February 1, 2010

Historic Tales of Old Quebec

As told by George Gale ~ Published in 1923


Jacques Cartier, a famous sea captain of St. Malo, France, the discoverer of Canada, sailed up the majestic St. Lawrence in 1535, and wintered his fleet of three small sailing vessels, the "Grande Hermine", the "Petite Hermine" and the "Emerillon" at the mouth of the stream still known as the Lairet - named after a pioneer settler of Charlesbourg - which flows into the St. Charles river, now within the limits of the city. It was Jacques Cartier who named a bay on the north shoreof the gulf, which he entered on the feast of St. Laurent, August 10, "Baye Saint Laurent", translated St Lawrence. It was not until 1608 that Samuel de Champlain founded Quebec and built his "Abitation" or fort in the Lower Town, directly below Dufferin Terrace. The Recollet monks, the first French missionaries in Canda, arrived in 1615. It ws on the 20th July, 1629, that the Kirkes captured Quebec from the French in the name of King Charles I of England, who held it until the 13th July 1632, when it was restored to the Crown of France, who remained in possession of the colony until 1759, when it again fell into the hands of the British following Wolfe's siege of Quebec and the battle of the Plains of Abrahan on the 13th September of the last mentioned year. In all, France ruled the country for over one hundred and fifty years, while the flag of Engand has waved over the lofty Cape Diamond continuously for one hundred and sixty-four years [as of 1920s].

 The following is a list of the historic tables in Quebec in the 1920s together with the inscriptions and where located according to George Gale:

  • 1613: In the playground of the Quebec Seminary: "Here stood the house of Guillaume Couillard, employé of the Company of the Hundred Associates, who arrived in Quebec in 1613 and who died on the 4th of March, 1663."

  • 1615: On the face of building at corner of Sous-le-Fort and Little Champlain streets (foot of Breakneck Steps): - "The approximate site of the first chapel erected in Quebec by Champlain in 1615. It was destroyed by fire during the occupation of Quebec by the Kirkes from 1629 to 1632."

  • 1620: Beside the Upper-Lower Town elevator office on the Terrace - "Here stood the Fort and Chateau St. Louis. The Fort was erected in the year 1620; within its walls the founder of Quebec died on December 25th, 1635. The Chateau was the residence of Governors of Canada. Begun by the Chevalier de Montmagny, reconstructed by Count de Frontenac, enlarged by Sir James Craig. This building was destroyed by fire on the 23rd of January, 1834".

  • 1633: Outside of the gate leading to the Bishop's Palace at the top of Mountain Hill - "Here was erected, in 1633, the Church of Notre-Dame de Recouvrance under the direction and in fulfillment of a vow of Samuel de Champlain, first Governor of New France. Restored and enlarged in 1634. It was destroyed by fire on the 14th of June, 1640".

  • 1635: On the front southeast corner of the City Hall - "On this site stood the Jesuits' College, founded in 1635. Destroyed by fire in 1640, rebuilt in 1647, considerably enlarged in 1725. It was occupied partly by British troops and public officers, from 1759 to 1776 as a barrack from 1776 to 1871, and finally demolished in 1877. The church attached to it, which extended towards Ste. Anne street, was erected in 1666 and demolished in 1807."

  • 1639: On face of Blanchard's Hotel, opposite the front of the Notre-Dame des Victoires Church, Lower Town - "On this site stood in 1639 a house belonging to Noel Juchereau des Chatelets, which was the first residence of the Venerable Mother Marie de l'Incarnation and of the Ursuline Nuns in Quebec".

  • 1640: At the corner of Garden and Anne streets, northwest corner of the English Cathedral grounds - "On this ground stood the trading house of the Company of the Hundred Associates. It served as a parish church after the burning down of Notre-Dame de Recouvrance on the 14th of June, 1640, and also served as a place of residence for the Jesuit Fathers from 1640 to 1657".

  • 1644: Beside the Ursuline Chapel on Parlor street - "On this site stood the house of Madame de la Peltrie. It was built in 1644 and within it r esided for two years (1659-1661) Monseigneur de Laval, first Bishop of quebec. It was replaced by the present day-school of the Ursulines in 1836".

  • 1650: On the northeast corner of the Court House, Place d'Armes - "This ground, which formerly extended to the east, and was occupied by the Seneschal's Court about the year 1650, became in 1681 the property of the Recollets, who erected on it a church and monastery which were destroyed by fire in 1796. The old Court House built at the beginning of the 19th century was also destroyed by fire in 1873, the present edifice taking the place shortly afterwards. The adjoining Anglican cathedral occupies part of the grounds once held by the Recollets".

  • 1668: On the face of the Boswell Brewery Office at the foot of Plaace Hill, (Nicholas street) - "On this site the Intendant Talon erected a brewery in 1668 which was converted into a Palace for the intendants by M. de Meulles, in 1686. This building was destroyed by fire in 1713, reconstructed by M. Bégon; it was again damaged by fire in 1728, restored by M. Dupuys in 1729; it was finally destroyed during the siege of Quebec in 1775".

  • 1686: On the hillside of the Chinic Hardware Co.'s building at the foot of Mountain Hill, (corner of St. Peter street) - "Here stood in 1681 the dwelling house of Charles Aubert de la Chesnaye, one of the most prominent merchants of quebec in the seventeenth century, the ancestor of the de Gaspé family".

  • 1687: Half way down Mountain Hill (opposite Chabot's bookbindery) - "Within this enclosure was located the first graveyard of quebec, where interments were made from the early days of the Colony up to 1687".

  • 1688: On Notre-Dame des Victoires Church, Lower Town - "This church, erected in 1688, under the name of L'Enfant Jésus, on the site of the old "King's Store", took the name of "Notre-Dame de la Victoire" in 1690, and of "Notre-Dame des Victoires" in 1711. The square in front of the church was used as the market place of Quebec during the French Regime and around it stood the residences of the principal merchants of that time. In the centre of the square in 1686, the Intendant Champigny erected a bronze bust of Louis XIV".

  • 1690: On the fence of the garden at the upper end of Mont-Carmel street (up Haldimand street and to right on Mont-Carmel street) -"On this height, called Mont-Carmel, there stood in 1690 a stone windmill whereon was mounted a battery of three guns, and which served for a redoubt during the siege of Quebec by Phipps. It was called "Le Cavalier du Moulin'".

  • 1691: On the wall of the Cartridge Factory, half way down Palace hill - "Here stood Palace, or St. Nicholas Gate, built in 1691, restroed successively in 1720 and 1790; it was rebuilt from 1823 to 1832, and finally demolished in 1874".

  • 1692: Corner of St. Peter and Mountain Hill on the McCall & Shehyn Building, (northwest corner) - "On this site stood the convent of the Nuns of the Congregation, established by Sister Bourgeoys in 1692, and occupied by the said religious community up to 1842, when it removed to St. Roch".

  • 1746: On the Marine Department Building, Champalin street - "In 1746, Louis SV, King of France, took possession of this area of ground in order to establish a new shipyard for the building of his vessels. Here stood the first custom House erected by the British Government in Quebec after the cession".

  • 1758: Located on the Ramparts, between St. Flavien and Hamel streets, (previous residence of Sir Lomer Gouin, Premier of Quebec Province) - "On this site stood the house where Montcalm resided during the years of 1758 and 1759".

  • 1775: On the Molson's Bank Building, Lower Town (St. James street, between St. Peter and Sault-au-Matelot streets - "Here stood her old and new defenders uniting, guarding, saving Canada, defeating Arnold at the Sault-au-Matelot barricade on the last day of 1775; Guy Carleton commanding at Quebec".

  • 1775: tablet on the cliff above Champlain street, near Allan-Rae Steamship Company's Wharf - "Here stood the Undaunted Fifty safeguarding Canada, defeating Montgomery at the Pré-de-Ville barricade on the last day of 1775; Guy Carleton commanding at Quebec".

  • 1776: On the Citadel Hill, not far from St. Louis street (right hand side going up) - "In this place was buried, on the 4th of January, 1776, along with his two aides-de-camp, McPherson and Cheeseman, and certain of his soldiers, Richard Montgomery, the American General who was killed during the attack on QAuebec on the 31st of December 1775. In 1818 his remains were exhumed and removed to the precincts of St. Paul's Church, New York".

  • 1784: By the baggage office of the Chateau Frontenac, (St. Louis street) - "Here stood the Chateau Haldimand or Vieux Chateau, occupying part of the outworks of the Fort St. Louis. Begun in 1784, completed in 1787. this edifice was displaced by the erection of the pressent Chateaeu Frontenac in 1892".

  • 1791: On the front of the "Kent House" at the corner of St. Louis and Haldimand streets - "This bilding was the residence of the Duke of Kent, father of Queen Victoria, during his stay in Quebec, from 1791 to 1794".

  • 1797: On the new portion of the City Post Office, Mountain Hill (Table removed during construction of Post Office) - "Prescott Gate built in 1797; rebuilt 1815; torn down, 1871-1872".

  • 1806: On the dwelling No. 22, Ferland Street - "Here was established in 1806, "Le Canadien", the first French newspaper published in Quebec".

  • 1806: Corner of St. Flavien and Couillard streets, (no. 14 St. Flavien) - "In this house Francois-Xavier Garneau, the historian of Canada, lived for several years and here he died on the 3rd February 1866".

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    Lucie's Legacy
    Acadian Ancestral Home/Quebec
    Lucie LeBlanc Consentino

    4 comments:

    Heather Rojo said...

    We honeymooned in Old Quebec, I won't say how many years ago! We stayed in the Chateau Frontonac and wandered the streets looking at all those historical plaques. We've only been back once, so we are well overdue for another visit!

    Lucie LeBlanc Consentino said...

    Thank you Heather.

    I just love old Quebec...of course I love Canada period.

    Jacques said...

    What a wonderful collection of historical plaques. Thanks for sharing.

    Lucie LeBlanc Consentino said...

    Thank you Jacques. I have had this old book for several years now and decided to put it to good use as the information is so very interesting.