Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ste Anne de Bellevue, 1903

Main Street Ste Anne de Bellevue from a 1903 tourist book about Montreal and environs. The village is still quaint and the strip is filled with restaurants and it's a favourite place for us to visit in the summer to eat and drink by the water and watch the boats go by.

There are locks there, which must have been put in after 1903.

Flora Nicholson lived in Ste Anne for a school year in 1911-12. Her sisters visited her there. That's because in 1907, Macdonald Agricultural College was built and it reluctantly took on the Mcgill Normal School that became Macdonald Teacher's College. It stands today as John Abbott Cegep, a beautiful place, indeed.

Here's the blurb about Ste. Anne from the brochure.

This picturesque village lies at the very west end of Montreal island and is, without exception, the quaintest bit of the entire island and one of Montreal's most popular summer resorts and the shores of the island above the village are dotted with the magnificent homes and country cottages of the more properous Montreal businessmen.

But Ste. Anne has very much more than a reputation as a pleasant summer suburb. It's position, at the confluence of the Ottawa and Ste Lawrence River made it the scene of many stirring events in the early days of the French settlers.

Here, the Voyageurs, when leaving for the unknown interior said a long goodbye to civilization; here, the Indian war parties, travelling from North and West, by the two great rivers, united their forces before sweeping down on the White Settlers further east. Here, about 1700, trade was carried on with the friendly Indians, frequently interrupted by fighting with the hostile Iroquois.

This area was the sight of a recent spat between the First Nations People, the Mohawk of Kanesatake, and the authorities, what we called the Oka Crisis over a pine forest that is a sacred burial ground.

It made news across the continent and beyond.

Well, Saturday I am visiting my father-in-law in the Veteran's Hospital which looms large there. His floor, the 10th, has a splendid view of the entire area so I'll take some pictures. In my novel in progress, Flo in the City, I can have Flo read this bit from the book.