Sunday, June 28, 2015

Sunday, June 28th, Quebec


Two days into this, everything is going very well.  We spent Saturday visiting Quebec's Old Town, with most of the time spent walking, touring, and learning about the Lower Town section where my ancestors put in their indentured contract service ensuring the survival of the early colonists.  While I was happy to learn a few years ago about how enthusiastic were the French residents of Montagne au Perche (they put up stain-glass windows, and plaques in the Church picturing the accomplishments, and funded a history museum dedicated to the group), I wondered if anyone over here even knew about "Company of 100".  And more importantly, would anyone be able to provide me with more information on the 400 years of family history in this area?

Canadians are very proud of their early settlers, and the role that French beaver trappers, carpenters, and farmers played in establishing their New World.  The research we've done, both before we arrived, and while we've been here, has allowed us to connect with locals who have improved our knowledge of my Cloutier and Gagne family history considerably.  In particular, two resources should be recognized for their invaluable help so far.

The first is the Musee de la Place Royal in the main square in Lower Town.  They provided an excellent tour which gave us a sense of what life was like in the area in the 1600 and 1700's.  Special recognition to Jean Louis Nouvell, who looks pretty good for his 300+ years, and related to us his insights into marriage, merchanting, civil defense, and public hygiene.

The second is the Maison de Nos Aieux in Sainte Famille on the Ille d'Oleans.  Laurent Bernier and Marie-Pier Grenier provided me with an enormous boost to my understanding of Gagne, Gagnon, and Cloutier family history on the Island and surrounding areas.

Before we return to finish the work of discovering more about my ancestors, we'll be heading up to the Gaspe Peninsula for a few days.  It is so beautiful out on the edge of the Canadian eastern coast, that we have to go back after many years to check it out again. When the main museum in Chateau Richer (on the northern Saint Lawrence Seaway coast east of Quebec) opens for the season on Wednesday, we'll be back to visit and query staff.  It's the main residence of my family for 300 years, and contains most of our historical documentation.

And for our recommendations on where to dine in the area, we are especially recommending Chacon Dingue (the name means "Silly Pig"), for a nutritional, yet fast food experience on a restaurant-row street (McGuire Street) in Quebec.  I had a small seafood pot pie, with a salad containing sliced tomatoes, watermelon, feta cheese, and dark grapes.  Pat had a large poached salmon salad with vegetables.  The atmosphere was cheerful and the service was prompt.  Best of all the parking was free, and right out front.

For more photos taken yesterday and today, click on Saturday, June 27th, Quebec and Sunday, June 28th, Ill d'Orleans.

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