All posts by Claire Lindell

Claire Lindell is a retired school teacher with an interest in French-Canadian and Finnish genealogy.

The Antoine Pilon Home Part 2

Antoine Pilon arrived in Ville Marie in 1668 and by 1707 he was a land owner in the growing village of Pointe-Claire, on the shores of Lake St. Louis.

In a recent blog there is a biographical sketch of Antoine, my 7th great grandfather. He sailed from Normandy, France to New France. His family were among the first residents of Pointe-Claire. When he died at the age of fifty, the home he built in 1707 remained in the family for 120 years.

The Antoine Pilon Home Part 1, https://genealogyensemble.com/2020/05/06/the-antoine-pilon-home/

The home is still standing, thanks to the tireless efforts of Andre Charbonneau. It is the oldest home in Pointe-Claire and one of the oldest on the island of Montreal.  Records indicate the many owners over the 300+ years.

Capture.JPGAP HOUSE Googlw

A Google Earth street view of the Antoine Pilon House 258 Bord du lac Pointe-Claire

History of the Owners and the Land Transactions 1.

1707 -2020

Below is a list of the many landowners who lived in the Antoine Pilon house over the years. Several owners inherited the property, while others purchased theirs.

The house lies on lot 88 of the present survey, forming a part of lot number 154 in the original land registry of the Island of Montreal.2

  • Lot 154-D was conceded by the Sulpicians to Pierre Sauvé dit Laplante on November 24th, At the time it was property of 3 acres of frontage and 60 acres deep, on the shore of Lac Saint-Louis.
  • Pierre Sauvé and his wife Marie-Michel sold this land to Jean du Tartre dit Desrosiers on October 27th,
  • Du Tartre gave the concession to Madeleine LeMoyne, widow of Jean-Baptiste Beauvais, September 19th,
  • Dame LeMoyne immediately sold lot 154-D September 19th,1706 to Antoine Pilon, who had already purchased from her the adjoining lot 155-D
  • Antoine Pilon built his house in 1707 on this property
  • Marie-Anne (Brunet) Pilon’s widow gave the land to her son Mathieu on January 22nd, 1729, land of 5 acres of frontage to 20 acres deep, consisting of lots 154-D and 155-D.
  • Gabriel Pilon, son of Mathieu and Marie-Josephte Daoust, became the next owner purchasing it from his parents’ – lot 154-D measuring 3 acres by 28 acres.
  • Pierre Pilon, the farmer and inn-keeper son of Gabriel and Suzanne Meloche, inherited the land on December 7th,
  • The Pilons left the property for good on July 1st, 1826 after 4 generations of family ownership. The home passed from mother to son and then father to son during 120 years.
  • W. Glasford, Carpenter purchased the property on July 1st, 1826.
  • Félix Amesse, carpenter, husband of Marguerite Pilon purchased it on March 1st,1832
  • Francois Larivée, shoemaker, became the new owner on April 5th,1834
  • Jean-Baptiste Legault dit Deslauriers, son, painter obtained the home May 11th,1865
  • Damase Alexandre Valois bought the property July 19th,1873.
  • Isidore Valoix inherited it in 1914.
  • Charles-Benoît Valois acquired the property December 31st,1921.
  • Joseph Duhame, next owner purchased the property on February 21st,1944.
  • André Charbonneau bought the property in 1968 and is the current owner- (2020).

There was a total  of 18 landowners over nearly 320 years.

Pilon property

 

The area in green indicates the extent of the Pilon Property right to the shore line.                   Capture.JPG map text

Capture.JPG current map of village

Current map of Pointe-Claire Village

Andre Charbonneau purchased the large property when he was 25 years old. At the time he was a young hairdresser living in Pointe-Claire.3. He is now retired and has hopes and dreams that his efforts to refurbish the 300+-year-old home could become a museum or an interpretation center. If so, this would promote the history of the area. Andre is also the founder of la  Société pour la Sauvegarde du Patrimoine de Pointe-Claire, https://patrimoinepointeclaire.org/ and has spent time educating the citizens about the history of their community3. Over the years Charbonneau has attempted to have the home declared a Heritage site.  He has approached the City of Pointe-Claire to develop the home.

Funding for a  project of that type is usually based on the following percentages:

25% Municipality,     25% Private donations.           50% Federal funding.

Several years ago, a feasibility study estimated the cost of the project would be approximately $1 million.

Charbonneau lived in the home for a short time until 1973. Time was spent researching, notably at the National Archives, with the aim of restoring the house and having it classified by the Ministry of Cultural Affairs. His request for classification was denied. Despite the refusal, he chose to restore the home to the original plans according to the French Regime, using the building techniques of that era.4.

Andre in house

Owner, Andre Charbonneau

The better part of Andre’s life has been focused on reconstructing the Pilon home to its former glory. He began using an architectural technique of numbering all the stones and wooden planks to rebuild the house.5.

The original size of the house is 25’ x 23’ and he added an extension is 20’ x 18’  He took great pains to research minute details such as the nails used in the new roofing and the flooring on the first floor, made from new wooden beams giving the appearance of the wood of the time. He left no stone unturned, including as noted, an extension to enlarge the home . He has maintained the original appearance of the first floor, a single open room. Behind the fireplace there was an oven that over the years had been condemned and hidden. The major work on the home was done by reliable, skilled workers, carpenters, and a blacksmith. They all worked using the techniques of 17th century craftsmen.

Andre Charbonneau has received numerous awards and recognition for his dedication and ongoing efforts in his attempt to establish a heritage site. In 2002 the Distinguished Heritage Award and in that same year he won the Heritage Emeritus Prize for the neighbouring house that he also owns. There have been other awards over the years, but his main goal  is yet to be accomplished.

La  Societe pour la Sauvegarde de la Patrimoine de Pointe-Claire continues to this day to find a way to showcase this home that has been so painstakingly restored. If you have an opportunity take a drive through the Village of Pointe-Claire and note the many homes that have been lovingly preserved.

Sources:

  1. http://www.piloninternational.ca/international/histoires/maison/maisonantoinf.html
  2. https://www.wikitree.com/photo/jpg/Pilon-239.
  3. https://patrimoinepointeclaire.org/
  4. https://www.lapresse.ca/maison/architecture/maisons/200711/12/01-871145-la-maison-pilon-revit-grace-un-proprietaire-tenace.php
  5. https://montrealgazette.com/news/world/trying-to-keep-a-piece-of-pointe-claire-history-alive

Notes:

http://home.globility.com/~pilon/photos.html – contains several interesting photographs

https://shariblaukopf.com/2015/07/09/the-garden-at-antoine-pilon-house/ -an artist’s point of view

 

Antoine Pilon Google earth

Google Street View – Pilon Home 258 Bord du lac. Pointe-Claire, Québec https://earth.google.com/web/data=Mj8KPQo7CiExX2c2cFNQNjR2SlhwODBIZTI3R0Vtc2ZyN2UwVzVENUESFgoUMEE3OTk3NjlGNTE0NUY0M0VCMTM

Capture.JPG Aerial Google Pilon House

Google Aerial View of Antoine Pilon Home

https://earth.google.com/web/@45.42828134,-73.82327819,19.97449138a,670.74299124d,30.00000005y,0h,0t,0r/data=MicKJQojCiExX2c2cFNQNjR2SlhwODBIZTI3R0Vtc2ZyN2UwVzVENUE

The Antoine Pilon Home

In the mid 1600’s New France welcomed many of my ancestors from France. Among them, a ‘marriageable young women, Genevieve Gamache, a sixth great grandmother, privately sponsored. She settled in the Quebec City area.

At the request of Louis XIV who offered incentives for people to settle in a new country  Anne Thomas, also a sixth great grandmother, along with 90 other ‘filles du roi’  in 1665 boarded the St. Jean Baptiste and sailed from Dieppe to Montreal.1.

At about the same time, in the town of Bayeux, Normandy, France, where the famous tapestry depicts the Norman Conquest of 1066 there was a young man seeking adventure. Antoine was born on the Feast of St. John the Baptist in 1664 (June 24th) .2. His father Thomas Pilon, a butcher and his wife Magdeleine Hugues Rouault had 5 children..

At the age of twenty-four Antoine left his homeland to cross the Atlantic seeking a new life in what was then a fledgling country where he became a farmer and later a landowner.

hommage

3.

Capture.JPG Pilon lease on a farm 1693

Notarial Record – Lease on a farm.

Shortly after his arrival in Ville Marie Antoine chose his bride to be, Anne Brunet. Michel Mathieu Brunet dit L’Etang and Marie Madeleine Blanchard brought Anne into the world on January 1, 1672.4. He was a farmer and a prosperous fur trader. At the time of Anne’s birth, the family was living near Trois Rivieres. The family moved to Lachine at a later date.

Antoine and Anne were married in Notre Dame parish church in Montreal on January 29, 1689. Their first child, Jeanne was born in Montreal, December 9th of that same year. Over a period of 24 years the couple had 14 children.6. The first 3 children were born in Montreal, two were born in Laprairie and the others were born in Lachine and Pointe-Claire. In those days not all children survived, and they lost three infants. Several of their children lived until their 80`s.

Capture.JPG Marriage Church Record Notre Dame

Church record of the marriage of Antoine and Anne 5.

Translation:

On the 20 of January 1689  a solemn marriage between Antoine Pilon, son of Thomas Pilon and Magdeleine Hugues the father and mother on one hand and Marie Anne Brunet daughter of Mathieu Brunet and Marie Blanchard, the father and mother on the other. Mathieu Brunet was a witness.

Capture.JPG Notarial act marriage Antoine Pilon and Marieanne BRUNET copy

Notarial record of marriage 5.

Antoine was not as fortunate as his children. He died at the age of 50 on February 24th, 1715.7. He is buried in St. Joachim Ancient Cemetery beside the church in the village not far from the home he built.

Antoine Burial

Church Record of Antoine Pilon’s burial

During those early years Ville Marie, as Montreal was called at that time experienced numerous Indian raids. One of them being the devastating Lachine Massacre in August 1689. Many lives were lost. During the next few years efforts were made to find a peaceful resolution.

The Great Peace of Montreal (FrenchLa Grande paix de Montréal) was a peace treaty between New France and 39 First Nations of North America. It was signed on August 4, 1701, by Louis-Hector de Callière, governor of New France, ….and provided 16 years of peaceful relations and trade before war started again.”.8.

After the signing of the peace treaty, the Sulpicians, administrators, and seigneurs of the land began conceding properties. Several of my ancestors were among those who benefited from this opportunity. They chose to move westward to what is now the West Island. The first, Sebastien Cholet dit Laviolette my 6th great-grandfather started the trend. He settled in the community we now call Dorval. He built his home on the eastern tip of Valois Bay in a small cove that bears his name, overlooking Lake St. Louis. Antoine Pilon my 7th great-grandfather also chose to settle west of Ville Marie, following in Sebastien`s footsteps, He purchased land in Pointe-Claire with frontage on the shores of Lake St. Louis. 9.

map of Cholet cove copy

All the land transactions, from the original owner Pierre Sauvé to Antoine Pilon are all documented up to the current date.10.

The house lies on lot 88 of the present survey, forming a part of lot number 154 in the original land registry of the Island of Montreal. Lot 154-D was conceded by the Sulpicians to Pierre Sauvé dit Laplante on November 24th,1698. Then, the size of the property was 3 acres of frontage and 60 acres deep, on the shore of Lac Saint-Louis.

Pierre Sauvé and his wife Marie-Michel sold this land to Jean du Tartre dit Desrosiers on October 27th, 1700. Two transactions took place on the same day, September 19,1706. DuTartre gave a concession to Madeleine LeMoyne, already in possession of the adjoining lot. She immediately sold lot 154-D to Antoine Pilon, having already purchased from her the adjoining lot 155-D.

Marie-Anne Brunet inherited the lot after Antoine`s death and she gave the land to her son Mathieu on January 22nd, 1729. The deed (acte de donation) indicates land of 5 acres of frontage to 20 acres deep, consisting of lots 154-D and 155-D. In this deed we learned that the lot contained a house, possibly built during the summer of 1707.

The house Antoine built remained in the Pilon family, passed on from his wife, Anne to their son Mathieu and then from father to son for 120 years.11. Remarkably it is still standing today, and one can see it when driving along 258 Lakeshore Road-Bord-du-lac near the entrance to Pointe-Claire village.

maison_antoine_pilon

Antoine PIlon House

      Footnotes:

  1. http://www.migrations.fr/ACTESFILLESDUROY/actesfillesduroy_index.htm
  2. http://www.piloninternational.ca/international/genealogies/bayeuxplus.htm
  3. Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec; Montréal, Quebec, Canada; Collection: Fonds Cour Supérieure. District judiciaire de Montréal. Cote CN601. Greffes de notaires, 1648-1967.; District: Montréal; Title: Saint Martin, Antoine Adhemar dit (1668-1699)com. Quebec, Canada, Notarial Records, 1637-1935 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2016. Repertoire de notaires (Notarial catalogs), Montreal. Maugue, Claude (1677-1696)
  4. http://www.francogene.com/genealogie-quebec-genealogy/000/000796.php
  5. Ancestry.com. Quebec, Canada, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621- 1968[database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2008.Quebec, Canada, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1968
  6. http://www.francogene.com/genealogie-quebec-genealogy/005/005837.php7
  7. .Ancestry.com. Quebec, Genealogical Dictionary of Canadian Families (Tanguay Collection), 1608-1890[database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.Original data: Tanguay, Cyprien. Dictionnaire généalogique des familles canadiennes depuis la fondation de la colonie jusqu’à nos jours. Québec, Canada: Eusèbe Senécal, 1871-1890. Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, Canada
  8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peace_treaty
  9. http://www.genealogie.org/famille/cholette/eindex.html
  10. https://www.wikitree.com/photo/jpg/Pilon-239
  11. 11.htps://grandquebec.com/montreal-touristique/maison-antoine-pilon/

 

Allegiances

Allegiances were not among his strongest traits. In today’s world he might be recognized as the first great Canadian entrepreneur. He was named “a person of National Historic Significance by the Canadian Government”. 1 His remarkable achievements exploring New France, in the mid 1600s led to the growth and development of the fur trade. He was a co-founder and received the charter for the Hudson Bay Company from the King of England, Charles II in 1670. These were great accomplishments.

This title belongs to Pierre Esprit Radisson. He was born in France about 1640, the third child of Pierre Esprit Radisson, my ninth great grandfather and Madeleine Henault. At a young age, Pierre arrived in New France in 1651. He and his family, his parents, and sisters, Francoise and Elizabeth settled in Trois Rivieres.

I am proud to call him my eighth Great Uncle.

Radisson’s life was tumultuous. Early on he was captured by Indians and lived with them for two years. He escaped and was again captured. During captivity he learned their language and the skills required to survive in the woods.

His family thought they would never see him again.

Much has been written about Radisson and his brother-in-law, Medard Chouart Des Groseilliers and their explorations of the Great Lakes and later, the far north where they were trading furs. Very little is known about his personal life. He spent time in Three Rivers, his “home base” when he was not on one of his four lengthy journeys. From writings about Radisson it appears he married three times and fathered nine children.

Throughout his fur trading days, his various alliances with the French, the English and Indian tribes were a cause for concern.

He had one allegiance. Do what was in his own best interest.

In researching and preparing for this story about this famous explorer there were many areas of interest. Two stood out. The first was the manuscript, the second his relationship with the Hudson Bay Company.

His manuscript entitled “Voyages of Peter Esprit Radisson is in the Bodleian Library and the British Museum in London, England.2

The manuscript is written in English and is considered the first descriptive document of explorations beyond the St. Lawrence River. He wrote about the four journeys taken with his brother-in-law, Medard Chouart Des Groseilliers.

For two hundred years his writing had not been seen. They were brought to light in 1885.

Archivists and Paleographers examined the manuscripts to establish their authenticity and to determine if Radisson was the author. The quality of the paper was examined, the handwriting was compared and scrutinzed to determine if the documents were written by one person or several. After considerable debate they were  found to be the writings of Radisson, in his rather fractured English.3

Below is an excerpt from the manuscript that gives the reader some insight into the manner these daring adventurous men were treated by the authorities.

“The Governor was greatly displeased at the disobedience of Radisson and his brother-in-law in going on their last voyage without his permission. On their return, the narrative states, “he made my brother prisoner for not having obeyed his orders; he fines us L. 4,000 to make a fort at the three rivers, telling us for all manner of satisfaction that he would give us leave to put our coat of armes upon it; and moreover L. 6,000 for the country, saying that wee should not take it so strangely and so bad, being wee were inhabitants and did intend to finish our days in the same country with our relations and friends…. Seeing ourselves so wronged, my brother did resolve to go and demand justice in France. “Failing to get restitution, they resolved to go over to the English. They went early in 1665 to Port Royal, Nova Scotia, and from thence to New England, where they engaged an English or New England ship for a trading adventure into Hudson’s Straits in 61 deg. north.”4

In the mid 1600’s in New France the fur trade was a highly competitive business and both the French, and the English were via for furs. Alliances were formed. It is with these alliances that Radisson had difficulty, especially after the French confiscated their furs and Des Groseilliers was imprisoned for a time. The men were fined by the French Governor. They decided to seek assistance from the British. They experienced success and were able to pursue their dream of reaching Hudson Bay.

In the manuscript excerpt below Radisson’s negotiating skills were of great importance in the success of their endeavours.

“To Des Groseilliers and Radisson must be given the credit of originating the idea of forming a settlement at Hudson’s Bay, out of which grew the profitable organization of the Hudson’s Bay Company. They obtained through the English Ambassador to France an interview with Prince Rupert, and laid before him their plans, which had been before presented to the leading merchants of Canada and the French Court. Prince Rupert at once foresaw the value of such an enterprise, and aided them in procuring the required assistance from several noblemen and gentlemen, to fit out in 1667 two ships from London, the “Eagle,”…., and the “Nonsuch,” ketch, ….”.5


With the financial assistance of Prince Rupert, the cousin of Charles II, King of England. They were given ships and supplies for the voyage. The first ship “Nonsuch”, with Des Groseilliers’ on board completed the voyage, while Radisson’s ship was not as fortunate. He was unable to reach Hudson Bay. The first ship returned laden with furs. This was a major success for both Radisson and DesGroseilliers. The accomplishment led to what was later known as the establishment by the British as Rupert’s Land. A large area where these fur traders could hunt for the much-desired beaver pelts.

Charles II of England granted a charter to the Hudson Bay Company May 2nd, 1670 and Radisson and DesGroseilliers were named co-founders. 5

This year (2020) the Company  is celebrating their 350th year.

The persistence and bravado of these two explorers were recognized long after their demise. Their names live on through the manuscripts and this famous company.

Pierre Esprit Radisson, my eighth great uncle’s contribution to the development of our country was worthy of the title bestowed upon him as a National Historic Significant figure.

Sources:

1.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persons_of_National_Historic_Significance.

2.https://archivaria.ca/index.php/archivaria/article/viewFile/12836/14054 Who Was the Scribe of the Radisson Manuscript?, GERMAINE WARKENTIN

3. www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/6913/pg6913-images.html The Project Gutenberg EBook of Voyages of Peter Esprit Radisson by Peter Esprit Radisson
introduction by Gideon D. Scull, London England, Boston, The Prince Society, 1885, n

4. Ibid.

5. https://web2.uvcs.uvic.ca/courses/lawdemo/DOCS/RC1670.htm The Royal Chyarter for incorporating The Hudson’s Bay Company, A.D. 1670.

References:
https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/pierre-esprit-radisson

https://archivaria.ca/index.php/archivaria/article/viewFile/12836/14054 Who Was the Scribe of the Radisson Manuscript?, GERMAINE WARKENTIN

https://www.cbc.ca/history/EPCONTENTSE1EP6CH1PA3LE.html
Videos – The Business of Fur- Radisson and Des Groseilliers, The Business of Fur- The Fashion of Fur, The Business of Fur -New Lands for Trade, The Business of Fur- Hudson’s Bay Company Beginning

https://www.encyclopedia.com/

https://www.historymuseum.ca/virtual-museum-of-new-france/the-explorers/pierre-esprit-radisson-1659-1660/

Note:
www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/6913/pg6913-images.html The Project Gutenberg EBook of Voyages of Peter Esprit Radisson by Peter Esprit Radisson
introduction by Gideon D. Scull, London England, Boston, The Prince Society, 1885,
Copyright laws are changing all over the world. Be sure to check the copyright laws for your country before downloading or redistributing this or any other Project Gutenberg eBook

The Future of Asbestos

Asbestos Part 3

In August 2019 my genealogy friend, Marian and I drove to Asbestos, a mining town among the gentle rolling hills of the Eastern Townships. We took the scenic route, admiring the lush farms as we drove along secondary roads, away from the hustle and bustle of the major highway between Montreal and Quebec City. The town is approximately a two-hour drive from the city.

location of the town of asbestos

Our family had moved to Asbestos in 1945. Our house was very close to the Jeffrey Mine, perhaps about 300-400 yards from the largest open pit in North America.

Jeffrey Mine, 1952
Jeffrey Mine 1952 with St. Aime Church #3 visible.

When we arrived in Asbestos on that warm summer day, we began our visit in what was once our very modern St. Aime Parish Church, that still maintains the beautiful Casavant organ where there are occasional organ recitals. The church is now transformed into the town hall, a local library, and a mining museum. The young lady librarian was knowledgeable and helpful with information and some suggestions, one of them being to make certain we visit the lookout.

It was in the museum section that I took a careful look at the huge diorama and noted the many identified expansions of the pit. It was difficult to comprehend all the changes that had taken place over a span of nearly 75 years, from my earliest memories when we first arrived in Asbestos. The large diorama indicated where our home once was. All the childhood visions came to the forefront. This  created a deep feeling of loss, one that permeated most of that day.

We left the library and drove around looking for places and landmarks that might be remotely familiar. There were no traces of childhood haunts. They were long gone! Our house, our neighbour’s homes, the Main Office, the hospital, the school at the end of our street, the movie theatre, the bowling alley, the outdoor skating rink, the hardware store and so many other buildings along the main street have become a part of the history of the town now only to be seen in photographs! They are forever etched in our data banks, along with multitudes of childhood memories.

New areas were built away from the open pit as it grew and expanded.

We ventured over to the lookout and we both gasped at the enormity of what lay before us. Once this giant hole was active with several 200-ton trucks moving in and out along paved roads carrying tons of crushed asbestos rocks containing fibres up to the mill for processing.  There were no more trucks or roadways. Today, the pit is simply referred to as “the hole” by the townspeople, silently, slowly filling with water.

Jeffrey Mine
Jeffrey Mine 2019
Photograph by Claire Lindell

At one point the mine was the largest single source of asbestos fibres in the world. Today the size of the pit is now close to 2 kilometres across and 350 meters in depth. Oh! so much bigger than in 1945.

The company ceased all operations in 2012 and the consequences were devastating for the industry and community. The production of Asbestos was banned throughout North America and Europe, noting that asbestos is a carcinogen causing cancer of the lungs and chest wall.

Over the last few years the town has been working toward attracting and developing new enterprises, creating new business opportunities.  One of the main companies to invest in the town is Alliance Magnesium. They are extracting magnesium from the residues. of 400 million tons of tailings from the mine, accumulated over a period of more than one hundred years.

Magnesium Ingot

Magnesium is a light weight mineral that is used in everything from medical implants to electric cars.  It is 34% lighter than aluminum. It will lighten the weight of automobiles. making them more efficient and better for the environment. At the museum we were able to handle one of the first ingots produced by Alliance Magnesium.

Hemp Insulation

Hemp farming has been introduced to the area with the intention of replacing various insulations made of fibreglass, plastic and foam. Hemp is eco-friendly and non-toxic, among its many other attributes.

Brome Lake Duck has invested $30 million to setup a processing plant raising Peking ducks, to meet the high export demand while creating 150 new jobs.  

A microbrewery, Moulin 7, named after the last working mill, has gained recognition through their award-winning beers. We had a delicious lunch in the pub. The décor has a mining theme and the beers have names such as La 1949. References to the strike and “White Gold”

…and the winner is

Another interesting tourist attraction is the Slackline that spans the width of the pit. There is an annual Slackline Festival attracting people from around the world. Last summer a young lady from British Columbia crossed without incident from one end to the other, the entire 1.66 kilometres in :58 minutes creating a new world record.

This record was broken on July 27, 2019, by Mia Noblet of British Columbia and Lukas Irmler of Germany. Both managed to cross a 2-kilometre (1.2 mi) slackline suspended more than 200 metres (660 ft) above the open-pit Jeffrey Mine in Asbestos, Quebec, during Slackfest, a slackline and highline festival. Noblet completed her crossing in 58 minutes.

Marian and I took one more quick drive around town and were pleasantly surprised at how businesses appear to be thriving. Success seems to be on the horizon.

We drove back to Montreal late in the afternoon, with a sense of satisfaction knowing that  my hometown has survived several setbacks over the years and now appears to be heading for success in new business ventures and perhaps a name change, or a new identity.

It will be interesting to follow the possibilities that lie ahead for Asbestos.

Sources:

Ducks

https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/duck-production-1.3731001

Hemp

https://www.ecohome.net/guides/3342/hemp-insulation/

https://hemplogic.blogspot.com/2018/03/hemp-insulation-comes-to-north-america.html

Identity

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/asbestos-quebec-change-name-1.5375703

https://www.asbestos.com/news/2016/11/07/asbestos-mining-town-canada-new-identity/

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/five-years-after-asbestos-mine-closure-quebec-town-seeks-new-identity/article31569391/

Magnesium

https://www.therecord.com/news-story/8352298-quebec-town-built-on-asbestos-may-find-new-life-in-byproduct-of-deadly-mineral/

A Time of Prosperity

Asbestos Part 2

by Claire Lindell.

The Asbestos Strike of 1949 was a major historical event, that touched the lives of many. In a recently posted blog on Genealogy Ensemble, ‘A Turning Point in Quebec History, reflects the turning point through the eyes of a nine-year-old living in the town during the strike”. At the end of WWII created a huge boom in construction. There was a great demand for asbestos fibre products. These products were. fire-resistant. Insulation, outside shingles, roofing tiles, floor tiles and a myriad of other products were being used in construction. The company was thriving and continued to do so throughout the next twenty years.

My Dad, Karl Lindell, played a minor role behind the scenes throughout the five months the workers were off the job. When the strike was over and the workers resumed working in the pit, underground and the mill, management realized that changes in their operations were necessary.

The Canadian Johns-Manville Company (CJM)developed a long-term plan to enlarge the open pit. In doing so, they expropriated large portions of the town and expanded in new directions. Underground operations continued. As part of these changes, in January of 1950 Dad took on a major role and was named Mine Manager of Jeffrey Mine, the largest open pit in the Western hemisphere. His responsibilities within the company were to bring stability between the workers, the union and management while producing enough asbestos to meet customer’s orders.

         Hitachi advertisement for a 200 ton truck 

 Enormous tires                                

Some of the major changes within the operations revolved around phasing out the old railway system that had been in use for many decades. The company invested in an efficient roadway within the pit and purchased several humungous 200-ton trucks to haul the crushed rock, the results of the blasting that took place several times each day. The trucks hauled their loads to the new Mill #5 to be processed removing the valuable veins of fibre in the mill where the company installed a huge dust filtration system that monitored the air quality. The fibre was extracted from the rock, bagged, ready for shipment to factories and countries around the world. The trucks were also used to haul away the residue (leftover crushed rock) often referred to as ‘tailings’, to a site outside of town.

ETRC Townshipsarchives.ca Asbestos fibres

Dad was responsible for the many changes and the daily operations. It was noted in the minutes of a National Employees of the Mining Industry meeting in January of 19501. That at one of his first meetings with the employees after taking on his new position, he assured them that every employee was equal, no matter their position in the company. He noted that there were errors committed by both the company and the union during the strike.

He earned the respect of the workers and the Union. throughout his working days with CJM.

Operations ran smoothly. As time went on, there was a need to develop a specific division relating to the sale of products. The company created the Asbestos Fibre Division and Dad headed that operation. At the time he had an opportunity to move his family to Montreal where the Division had offices. He chose to remain in Asbestos. This permitted him to maintain a good relationship with the workers.

Aerial view of Asbestos circa 1980 Flickr

Dad retired after 25 years (1945-1970) of devotion to CJM and the Asbestos community. He had traveled the world on behalf of the Asbestos industry. His contributions to its growth and development were recognized by the industry and the citizens of Asbestos.

In the latter years of Dad’s time with the company, there were deep concerns about asbestos fibre being a health hazard. By the 1980s the industry declined at a rapid rate. For a time, the Quebec Government was supportive of workers, however, over time there was an outright ban on the production of asbestos fibre. This left may workers without jobs.

How would the town survive? Could the town survive?

Part 3 will highlight some of the ways the community coped with the lost jobs and the numerous strategies that have been used since the 70’s . Did Asbestos become a ghost town? Did it find new ways and means for those who lost their jobs when all operations shut down?

Sources:

1. SAHRA. Fonds de la Federation de la Metallurgie P5. Cahiers des process-verbeau des reunions de la federation Nationale des Employees de l’Industrie Miniere. Janvier 1950, p.99-100, Asbestos filons d’histoire 1899-1999, Lampron, Rejean, Cantin, Marc, Grimard, Elise, Imprimeries Transcontinental inc., Metrolitho 1999

www.mindat.org/loc-581.html Jeffrey Mine, Asbestos, Les Sources RCM, Estrie, Québec, Canada The geological map is copied from Horváth et al. (2013) Local Geology: .

www.ubcpress.ca/asset/13390/1/9780774828413… A Town Called Asbestos – UBC Press

https://www.thefreelibrary.com/%22A+faire+un+peu+de+poussiere%3a%22+Environmental+Health+and+the+Asbestos…-a0315506063

https://carnetsce2015.wordpress.com/category/1950-a-1960/

https://www.townshipsarchives.ca/etrc-p031-photographs-001-jpg      asbestos fibres

https://store.cim.org/fr/application-of-air-to-jeffrey-mill-of-the-asbestos-canadian-milling-johns-at-the-new-manville-company-limited-asbestos-que CIM Bulletin, 1955

Click to access 3r.pdf

https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/asbestos-que?fbclid=IwAR0305fX1YrnIFB2qyU0oXBBEQSHZg6JvUFTykpKoFqwYQUn0pSS0uVf8e0

https://www.asbestos.com/news/2016/11/07/asbestos-mining-town-canada-new-identity/

A Turning Point in Quebec History

This year is the 70th Anniversary of the Asbestos Strike. (1949-2019) It has often been singled out as a turning point in the history of the province of Quebec and has also been referred to as the beginning of the Quiet Revolution.

Asbestos, Quebec is a mining town located in the Eastern Townships midst a beautiful rolling countryside, approximately 120 kilometers from Montreal. It was a company town with an open pit (Jeffrey Mine) where asbestos, a non-flammable fibrous mineral was extracted. They also mined underground and the fibres were extracted and processed in the mill.

For several months before the strike in early 1949 the miners were becoming more and more disgruntled with the working conditions. They sought an increase in wages, better working conditions and an improvement in health care.

Our parish church, St. Aime, was the meeting place for the workers. The parish priest, Father Camillrand was deeply involved in the miners’ plight. The government of Quebec under the firm hand of Premier Maurice Duplessis was aligned with the Canadian John-Manville Company, (CJM) the employer and owner of the entire mining enterprise.

On the eve of Valentine’s Day, 1949 the miners gathered in St. Aime Church in Asbestos. They voted overwhelmingly to go on strike the following day.

I was nine years old during the strike and although It was difficult to comprehend what was happening in our community, I knew that something was awry. I have vivid memories of several events that took place over five months.

Our Girl Guides and Brownies always held their gatherings in the nurse’s residence. At the time of the strike I was a Brownie. Our meetings were put on hold.

1st Asbestos Brownie Pack

At school there was taunting. Some of the students’ parents were on strike while others continued to work. This lent itself to an unpleasant situation for many. Despite the turmoil all around, all in all, life went on as normally as possible for children while the media covered the event in detail. Most townsfolk were sympathetic toward the miners. They were very generous with donations. Many workers did not have money to provide adequately for the families.

The newspapers covered the events daily and, in our home, we received the now defunct Montreal Star and Toronto Daily Star, that always arrived two days later than published. I was eager to read about the strike. At that time, I read articles by Pierre Elliott Trudeau and Gerard Pelletier, both journalists and Jean Marchand, who was a union organizer. They wrote daily columns and kept the public informed. Years later they became members of Parliament and Pierre Trudeau became Prime Minister of Canada.

Everyone in the town was affected by the strike, particularly the merchants. Most of the population in the town worked at one of the CJM operations.

CJM was the main employer, however, the Asbestos strike was not localized in the one town. It included many of the small mining companies in the area. The town of Asbestos had the largest group of miners. The open pit was the largest in North America and one of the largest in the world where they produced what was considered a magic mineral and was used in a multitude of ways. The construction boom after WWII created a large demand for asbestos products; roofing shingles, floor tiles, insulation and brake linings in cars.

Negotiators for the union and the company officials attempted to come to an agreement. It was not to be, and the violence began to escalate when the companies hired outside workers.

In May, Premier Duplessis sent in the Provincial Police. They were lodged in the nurses’ residence where their headquarters were also located.

I remember being frightened seeing the black Mariah bus loaded with burly policemen arriving in town and wondered if there would ever be an end to the ongoing troubles. Would they be able to quell the unrest before lives were lost?

The strike continued throughout May and June. The Provincial Police tactics were brutal. Several miners were seriously injured.  It was time to put an end to the strike.

Finally, in early July all parties negotiated a settlement. The strike ended with the employees having gained few of their demands, one being a small increase in hourly wages. Most of the workers went back to work, while others moved on.

They were tumultuous times that left indelible memories.

Sources: Photograph: Jeffrey Mine 1944 By Harry Rowed – https://www.flickr.com/photos/lac-bac/31123426351/in/album-72157665191042359/, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=56279338

There will be a follow-up to this article. ”Asbestos 70 Years After the Strike

Google Map showing Asbestos in relation to Montreal,
Trois Rivieres and Sherbrooke.
A 2018 Google Earth Pro aerial view of Jeffrey Mine no longer in operation.

Finding Emerie

By

Claire Lindell

Several years ago, on a pleasant drive home from Ottawa, the thought of stopping in Rigaud to visit the cemetery seemed like a good idea with the hopes of finding Emerie Chevrier, one of my ancestors.

There were so many Chevriers in the cemetery it seemed impossible that one would find Emerie! Every second or third headstone was a Chevrier. It became apparent that more specific information would be required to find the father of my great-grandmother, Marie Philomene Adele Chevrier, one of Emerie’s twenty-one children.

Nos origins 1
Census 2.

At the age of almost twenty, on the 20th of August 1839, he married young eighteen-year-old, Seraphie Cholet. Together they had fourteen children. One every year! In August of 1852, tragedy stuck and at the age of thirty-one she died, leaving him with a heavy heart, hands full, and a home filled with young children.

Upon Seraphie’s passing, Emerie realized he had a major problem that required immediate attention.  How could he tend to his farm and a home with fourteen children and no mother to care for them? One can surmise that the community came forward with a helping hand and introduced him to a new partner. It did not take very long before he was able to find a young woman willing to tackle the overwhelming task of helping him raise his family. She was one Mary McCarragher, almost twenty years old, of Irish descent. She and Emerie, still a young man of thirty-three, were married in the nearby village of Ste Marthe on January 11. 1853, less than six months after the death of his first wife.

Over the years Mary and Emerie had seven more children and he continued to farm the land. The family moved to Ste Justine de Newton, a small village near the Quebec-Ontario border not far from Rigaud.

After numerous searches to find information about Emerie’s death. 3 I was able to find his “sepulture”, the French church record of his death indicating where he is buried, a small burial ground, a fraction of the size of the Rigaud cemetery. This was the key to finding Emery. The headstone is situated beside the Catholic Church in Ste-Justine-de-Newton.

 Using Google Earth helped to determine the exact location of the cemetery. Armed with the details, with camera battery charged and ready for action, it was time to take a drive to the quaint village sixty kilometres from home.

Arriving in the small community, I parked near the church and walked to the graveyard, opened the gate and began the search. Much to my surprise, the headstone was about six paces to the left, inside the gate!

Although Emerie had passed away in 1889 and his wife Mary in 1884 their headstone was certainly not one that had endured the weather over one hundred years, but rather, it was a beautiful new headstone.4.Indeed, a fine tribute!

Footnotes:

1. https://www.nosorigines.qc.ca/genealogie.aspx

2. Ancestry.com, 1851 Census of Canada East, Canada West, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia (Ancestry.com Operations Inc), Ancestry.com, http://www.Ancestry.com, Year: 1851; Census Place: Rigaud, Vaudreuil County, Canada East (Quebec); Ancestry.com

3. Ancestry.com, Quebec, Canada, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1968 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2008), Ancestry.com, http://www.Ancestry.com, Institut Généalogique Drouin; Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Author: Gabriel Drouin, comp

4. Photograph of Emery Chevrier’s headstone taken by the author.

Jacques Archambault, Ville-Marie’s First Well Digger

When the well is dry, we shall know the value of water.

Benjamin Franklin

If your last name is Archambault there is a good chance you, too, are a descendant of Jacques Archambault of Charentes Maritimes in southwest France, a 17th century pioneer who emigrated to New France in 1645 and built Montreal’s first well and participated in North America’s first health insurance scheme.

In 1605 Antoine Archambault and Renée Ouvrand gave birth to their son Jacques, my 10th great grandfather.1. On January 24th, 1629 he married Françoise Tourault at Saint Phillbert du Pont-Charault and they had 7 children.2.

He was a laborer and a wine maker by trade. About 1645 at the age of forty, Jacques, Françoise and six of their children left France for New France. One child had died prior to their departure.

At that time, it was extremely unusual for entire families to emigrate, the cost being prohibitive. One might ask what the reasons were behind this exodus? However, around that time in their home country, Cardinal Richelieu had been persecuting Huguenots. Is it possible that Jacques and his family fled to escape these events?

The family was presumably sponsored by Pierre Legardeur de Repentigny, Director of the  Compagnie des Habitant. They set sail, most probably on Legardeur’s ship ‘Le Cardinal’.3 They arrived in Quebec City and stayed there for several years. Unfortunately, Jacques was indebted to the ship owner for the exorbitant amount of 898 livres and 10 sols. At the time 1 livre was equal to 1-pound sterling silver.

 To pay off his debt Archambault became responsible for taking care of Legardeur’s farm where Jacques also lived with his family.  In 1651 Quebec Governor Louis d’Ailleboust granted Archambault a concession of 4 arpents of frontal land “on the great river Saint Laurent in the place called le Cap Rouge”.4. a small settlement to the west of Quebec. Legardeur de Repentigny died on one of his own ships while returning to New France.

Soon thereafter, when his contract tending the farm was nearly over Jacques was contacted by Paul de Chomedy, Sieur de Maisonneuve, Governor of Montreal. There was a growing need for colonists to settle in Montreal. On November 18, 1652 de Maisonneuve gave Jacques 500 livres with a promise from him that he would live in that colony. Archambault also received large strip of land in Ville Marie, in the area that is referred to today as Old Montreal near Place d’Armes.5.

This is when Jacques Archambault enrolled in North America’s first health insurance scheme.

“During the winter of 1655 Jacques and several residents of Ville-Marie made a deal with the master surgeon, Etienne Bouchard, who was hired on March 30 to dress and give medications for all sorts of things, illnesses both natural and accidental, except for the plague. To the signers and their families for the yearly amount of 100 sols or 5 livres. If Archambault was part of the scheme, it is because he had decided that it was very useful for his family living in the territory.”5                                                                                                                                                                                             

It was in October of 1658 that de Maisonneuve agreed that Jacques would dig that historic first well in Montreal. It was to measure five feet in diameter with a guarantee of two feet of water in the bottom and was promised 300 livres and 10 pots of eau de vie (brandy). Having accomplished the first well he was asked to dig another in the garden of the hospital. His former career as a wine-maker was far behind him. He became proficient at dowsing and digging wells and was asked to construct many more.

“Near here at the Place d’Armes of the fort, Jacques Archambault (1604-1688), sole ancestor of the Archambaults of America, in 1658 constructed the first well on the Island of Montréal at de Maisonneuve’s request”.6

The first well of Ville-Marie certified by notary, 8 and dug by Jacques Archambault

Nº 58 Contract for a well

between M. Paul de Chomedey and Jacques Archambault

Dated Octobre 11, 1658

De MaiSonneuve, Bouchard L. close , BaSSet with paraphe Clerk of the court

 

Success in business came naturally to Jacques, winemaker turned well digger, however, he did experience several setbacks. The first being the death of his oldest son, Denis. He was killed in 1651 as a result of a canon explosion while fighting the Iroquois.9 On December 9, 1663 his wife of over thirty-three years, Françoise died at the age of 64.10

After a lengthy period of mourning, June 6. 1666 in Cap-de-la-Madeleine, Canada, New France  Jacques married, his second wife, Marie Denot de Lamartinère, the widow of Mathieu Labat.11. (The brewers). They settled in Verdun. At the age of 74 Jacques was no longer able to work. His children showed deep gratitude toward their father and gave him a yearly allowance of 100 livres for life.

On February 15, 1688, after 84 years of active life, of which more than half was in New France, Jacques Archambault was buried in the Notre-Dame de Montréal Cemetery.

Extracted from the Death Registry of Notre-Dame of Montréal, dated February 15th, 1688.12

Sources:

 1. https://www.nosorigines.qc.ca/genealogie.aspx

 2. Ibid.

 3. http://www.lesarchambaultdamerique.com/francais/histoire/histoire_qui%20sommes%20nous_fr.htm

 4. https://www.geni.com/people/Jacques-Archambault/6000000000175720204

 5. Ibid.

   6.  www.sophocles.com/duval/page10.html

   7.  www.lesarchambaultdamerique.com/francais/histoire/histoire_qui%20sommes%20nous_fr.html

 8.  http://www.mdharnois.net/documents/Jacques%20Archambault.pdf

 9. https://greenerpasture.com/Ancestors/Details/928

10. https://www.geni.com/people/Jacques-Archambault/6000000000175720204

11. Ibid.

12.https://www.nosorigines.qc.ca/GenealogieQuebec.aspx?genealogie=Archambault_Jacques&pid=2403

Notes:

https://pacmusee.qc.ca/en/

A plate in the back of the Pointe-à-Callière Museum of Montreal commemorates Jacques Archambault’s digging the first water well, near what is now known as Place-d’Armes, on October 11, 1658, upon request by Paul de Chomedey de Maisonneuve.

Important facts about water:

  • Civilization has historically flourished around rivers and major waterways.
  • Currently, about a billion people around the world routinely drink unhealthy water.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water

Family Reunions

There are moments in time that never seem to disappear from our memory. It is as if they were yesterday. As a fledgling genealogist surfing the internet on Yahoo late into the evening some years ago, I came upon the Finnish American Heritage Society. A tiny photograph caught my eye and sparked interest. Once I read the caption, I realized I had found a treasure I could never have imagined!   

The first thing I did was enlarge it and print it. As my printer went from side to side, I felt like the photographer waiting for the image to take shape in the developing tray. When I saw the printed copy my curiosity was heightened, as I imagined, and perhaps even then realized that all the folks in the photo were most likely relatives.

I could see my father as a young fourteen-year-old wearing a crisp white shirt and long slender tie standing directly behind his grandfather, Johan. Who were all the other people?

The picture on the computer monitor.

Altonen, Kuivinen, Karhu and Lindell Family Reunion 1919 Ashtabula, Ohio

I immediately sent an email to the webmaster inquiring about the picture. Before I knew it, I had a response from a cousin, Chuck Altonen (in Ohio) and he reassured me that all the people in the photo were my relatives, descendants of Johan and Sanna Karhu, my maternal grandmother Ida Karhu’s parents. He informed me that he was the historian in the family.

Growing up in different countries we had little contact with our American relatives.  

Many years passed. I kept in touch with several relatives in Ohio.  During the summer of 2010 I drove to Ashtabula to take part in the Altonen, Karhu, Kuivinen Lindell Family reunion.

2010 Altonen, Kuivinen, Karhu and Lindell Family Reunion Ashtabula, Ohio

Finally, I met long lost cousins. They showed me around Ashtabula Harbour where grandfather had his shop, the family farm outside town, the famous swing bridge and the lighthouse. I visited the original Bethany Lutheran Church that my relatives attended and where my Dad was confirmed.

The little photograph I first saw on the computer screen has been an inspiration over the years. I have dabbled in our family history and the reunion in Ohio in 2010 was the catalyst behind a Canadian Lindell Family reunion during the summer of 2012. Forty direct descendants of our parents, Karl and Estelle Lindell, my siblings and their extended families from across Canada and the U.S. spent the weekend together at our brother Karl’s home at Cedar Farm in Walter’s Falls, Ontario. Unfortunately about twenty family members residing in Nunavut were unable to attend but were with us in spirit.

One of the rooms in the studio had been transformed into a mini-museum with a huge family tree  showing all the descendants of the Canadian Lindells. The younger generation were interested in the family tree which had photographs. Some of the young people were meeting for the first time and relationships were immediately established. Teen-agers and little ones alike.

The weekend passed ever so quickly. Some of the adults enjoyed a sauna, children splashed in the pool and burnt off energy on the huge trampoline. Many of the youngsters took a trip to the the neighboring farm to visit the family horses.  Others tended the bar  and BBQ, so no one went hungry or thirsty. During the  first evening we sat around a campfire, sang and  reminisced about past exploits.

Saturday evening we gathered in a local community hall and shared in a catered meal. As the family historian I was asked to share several stories about our parents and their ancestors.  We adjourned to the main hall where music was provided by the younger set and everyone got in to the dancing spirit.

Sunday morning between rain showers we managed to get the entire group together for a family photograph when the sun made an appearance. Before long it was time for some of us to begin the long drive home, after having spent a wonderful weekend.

It was a simple family weekend. One to remember.

Lindell Family Reunion 2012 Cedar Farm, Walter’s Fall, Ontario
















 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 





François Eugene Jodouin

 

1895-1969

During the war years Canadian citizens were kept informed by newspapers. The Ottawa Citizen had a column CANADIAN CASUALTIES.  In the 10th of June, Monday Edition 1918. It listed under the Title Gassed, Gunner Eugene Jodouin from Sudbury, Ontario.1.

Ottawa Citizen June 19, 1918

Many young Canadian men and women made patriotic decisions to serve their country during the years 1914-1918. Some may have been reluctant, not really knowing what lay ahead, while others perceived it as a great adventure. One thing that was most likely uppermost on their minds, was a deep obligation to serve their country. They went to recruiting offices across the country and signed Attestation papers.

One of those young men was my Uncle Eugene. He was nineteen years old, a month short of his next birthday. He signed his attestation papers on September 15th,1916 in Sudbury, Ontario and took the oath to bear true allegiance to His Majesty King George the Fifth.

Joseph François Eugene Jodouin was the second child, the first son of Louis Joseph Jodouin and Louise Fortin. He was born on the  17th of October 1885 in Sudbury.2 As a young man he began working as a miner. From the mid-1880’s and onward Sudbury was a major hub of activity. Surveyors were busy, and  prospectors had found precious metals, such as copper. However, predominantly nickel ore was most sought after. The village was growing by leaps and bounds with the building of the railroad, the center of activity. Young men with families were settling in the area. Jobs were plentiful. Nevertheless, Eugene enlisted and joined the Canadian Expeditionary Forces.

Uncle Eugene signed his attestation papers and underwent the standard medical exam. It was noted that he was a short man, only 5’2”and his medical report stated that he did not meet the regulations for artillery, nevertheless, it was not a drawback. He served willingly.

He was assigned to the 72nd ‘Queen’s’ C.F.A. Battery C.E.F.

Is that Uncle Eugene on the far left? Maybe.

A large contingent of young soldiers gathered aboard the S.S. Grampian in Halifax on October 24th, 1916 bound for duty in France. After a lengthy journey they arrived in Liverpool, England on November 5th. They were transferred to “Shorncliffe a staging post for troops destined for the Western Front during the First World War”.3. Shorncliffe is located in Kent, England. 

S.S. Grampian

Records received do not indicate where Eugene was stationed in France, in which battles he saw action, although one might surmise the Battle of Verdun and the Battle of the Somme. His documents indicated he saw action in both France and Belgium.

On the 10th of March 1918, 1 Brigade C.G.A, Eugene’s unit was granted a short leave. They rejoined the unit in France on the 31st of March ready for continued active duty.”To break the deadlock of trench warfare on the Western Front, both sides tried  new military technology, including poison gasaircraft and tanks.”4 … “The skin of victims of mustard gas blistered, their eyes became very sore and they began to vomit. Mustard gas caused internal and external bleeding, attacked the bronchial tubes, stripping off the mucous membrane. This was extremely painful. Fatally injured victims sometimes took four or five weeks to die of mustard gas exposure” 

Effects of mustard gas

Many soldiers suffered from shell gas and mustard gas. Eugene was no exception. His first experience was on May 29th, 1918. He was sent to Camiers and on the 5th of June, 1918 he was admitted to the 73 Gen. Trouville Hospital and again on June 13th. On the 16th of August 1918 he was hospitalized at Base Dep Étaples the largest British Military base in the world and… “the Étaples base hospital complex hosted as many as 20 hospitals by 1917”,this time the diagnosis was mustard gas. 4. Later that year he was again hospitalized several times for scabies.

Etaples

On the 25th of January 1919 Eugene was granted a seven day leave in Paris. No doubt, he and his comrades were cheered by the people of Paris. War was over. Armistice had been declared. France was finally liberated.

On April 5th, 1919 Eugene proceeded to England and on the 3rd of May 1919 he embarked on the S.S. Mauretania in Southampton, England. They were heading for Halifax where he and many other young men and women whose lives had been changed forever finally landed on Canadian soil, the 6th of May 1919.

On May 11th, 1919 Joseph François Eugene Jodouin was officially(Discharged from. H.M.S.) No. 2 Depot PART II D.D.136, Toronto,March 23, 1921

Eugene married a young widow, Della Sinnett. In two years he was to lose her. She died of septicemia on the March 5th, 1923 while giving birth to their second child. She was only 25 years of age leaving him with his young son, Frankie. Della is buried in Sudbury in the Jodouin gravesite. At 61 years of age, Frankie was also laid to rest beside his mother and grandparents in Lasalle Cemetery in Sudbury, Ontario.

Eugene and Della’s Wedding Certificate

Uncle Eugene moved to the Kirkland Lake where Voter’s Lists indicate he worked as a shift boss in a mine. In 1940 he remarried. He died in 1969 and is buried in the Kirkland Lake Cemetery.

Sources:

1.  https://remembranceday.newspapers.com

2.  Ontario, Canada, Catholic Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1802-1987 Ancestry.ca

3.  https:/en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Front_(World_War_I)

4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemical_weapons_in_World_War_I

Notes:

Staggering statistics “a war which would last 1,566 days, cost 8,528,831 lives and 28,938,073 casualties or missing on both sides.” https://www.forces-war-records.co.uk/units/230/seaforth-highlanders/

Read:

You might wish to read Dad’s Favourite Christmas Story about young Frankie’s Christmas caper at https://genealogyensemble.com/?s=Dad%27s+Favourite+Christmas+Story