the instigation of Mrs. Labrecque, it is built a second home, possibly in 1918-1919. This is the house we can admire nowadays with an addition on the west side. On June 10, 1941, at the resale of the house, all the furniture is included, minus a plan(?), a library and a spinning wheel.

In 2019, this house will not be far from 102 years old.
By Fernand Janson
Google Translate and Linguee

Société d’Histoire et du Patrimoine des Trois Villages

(Montfort, Laurel et Saint-Michel de Wentworth)

Roads and Cross

Wood cutting in the area of Montfort in the 1850s? 

With the help of this plan it is possible to see an old road that followed the line of divisions VII and VIII of the Township of Wentworth. This road started from Morin Township just north of Lake Anne and entered Wentworth Township in a westerly direction to Lake Theodore in the Laurel area. Today, the road to Lake Gustave could be the beginning of this old forest road?  A

Another forest road from the township of Morin crossed Range X in a westerly direction. B It continued its course north of Lake Sixteen Islands. A branch near Lake Chapleau was heading south, skirting the Black Lake from the west, and ending up north of Lac Argenté. Maybe the French Canadian pioneers of the Laurel colony had used this forest road to get to their lots? Today, a part of this forest road would correspond to Jackson Road?

First patented letters issued for rank VIII :

Rang Lots Surface (Acres) Date Propriétaires
VIII 6 A ½ est 82,5 1846-10-08 Catherine Buley, widow of Charles Buley
VIII 10 A 1/2 ouest 84,5 1845-07-10 John Gray
VIII 13 A ouest 100 1846-08-24 Francis Kerny
VIII 14 A ½ est 100 1845-04-15 James Dowlan
VIII 14 B ½ ouest 100 1845-09-15 John Barry
VIII 15 A ½ ouest 94,5 1846-04-01 Andrew Smith
VIII 17 B ouest 100 1845-07-23 John King

South of Lake St. François-Xavier, the plan indicates a sign, a cross! Is it likely that someone died there? Unfortunately, for now we have no idea who this cross could match. However, this story has persisted because just south of Lake Saint-François-Xavier, there is a small lake that bears the name "Lac à la Croix"!
Google Translate and Linguee

By Fernand Janson

Société d’Histoire et du Patrimoine des Trois Villages

(Montfort, Laurel et Saint-Michel de Wentworth)

373 Principale

History of the building located at the 373 Principale

Wentworth-Nord (Montfort)

The global economic crisis of the 1930s is an economic and social shock that leaves millions of unemployed, homeless and needy people in Canada. The "dirty 1930s" hit few countries as hard as Canada because of its dependence on exports of raw materials and agricultural products and a devastating drought on the Prairies. The loss of jobs and incomes across the country leads to the creation of social assistance and various grassroots movements. In addition, it forces the government to play a more active role in the economy.1

The Laurentians are not spared from this crisis. In the village of Montfort, the County Council of Argenteuil has no choice; it must sell hundreds and hundreds of small lots at the auction for unpaid taxes. People who have money benefit from buying lots. Walter Reid is one of those. In the 1930s, he acquires a significant amount of lot in the ranks 10 and 11 of the area of Montfort and becomes one of the most important landowners of the village.

In October 1937, Walter sold a plot of 721 square meters to John F. Gilbey. Walter puts a rather special clause in the conditions of sale. It requires: "... not to erect buildings unless they are finished and painted in neat style on the outside and each building must have a front porch and no four bare walls will be allowed! It is for this reason that this building now has a beautiful large gallery on the side of the Principale.

The construction of this house began in 1938 at the instigation of Mr. John F. Gilbey.

By Fernand Janson

1. Encyclopédie Canadienne
Google Translate

Société d’Histoire et du Patrimoine des Trois Villages

(Montfort, Laurel et Saint-Michel de Wentworth)

188 rue Principale

Historique de l'immeuble situé au 188 route Principale
Wentworth-Nord (Montfort) 

This building is located at 188, Route Principale in the Montfort sector. The year of its construction is not easy to determine. There are two possibilities.

Pierre Forget, known as Latour, frequents the area of Montfort since at least 1883. On February 23, 1884, he had his first son, Pierre Joseph Albert, baptized at Notre-Dame-des-Nations (Montfort). He is a day-worker. On April 9, 1883, Pierre Forget married Dorsina Hébert in St-Sauveur-des-Monts. This couple will have a large family. The 1901 census tells us that this household lives in Montfort with their 8 children.

In 1904, he bought a first piece of land between the public road and the railway. In 1909 he bought a second lot contiguous to the first, but this time he had to build a house within two years. These lands are grouped and give a length of 220 feet on the side of the railway.

In 1946, the Municipal Corporation of Argenteuil puts this land on sale, for unpaid taxes; without specifying if there is any building on it. Walter Reid buys the land for $ 91.18. At that time, the prescription on a building (land with or without a house) seems to be of 10 years, because it is only in 1956 that the building is released.

The following year, on April 27, 1957, Walter Reid sold this building, on which there are other buildings, to Edward Gutwin.
The question to ask is: Was the building we see today built by Pierre Forget, known as Latour, in the 1910s or by Walter Reid in the years 1946?

Par Fernand Janson

With the use of Google Translate and Linguee

Société d’Histoire et du Patrimoine des Trois Villages 

(Montfort, Laurel et Saint-Michel de Wentworth)

Eustache Leduc and Agnès Matte's house

Historique de l'immeuble situé au 60, chemin Old Settlers Ouest
Wentworth-Nord (Montfort)
(Eustache Leduc and Agnès Matte’s house)

On January 16, 1849, at the age of 23, Eustache Leduc firstly married Éléonore Guenette of Saint-Janvier (Mirabel). Unfortunately, on February 20, 1851, Éléonore died as a result of her second delivery. With a new born on the arms and a young child of barely a year, Eustache does not have much choice; he must find a nanny and a mother for her children. Seven months after this tragedy, he married in second marriage, Aurélie Cyr in St-Janvier. Eustache Leduc and Aurélie Cyr will remain in St-Janvier until 1860. The following year, they settle in Saint-Sauveur-des-Monts where they will have 7 children. In the early 1885, this couple settled in the north-eastern part of the Wentworth Township (Sector of Montfort), more precisely on lot 3 in the 11th rang (river lot). They are building a house in the woods not far from Lac Pelletier. In the fall of 1891, Aurélie Cyr died at the age of 59. She had given birth to 14 children ... On February 17, 1893, Eustache Leduc married, as his third wife, Joséphine Hotte in Montfort. She is widow of Moïse Lavictoire. Eustache will live another ten years before dying in 1903 at the age of 77 in Montfort.

The Patriarch, Eustache Leduc, was not alone in this isolated forest. His brother Jean-Baptiste Leduc lives on lot 2 in the 2nd rang and his son, Eustache Leduc, lives on lot 1 in the 11th rang just on the border of Morin (Morin Heights) and Wentworth (Montfort) townships. Eustache Leduc marries Agnès Matte, February 8, 1875, in Saint-Sauveur-des-Monts. At the 1881 census, this couple already has three young boys. This family will also be very productive for the "race" with their 16 children ... In 1908, after more than 25 years of hard work, Eustache passes the torch to his son Josaphat. He gives him the gift of the house, the land and all the livestock. The mother of the family, Agnès Matte, gives up the soul in 1910 at the age of 55 and will be buried in the Montfort cemetery.

Two years later, Eustache secondly marries Cyrilda Forget in Saint-Adolphe-d'Howard. He will be buried in Ferme-Neuve in 1923 at the age of 71. As for his wife, Cyrilda Forget, she died November 15, 1936 in Ste-Agathe-des-Monts at the age of 72 years.

Josaphat Leduc, the eldest of the family, was born on November 5, 1875 in Saint-Sauveur-des-Monts. He married Alexandrine Lafantaisie in 1907 in Montfort. This home will have two girls and a boy. Josaphat is not made for agriculture. On October 16th, 1911, three years after having received by donation the farm of his father, he sells everything: house, barns and outbuildings at "Compagnie d'immeuble Richelieu", represented by Antoine Hurtubise. This one will leave its name to a road which crosses Morin Heights and the Wentworth Township. 

However, there is no street name for the "Leduc" family. This branch of the "Leduc" family, in addition to colonizing part of the Montfort sector, has also become a pioneer of Saint-Sauveur-des-Monts, Saint-Adolphe-d'Howard, Saint-Faustin, Saint-Jovite,  Ferme-Neuve and ...
The house we see in this picture is the descendant of the house of Eustache Leduc and Agnès Matte. It does not look so much like a pioneer home. It had to undergo many renovations. According to the assessment roll of the Municipality of Wentworth-Nord, it was built in 1889. According to Mr. Plante, the current owner, it was built in the early 1900s. According to the 1881 census and the line of titles, the original square was built in the early 1880s.

By Fernand Janson

With the use of Google Translate and Linguee

Société d’Histoire et du Patrimoine des Trois Villages 

(Montfort, Laurel et Saint-Michel de Wentworth)

François-Xavier Cyr and Sophie Kavanagh

History of Pioneers (Wentworth-Nord-Montfort sector)

François-Xavier Cyr, Sophie Kavanagh and Cyrilda Forget

François-Xavier Cyr was born on December 18, 1848 in St-Janvier. On July 22, 1867, at the age of 19, he firstly married Sophie Kavanagh of Ste-Scholastique. After a few years living in the Mirabel area, this young couple is seen in Saint-Sauveur-des-Monts in 1879. Two years later, in 1881, François-Xavier Cyr, his wife Sophie Kavanagh and their six children settle in the northeast sector of Montfort. The establishment of a sawmill for the construction of an orphanage near the outlet of Lac Saint-François-Xavier has attracted several loggers, including the Cyr family. François-Xavier Cyr builds his house on lot 4 in the 11th rank, not far from Lac Pelletier. In 1851, his sister Aurélie Cyr married Eustache Leduc in St-Janvier. This family will become its neighbors.

After giving birth to seven children, Sophie Kavanagh gives up the ghost on June 3, 1882, at the age of 41. She will be buried in St-Sauveur-des-Monts. She seems to have died after her last delivery at the beginning of May! Her children are between 14 and 2 years old. François-Xavier Cyr does not have much choice; he must find a new spouse. On April 13, 1885, he married his second wife, Cyrilda Forget, in St-Sauveur-des-Monts. Cyrilda Forget was born in St-Sauveur-des-Monts on September 26, 1864. This new household will have nine children.
One of François-Xavier's sons, Félix Cyr, takes over the family farm. He married Malvina Forget on January 27, 1890, at Notre-Dame-des-Nations, Montfort. Félix and Malvina are among the first couples to marry in this new parish. This household will have five children. Malvina Forget is one of the pioneering families of the Laurentians. She was born on January 29, 1869 in Ste-Agathe-des-Monts, to Toussaint Forget and Arthémise Bélec. On October 25, 1886, she firstly married Adrien Prud'homme in St-Sauveur-des-Monts.

In 1893, the pioneers of the townships of Morin, Howard and the village of Montfort no longer feel alone on their wooded lot ... they now hear the train going to Montfort.

Felix Cyr knows very well that he has no future on a land that is not conducive to agriculture. In the early years, he decided to sell: house, barn and other buildings to another pioneer family of Montfort, Adélard Forget and his wife Marie Louise Tassé. But even Adélard Forget does not keep the farm for long. He resells the whole, on November 4, 1912, to Antoine Hurtubise representing the " Compagnie d’Immeubles Richelieu " for an amount of $400.

In the early 1900s, François-Xavier Cyr and his second wife, Cyrilda Forget, moved to the township of Howard. François-Xavier dies there on September 7, 1907, at the age of 58 and will be buried in the local cemetery. His widow, Cyrilda Forget, secondly married Eustache Leduc on April 9, 1912, in St-Adolphe d’Howard. Eustache Leduc is the son of Eustache Leduc and Aurélie Cyr, the very sister of François-Xavier Cyr. The pioneer families are tight-knit. Cyrilda Forget died in 1936, at the age of 72, and her Eustache Leduc died on April 12, 1923, in Ferme-Neuve, at the age of 71.This branch of the "Cyr" family, in addition to having colonized part of the Montfort sector, has become a pioneer of Saint-Sauveur-des-Monts, Saint-Adolphe-d'Howard and ...

                                                                                                                                             By Fernand Janson

With Google Translate

Société d’Histoire et du Patrimoine des Trois Villages 

(Montfort, Laurel et Saint-Michel de Wentworth)

Note: See the strong ties forged between villagers and orphans in Montfort: ALSFX's 2010 Fall Newsletter

Pierre Bélanger and Angèle Cyr

History of Pioneers (Wentworth-Nord-Montfort sector)

Pierre Bélanger was born on December 16, 1833 in Laval. On August 1, 1854, he married Angèle Cyr, of Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines, in Saint-Janvier. This couple will have no less than ten children. These are born either in St-Jérôme or Saint-Sauveur-des-Monts. Like many other pioneers in the village of Montfort, they do not necessarily live in the Township of Wentworth. Several settled nearby, either in Morin Township or in the Township of Howard.
Pierre Bélanger found a lot available east of Lake Chevreuils, close to the border with Wentworth Township. He has lived here with his family since the early 1880s. That is since the construction of the sawmill at the outlet of Lake St. François-Xavier. This sawmill was blessed by Father Rousselot of the parish of Notre-Dame de Montréal and by the Curé Labelle from Saint-Jérôme.

Of all the children of Pierre Bélanger and Angèle Cyr, three will colonize this countryside.

After marrying Marguerite Alarie in Saint-Faustin, Norbert Bélanger settled in the Montfort area in 1890. No doubt that he participated in the construction of Canada's first agricultural orphanage. This household will have at least four children.

Xénophon Bélanger was born on December 29, 1873 in Saint-Jérôme. On December 1, 1893, he married Marie Joséphine Forget in Montfort. From 1894 to 1910, this couple will have nine children who will all be baptized at the Notre-Dame-des-Nations parish in Montfort.

And finally, Marie Bélanger marries Joseph Forget on February 6, 1888. This couple will have fifteen children.

In addition to colonizing part of the Montfort sector, this branch of the "Bélanger" family has become a pioneer of several other Laurentian villages.

                                                                                                                                             By Fernand Janson

With Google Translate

Société d’Histoire et du Patrimoine des Trois Villages
(Montfort, Laurel et Saint-Michel de Wentworth)