Sunday Morning – Patrimoine/Heritage

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PATRIMOINE – Fabien Poirier et son équipe de bénévoles peuvent dire: mission accomplie! Le site d’interprétation de Malmaison, situé aux abords du pont couvert de Notre-Dame de Stanbridge, est enfin accessible au public au terme de quatre années de préparatifs.

«Nous avons dû consacrer près de 15 000 heures à la réalisation de ce projet. Le dernier sprint a été particulièrement exigeant, alors que trois d’entre nous se sont réunis tous les soirs, de 18h à minuit, pendant plus d’un mois, pour mettre la touche finale», précise M. Poirier.

Les recherches ont débuté en septembre 2010 pour prendre fin en juillet 2013.

«Comme on voulait s’assurer de la véracité des informations déjà disponibles, il nous a fallu éplucher les registres fonciers, actes notariés, fonds de musées et articles de journaux pour valider le tout. Un travail de moine», indique le président d’Héritage Stanbridgeois.

Jeff Asnong (rédaction des textes anglais), David J. Ellis (vérification des textes anglais), Gérald Harbour (rédaction des textes français), Annie Lessard (aménagement paysager) et Denis Gamache (conception graphique et mise en place) ont par ailleurs donné un solide coup de main au noyau initial composé de Fabien Poirier, Jean-Pierre Gamache, Stephen Hanigan, Danielle R. Poirier. Lucy Hanigan, Annie Lessard et Michel Pelletier.

Hameau Malmaison

Le hameau Malmaison doit son implantation à François-Amable DesRivières (enfant adoptif de James McGill) et à l’arrivée de ses propres fils, François-Guillaume (1833) et Henri DesRivières (1841), dans le canton de Stanbridge.

Véritables entrepreneurs dans l’âme, les frères DesRivères y construiront un moulin à bois (1842) et un moulin à farine (1843), puis un pont couvert (1843) et une chapelle de bois (1845). Un magasin général, un bureau de poste (1845), une école de rang (1863), une tannerie (disparue en 1883), une manufacture (disparue en 1889) et une gare (1864 à 1942) viendront s’y ajouter au fil des ans.

«En 1879, le seul village de Malmaison ou Des Rivières, sans inclure les fermiers de cette section de la paroisse Notre-Dame des Anges, comptait pas moins de 175 personnes», précise Jeff Asnong, dans un document annexé à l’ouvgrage Histoire de Notre-Dame des Anges de Stanbridge.

Le territoire de la municipalité Notre-Dame des Anges sera fusionné à celui de Notre-Dame de Stanbridge en 1913.

Le nouveau site d’interprétation et ses dix panneaux explicatifs relatent l’histoire du hameau de Malmaison, tout en mettant en valeur les derniers édifices qui y subsistent: manoir (propriété privée), école de rang (restaurée en 2005), moulin à grain (propriété privée), bureau de poste (nouvel emplacement) et pont couvert (dernière structure de type Howe au Québec en voie d’être classé bâtiment historique).

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HERITAGE – Fabien Poirier and his team of volunteers can say: mission accomplished! The Malmaison interpretation site, located near the Notre-Dame de Stanbridge covered bridge, is finally open to the public after four years of preparation.

“We had to devote nearly 15,000 hours to this project. The last sprint was particularly demanding, as three of us gathered every night from 6pm to midnight for over a month to put the finishing touches,” says Poirier.

The research began in September 2010 and ended in July 2013.

“As we wanted to ensure the veracity of the information already available, we had to go through the land registers, notarial deeds, museum collections and newspaper articles to validate everything. A monk’s job,” says Stanbridge Heritage President.

Jeff Asnong (English text writing), David J. Ellis (English copy editing ), Gérald Harbour (French text writing), Annie Lessard (landscaping) and Denis Gamache (graphic design and implementation) also gave a solid hand to the initial core members of Fabien Poirier, Jean-Pierre Gamache, Stephen Hanigan, Danielle R. Poirier, Lucy Hanigan, Annie Lessard and Michel Pelletier.

Malmaison Hamlet

The hamlet of Malmaison owes its establishment to François-Amable DesRivières (adopted child of James McGill) and the arrival of his own sons, François-Guillaume (1833) and Henri DesRivières (1841), in Stanbridge Township.

True entrepreneurs at heart, the DesRivières brothers built a wood mill (1842) and a flour mill (1843), then a covered bridge (1843) and a wooden chapel (1845). A general store, a post office (1845), a school (1863), a tannery (disappeared in 1883), a factory (disappeared in 1889) and a train station (1864 to 1942) were added over the years.

“In 1879, the only village in Malmaison or Des Rivières, without including the farmers in this section of Notre-Dame des Anges parish, had no less than 175 people,” Jeff Asnong said in a document attached to the work entitled Histoire de Notre-Dame des Anges de Stanbridge.

The territory of the municipality of Notre-Dame des Anges was merged with that of Notre-Dame de Stanbridge in 1913.

The new interpretation site and its ten explanatory panels tell the story of the hamlet of Malmaison, while highlighting the last remaining buildings: manor house (private property), school (restored in 2005), grain mill (private property), post office (new location) and covered bridge (last Howe structure in Quebec to be classified as a historic building).

Sunday Morning – Malmaison’s cemetery

Written in 2014, and never published before…

Five years later I have all the reasons in the world to revisit Malmaison. I had found this image on the Internet and I got all excited, but I had no one to share my excitement with.

Malmaison

Then came along Luanne whose maternal ancestors were Malloys, Molloys or Moloys depending on how people were hard of hearing. This image is in French, but I can translate what you see.

All aboard!


Cimetière is cemetery. This is probably where some of my granduncles and grandaunts were buried around 1880. Site ancienne église is where the old church was located around 1880. This is probably where some children of Stanislas Lagacé and Henriette Alexandre were baptized.

In 2008 I had found all of their 13 children. Number 13 was my Léo, my paternal grandfather. I had a few photos of my grandfather and his brother Adélard.

My grandfather with two of his sons in Montreal

Number 1 was Antoine or Anthony Lagasse 1863 – 1934 (born in Colchester, Vermont)

Number 2 was Stanislas or Dennis Lagassey III 1864 – 1922 (born in Colchester, Vermont)

Number 3 was Marguerite Lagacé 1868 – (born in Colchester, Vermont)

Number 4 was David Lagacé 1869 – 1873 (born in Colchester, Vermont)

Number 5 was Angélique Lagacé 1871 – 1872 (born in Colchester, Vermont)

Number 6 was Jean-Baptiste Lagacé 1872 – 1876 (born in Colchester, Vermont)

Number 7 was Lillie Lagasse 1875 – (born in Colchester, Vermont)

Number 8 was Malvina Lagasse 1877 – 1930 (born in Colchester, Vermont)

Number 9 was Adélard Lagacé 1879 – 1959 (born in Colchester, Vermont)

Number 10 was Odila Lagacé 1882 – 1882 (born in Malmaison)

Number 11 was Joseph Aldéi Lagacé 1883 – 1897 (born in Malmaison)

Number 12 was Anonyme Lagacé 1886 – 1886 (born in Malmaison)

Number 13 was Léo Lagacé 1888 – 1964 (born in Malmaison)

I think my grandfather was born in Malmaison. I know that his parents were neighbors in 1881 of the DeRivières family who had the manoir, the mansion or the manor house.

1881 famille Stanislas Lagassé

1881 Canadian census page

End of the line…


The Malloys or Molloys were also living around Malmaison because Thomas James was a section man and his brother Patrick was a section foreman.

There is little left of Malmaison now except for what some people have been working together since 2010 to preserve the past. I will tell you more about it next Sunday morning unless you start googling and get a jump start.

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Stay tuned…