A History Timeline
(with particular emphasis upon the Vaudreuil, Hudson, Ste-Marthe
and Ste-Madeleine de Rigaud areas)
Maben W. Poirier of the Hudson Historical Society
NOTE: This timeline was prepared based on information contained in the archives of the Hudson Historical Society, on information contained in two earlier timelines produced by anonymous authors also contained in the archives of the Hudson Historical Society, and on information that has been collected over the years. Some of the information from the two anonymous timelines in the archives has been corrected. Maben W. Poirier is responsible for the information that relates to the history of the French and Irish communities in the areas of Hudson, Rigaud, Ste-Marthe and Vaudreuil, as well as for information relative to the distant past. NOTE THAT ALL OF THE THUMBNAIL PHOTOS CAN BE ENLARGED BY PLACING YOUR MOUSE ON THE PHOTO AND PRESSING THE LEFT BUTTON. (I would appreciate it if suggested additions and/or corrections were brought to my attention.)
I. Pre-European settlement.
A. Distant past: 11,000 B.C. to 1000 A.D.
1. The earliest human settlement in the area occurred after the retreat of the waters following the last "ice age," namely, the Wisconsin glaciation. According to geologists, it seems that islands in the Champlain sea began to make their appearance around 11,000 B.C. (here we speak of the shoulders of Rigaud Mountain [the summit of Rigaud was always above the waters of the Champlain Sea], and possibly the shoulders of Mont Bleu), and by c. 9,000 B.C., after the waters had receded to a considerable extent, although by no means to the degree that we know today, small bands of nomadic hunters (paleo-indians) were in the general area, having come here from the south or south-west. It should be noted that to date, there is no evidence that there were paleo-indians in the immediate area (Vaudreuil/Soulanges), although there is some evidence that they were in the Trent-Severn water-ways in eastern Ontario.
B. More recent past: 1000 to 1500 A.D.
1. (In preparation.)
II. Earliest European settlement--French, Scottish, English, and Irish.
A. French settlers in the area.
1. French explorers passing through the area.
a) 1611: The first white man on the Lac des deux montagnes was Étienne Brûlé. (Note: Regarding the designation "The Lake of the Two Mountains" or "The Lake of Two Mountains," there is no widespread agreement as to which two mountains constitute the "two mountains" in the name. In the past, some believed that the two mountains in question were Mont Rigaud [220 metres in height], on the south side of the river, and Mont Blue [245 metres in height] on the north side of the Ottawa. However, it is generally conceded today that neither Mont Rigaud nor Mont Blue constitute the "two mountains" in question. Rather, it is deemed more likely that the "two mountains" are Montagne du Calvaire [which ranges between 150 to 190 metres in height] and Montagnes St-Sulpice [which is approximately 120 metres in height]. This latter mountain is in the vicinity of La Grande Baie, east of the village of Oka. See Jean-Paul Ladouceur, "Note de Recherche: A La Recherche des Deux Montagnes," RHAF, Vol. LII No. 3 (Winter 1999), pp. 1-21.)
c) 1613: Samuel de Champlain paddles up the Lac des deux montagnes on his way west on October 11.
d) 1615: Samuel de Champlain and Etienne Brulé explore the Ottawa River, searching for the northwest passage, Georgia Bay, and Lake Ontario.
e) 1615: The Recollets pass through the Lac des deux montagnes on their way to establish a mission to the Hurons on what is today Georgian Bay (Huronia).
f) 1629: Champlain is captured by the English, and is held captive in England until 1632. Upon his return to New France, he is named governor, and remains such until his death in 1635.
g) 1635: Samuel de Champlain dies at Quebec City. (In an interesting introduction to La Découverte du Canada, Tome Premier, Naissance du Canada et Mystère Champlain, published by Les Amis de L'Histoire, Montréal, 1969, Jean Dumont suggests that Champlain may have been a Spanish spy. We do not know what to make of this point, or even whether to take the suggestion seriously, but if it is true, it is certainly very interesting.)
h) 1656: Father Garreau, S.J., is killed by Iroquois at Pointe Cavagnal. We presume this to mean that the killing took place in the Pointe Cavagnal area, but we do not know if the expression "Pointe Cavagnal" refers to the actual point of land mid-way between the old village of Vaudreuil and Hudson, or the general area west of this point. In early days the entire stretch of land between Point Cavagnal and Hudson was referred to as Cavagnal. (Note: The proper spelling of Cavagnal is in dispute. It is sometimes spelled "Cavagnol." However, the historian Guy Frégault contends that the correct spelling is "Cavagnial." See Itinéraire toponymique du Saint-Laurent, ses Rives et ses Isles: Etudes et recherches Toponymiques #9, Québec 1981, p. 27.)
i) 1660: Dollard des Ormeaux and sixteen companions pass through le Lac des deux montagnes on the way to their date with destiny at Carillon. (Research designed to find the actual location of the battle between Dollard and his sixteen companions and the Iroquois was conducted in the 1960s, and while it was not possible to find conclusive evidence pointing to the place where the May 1660 skirmish occurred, it was the view of those conducting the research at that time that the best bet was at a place on the south shore of the Ottawa river in the vicinity of the village of Chute à Blondeau, some distance from where it was traditionally presumed to have taken place. [See also The Gazette, Montreal, "Dollard des Ormeaux killed in Ontario, not Quebec: historian," Thursday, March 25, 2004, p. A15.])
j) 1670: The expedition of Simon-François Dumont passed through le Lac des deux montagnes on its way to Lake Superior.
k) 1686: D'Iberville leads a military expedition across the Lac des deux montagnes in winter crossing on the ice.
l) 1686: Radisson and Desgrosselier go up the Ottawa River on their way to Hudson Bay.
m) 1687: The parish of Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue is founded at the western tip of the Island of Montreal.
n) 1689: August 4th. The Lachine Massacre takes place and all but brings to a halt westward expansion and settlement of the most easterly parts of the Ottawa river valley for a period of about twenty-five plus years.
p) 1692: The construction of the fort at Senneville by Jacques Le Ber. The object of those constructing this fort was to position the occupants of the fort so as to have first choice in furs brought down the Ottawa by the tribes of the upper Ottawa. (Whereas most fort constructed around the island of Montreal were made of wood, this fort was built in stone.) See photo.
2. Early (French) European settlement in the general area. This relates to the westward expansion of New France.
a) 1702: The founding of the Seigneurie de Vaudreuil on October 23rd. Title to the seigneurie is granted to Le Marquis Philippe de Rigaud de Vaudreuil. A small chapel, which attracts mostly trappers and fur-traders, is constructed in 1711. (1)
b) 1703: A mission station is founded by Father de Breslay of the Sulpicians on Ile aux Tourtes. Vestiges of this small mission can be seen on the Vaudreuil side of the river as one crosses Ile aux Tourtes bridge in a westerly direction. This mission survived until 1727, when the inhabitants of the mission, i.e., a few French fur-traders, two our three soldiers, and a small band of Nippissings (Algonquin people from the Lake Nippissing area), moved to the newly established fort at Oka. See the writings of historian Léon Robichaud on the subject.
c) 1711: The parish of St. Joachim is established at Pointe Claire.
d) 1720: The parish of La Visitation at Sault-au-Recollet is founded.
e) 1721: The Sulpician mission at Sault aux Recollets moves to present-day Oka. This new mission at Oka is known as La mission du lac des deux montagnes.
f) 1725: The first thirty-eight concessions (between Cascades and Pointe Cavagnol) are granted by de Vaudreuil. It is not known how many of the concessionaires occupied their land; nor is it known if de Vaudreuil himself ever resided on his seigneurie.
g) 1725: The death of de Vaudreuil. His fourth son, Pierre de Rigaud de Vaudreuil de Cavagnol, becomes seigneur. He secures title to the seigneurie on February 10th, 1729.
h) 1732: (Pierre) de Vaudreuil launches a drive to get the concessionaires to establish themselves on the land that has been ceded them. He appoints Charles St-Onge and Joseph Gamelin as his agents. It is their job to recruit people to move to the area. The land around Pointe Cavagnol is surveyed.
i) 1734: Louis Malet (Mallette) is ceded land (farm #9) in the Como area in May 1734.(2)
j) 1738: Jean-Baptiste Séguin is ceded land (farm # 16) in the Como area in June 1738. He obtains farm #15 from the seigneur in January 1743. Note that this is to the immediate west of the property currently known as "Greenwood."
k) 1741: The parish of Ste-Genevive is founded. This parish is located on the western part of the Island of Montreal.
l) c. 1742: Jean-Baptiste Séguin marries Catherine Raizenne, the daughter of Ignace Raizenne (Josiah Rising [Shoentakwanni] of Suffield, Connecticut), who had been captured in the Deerfield Raid of 1704, and who, as an adult, settled in the Cavagnal area (likely in what is today the Como area). Catherine younger sister, Marie Anne Raizenne had married Louis Séguin (captain of the militia at the fort at Oka and brother to Jean-Baptiste) in 1736.
m) c. 1742: Between 1742 and 1759, concessionaires establish themselves on the land to be identified later as Como, Hudson and Hudson Heights. Family names such as Castonguay, Farand (dit Vivarais)--today spelled Pharand--Pilon, Larocque (dit Rocquebrune), Léger (dit Parisien), Séguin (dit Ladéroute), etc., appear for the first time in the area. Many of these families were former residents of the fort at Oka (La mission du lac des deux montagnes).
n) 1742: Jacques Sabourin is ceded the farm (farm #14) on which Greenwood is located on March 22, 1742. The farm is 3 arpends wide along the river and 20 arpends deep. He presumably began constructing a house, and possibly a small shelter for animals, on the land during the late spring and summer of the same year.
o) 1763: The Seigneurie is sold to Marquis Michel Chartier de Lotbinière, who builds his manor house in present day Dorion.
p) 1768: The new seigneur gives La Point Brunette (Choisy) to his daughter, Marie Louise.
q) 1769: Michel Eustache Gaspard Alain Chartier (son of the Marquis) buys the Seigneuries of Vaudreuil and Rigaud from his father.
r) 1771: A small church is constructed at Vaudreuil two years before the founding of the parish.
s) 1773: The parish of St-Michel is founded at Vaudreuil.
t) 1781: A census shows that there are 46 landholders (concessionaires) in the seigneurie. Of these 46, only two have English surnames--a Murray and a Nathaniel Lynch.
u) 1783-1789: The current church, which is a fine example of French provincial church architecture, was constructed at Vaudreuil. The construction work and decoration of the church brings to Vaudreuil some of the finest church architects and artists of New France, who set up shop in Vaudreuil for the duration of the construction and decoration period. The decoration period lasts from 1792 to 1797. It is well worth a visit by people passing through the area. (Arrangements in advance may need to be made.)
v) 1783: William Atkinson of Nova Scotia buys Lot #15, above Pointe Cavagnol, from the heirs of Jean-Baptiste Séguin, for his daughter Elizabeth, who is married to John Mark Crank. The Cranks settle on the land in 1789. (Note: At the moment, we do not know precisely who this Jean-Baptiste Séguin was, for there were at least two and perhaps three Jean-Baptistes at the time. However, we can say that he was not the Jean-Baptiste Séguin who married Catherine Raizenne in 1742, since this Jean-Baptiste is said to have died in July 1786 while working on his farm. The likelihood is that we are speaking here of Jean-Baptiste (Jeannot), son of Jean-Baptiste and Geneviève Barbeau, who died in July of 1786, and who is the ancestor of the Séguin's of Rigaud and Ripon, Québec.)
w) 1786: The parish of Ste-Jeanne-de-Chantal on Ile Perrot is founded.
x) c. 1790: W.C. Whitlock-an American-buys Fief Choisy from Marie Louise de Lotbinière.B. The arrival of Scots and English settlers in the area.
B. The arrival of Scots and English settlers in the area.
1. c. 1800: John and Charles Schneider (Hessians) settle at Point Cavagnol. Schneider's Inn is built about eight years later. (Note: This is an instance where the expression "Pointe Cavagnal" does not refer to the actual point, since we know precisely where the Schneiders settled, and where Schneider's Inn is located.)
2. 1802: The parish of Ste-Madeleine is founded at Rigaud.
3. c.1810: The Halcro family settles in the Rigaud area.This family was originally from the Orkneys. James Halcro came to North America as a Hudson's Bay Company employee. He worked for "the company" in the West for approximately ten plus years prior to his coming east, and arrived in the Cavagnal area following an overland voyage from Hudson Bay Territory. (See item below.)
4. 1811: The Côte St. Charles area is surveyed by James Fortune. One of the first settlers in "the Côte" area is Solomon Grout, a school teacher.
5. c. 1811: Scottish settlers arrive from the Northwest.
a) One of the earliest, if not the earliest, group of U.K. peoples to settle in the Hudson area was a small party of Scots, who came overland from the Hudson Bay Territory under the leadership of Governor Thomas. (It is to be noted here that this was an especially treacherous journey, both because of the difficulties associated with the journey and because of the "state of war" that prevailed at the time between the Hudson Bay people and Northwest Company people. No other group in these early times ever attempted an overland journey from Hudson Bay to the Montreal area.) One of their scouts (see James Halcro mentioned above) arrived in the area around 1810 or early 1811, and the main party arrived soon thereafter, c. 1812. Governor Thomas settled in the vicinity of what is today Mount Victoria, and Robert Longmore, an Edinburgh-born explorer (1774-pre 1814), and the first white man on the South Saskatchewan River, settled in the vicinity of what would later become known as Alstonvale. See The Dictionary of Canadian Biography for Robert Longmore's story.
6. 1817: The first known visit of a Methodist circuit rider (W. Case) to the area.
7. 1817: William Coley Whitlock comes into possession of land that is currently owned by The Whitlock Golf and County Club.
8. 1819: Cornelius Cook sells a piece of land for use as a Protestant cemetery. This is the land on which St. James Anglican Church is located.
9. c. 1819: The first steamship makes its appearance on the Ottawa River.
10. 1819-1829: English-speaking settlers in the area.
a) 1820s: English families from the Cumberland district of England arrive in the area and initially settle on St. Henri Road on Rigaud Mountain. With the passage of time, many of these families moved to Cote St. Charles Road, and eventually some into what is now the Hudson area proper.
11. 1822: The Seigneur dies, and leaves the Seigneurie de Vaudreuil to his eldest daughter, and the Seigneurie de Rigaud to his second daughter.
12. Irish settlers arrive in the area.
a) c.1829-and after: A large number of Irish families either coming directly from Ireland or from other places in Québec (i.e., St. Columban, in the Laurentians) arrive in the area and, at the behest of the Seigneuress, initially build log-cabins for themselves on St. George road on Rigaud Mountain. Eventually many will settle on farms to the south (Ste-Marthe) and east (Fief St. George) of the mountain. (This community of Irish is rather sizable for the times. By mid-century, as many as one-hundred-twenty-five (125) households will trace their presence in the area to this migration. However, unlike the Cumberland people, many of the descendants of these Irish families will migrate to eastern Ontario (Alfred and environs) and then on to the U.S. (Ohio, North Dakota, Illinois, New York, Texas, and California), particularly in the years between 1885 and 1910.)
13. 1837-38: Political instability in the area. As was the case in many areas of southern Québec, so too in the Hudson area, political instability and rebellious activity reigned in the region during the period. See Robert-Lionel Séguin, Le Mouvement Insurrectionnel dans la Presqu'ile de Vaudreuil, 1837-1838, (Montréal: Librairie Ducharme Limitée, 1955). This is a most important study on the subject of the 1837-1838 rebellion in the area.
14. 1842: The founding of the Anglican parish of St. James in what is known to us today as Hudson Heights takes place. With the arrival of English Protestant peoples in the area, it was inevitable that the religious needs of these peoples would make themselves felt. For some twenty years, religious services for Anglicans had been conducted at the fort at Coteau du Lac, but that was some fifteen or so miles from the Hudson area, and required that one travel over difficult roads that were virtually impassable in winter. As a result, by the early 1840s, Anglicans began constructing a church for themselves in Hudson Heights on land formerly owned by Cornelius Cook.
15. 1844: The founding of Ste-Marthe parish, and the spread of Irish from the mountain into the flat fertile lands southeast of the mountain. Prior to 1844, the area known to us as Ste-Marthe was part of the parish of Ste-Madeleine de Rigaud.
16. 1845: The establishment of the Ottawa Glass Works (presumably named after the river) in what is today the Como area of Hudson.
a) 1865: The founding of the parish of Ste-Justine de Newton, south-west of Ste-Marthe.
a) 1877: The founding of the parish of St. Lazare in the county of Vaudreuil.
b) 1877: There are no more advertisements in Montreal newspapers relative to any glass works in the Hudson area.
a) 1881: There are no traces left in printed, census, etc., record relative to glass works in the Hudson area.
b) 1885: At the behest of local Catholics, efforts are made by the Diocese of Montreal—of which the civil county of Vaudreuil was part at the time—to establish a Catholic mission in the Harwood Road area (Alstonvale), on a piece of land owned by Mr. Abraham Séguin. No doubt this was owing to the felt need of a large number of French farmers in the area west of the current town of Hudson at the time, many of whom were Séguins. Father Chatillon, the mission priest, stays in the area for a few months, but eventually is forced to recognize that this mission is not going to be a success. It will not be for another twelve years before Hudson area Catholics will successfully establish a Catholic mission in what is present-day central Hudson. By this time, the civil county of Vaudreuil had been annexed to the recently created Diocese of Valleyfield.
c) 1890: On February 17th the first train belonging to Vaudreuil-Prescott Railway Co. passes through Hudson on its way to Rigaud. This company undergoes a name change on March 26, 1890. The new name will be the Montreal-Ottawa Railway Co. On November 15th, 1892 the company will experience yet another name change. It will become known as the Canadian PacificRailway Company, and it will keep this name to this day.
a) 1897: October -- The founding of the Roman Catholic mission of St. Thomas Aquinas in Hudson. The priest in charge of the mission is Fr. Alphonse Reid. Fr. Reid will direct the destinies of the mission until 1923.
b) 1898: April 13th -- The first private Catholic school in Hudson opens its doors. Class is held for a brief period in the residence of the priest in charge of the mission—Fr. Alphonse Reid—after which time the school is moved to another private residence. Thirty students attend at a cost of 0.25 cents per month.
C. The Twentieth Century.
a) 1904: The founding of the parish of St-François-Xavier at Pointe Fortune.
b) 1906: Beginnings of the "ice industry" in Hudson. The first ice house, founded by Joe Wilson, is located immediately west of the Yacht Club. Joe Wilson sells this ice harvesting company to Napoléon Masson (who named his new acquisition the Crystal Ice Co.) at some point during the second decade of the Twentieth Century. Masson, in turn, sells it to City Ice Co. in 1922. This ice house was later known locally as Meldrum's. It legal name was “City Ice Co.” The last owner of this company was Napoléon Sénéchal, who owned the land on which the Meldrum Ice House was located until the mid 1950s.
c) 1909: The construction of a Catholic school on St. Jean street in Hudson, behind the mission church, takes place. This school will function as a school till the spring of 1952, at which point it will become an apartment house, which is what it is to the present day.
a) 1914-18: The Great War.
b) 1917 August 18: The Curtis and Harvey Powder Factory at Dragon explodes at 8:40 a..m. on a Saturday morning killing one person, an Englishman named Gorden Shortrede. Damage caused by the explosion is experienced as far away as Harwood Road in Alstonvale where window panes in the home of Capt. E. Séguin are shattered by the concussive effects of fifteen tremendous blasts in less than two hours. The explosions are heard as far away as Ste-Geneviève. The damages would have been much worse had it not been fot the bravery of a C.P.R. train engineer, who, while waiting at Rigaud train station for a signal to leave for Montreal, was informed that there were three train wagons loaded with explosives in the immediate area of the exploations. Upon hearing this, he disconnected his engine from the passanger cars at the station, moved the engine down the track to Dragon, while the blasts were taking place, managed to get onto the siding leading to company property, connected up the three loaded wagons and left. It is noteworthy that in 1917, Dragon, no doubt owing to the presence of the powder factory, had a population of approximately 5000 people, while Rigaud had 2000. Owing to the war and the diverse origins of many of these people, some suspected that the cause of the disaster was sabotage, but it was quickly confirmed that this was not the case. The case was a simple accident. (Source: La Patrie, Monday, August 20, 1917.)
b) 1918-19: The Spanish Flu hits the area. A number of people catch the illness, and a few succumb to it. Twin Lauzon sisters in the Fief Choisy die within hours of one another, and Ms. Laurin, the telephone switchboard operator for the village, also succumbs to the illness.
a) 1920: "Hudson High School," on Cote St. Charles road, begins operation with three teachers and 72 students.
b) 1922: The renovation of St. Thomas Aquinas mission chapel begins. This renovation is undertaken in order to meet the needs of the community, and to mark the canonical elevation of the mission to the status of parish in three years time.
d) 1923: A one-room Catholic school is constructed in Como-East. It opens its door on October 22nd.
f) 1925: The Dominican order of nuns move into the newly formed parish and are given the responsibility of teaching in the parish school.
a) 1934: A major fire at the Wilson Ice House destroys some of the sheds. These sheds are not rebuilt after the fire, and it leads to the scaling down of the operation for the remainder of the existence of the company.
b) 1939-45: The War.
a) 1944-1945: The City Ice Co. (Meldrum's) ceases to operate.
b) 1946: The Catholic school in Como-East is burned to the ground on May 4th., and is rebuilt by December 1946.
c) 1947: August – In connection with the festivities associated with the 50th anniversary of St. Thomas Aquinas, the ethnologist Robert-Lionel Séguin publishes a monograph on the history of the church in the area, as well as a general history of the area.
d) 1948: The Dominican nuns leave the area and are replaced by the Sisters of Ste-Anne, an order of nuns founded in the mid 19th Century in the Village of Vaudreuil.
e) 1948: An English-speaking Catholic elementary school is established as part of the Catholic school system in the Hudson area. Classes are held in the same venues as the French classes, i.e., St-Jean street behind the church, and then, after 1952, in the “new school” on the Main Road.
a) 1950: Discussion gets underway to construct a modern school for English- and French-speaking Catholics. Land is purchased for the construction of the school from the Estate of the late Joseph Blenkinship on the Main Road, east of the church.
b) 1951: Construction of the new St. Thomas Aquinas School gets underway in the summer. The school will house a convent for the Sisters of Ste-Anne (a teaching order of nuns that has been in the area since 1948), eight classrooms, a gym, and offices. A second floor will be added c. 1955, housing an additional eight classrooms.
c) 1952: The opening of St. Thomas Aquinas Elementary School on the Main Road in Hudson in September. Prior to this, English and French-speaking Catholics attended classes in the “old school,” which was located behind the Church on St.-Jean street. Today this building is an apartment house.
d) 1952: Influenced by the Robert Lionel Séguin's monograph on St. Thomas Aquinas, which was published in 1947, Rev. C. Royle (rector of the Anglican parish of St. James) produces a preliminary version (mimeographed) of the history of St. James parish. This version, which is difficult to come by today, will be expanded with time and will become a sizable work by 1955, at which point a “definitive” version will be published in a private printing.
e) 1955: Robert-Lionel Séguin publishes a history of the rebellion of 1837-38 in the county of Vaudreuil. The work is entitled Le Mouvement Insurrectionnel dans la Presqui'île de Vaudreuil 1837-38, and the publisher is Librairie Ducharme Limitée. (This work is a collector's item today.)
f) 1959-1960: The last year in which the Wilson Company harvests ice on the Lake of Two Mountains.
a) 1961: The Wilson Company ice house is demolished following a fire.
b) 1963: The founding of the Hudson Historical Society.
(1) October 1963: The founding of the Hudson Historical Society takes place towards the end of October at a meeting held on a Saturday morning in late October in the living-room of Armour and Ruth Sampson’s home. The Sampson's were then living in a house not far from Hudson Heights train station. In attendance at the meeting, in alphabetical order, were: Maben W. Poirier, Rev. Cecil Royle, Amour and Ruth Sampson, John Thompson. Maben Poirier recalls that Betty Kennedy did not attend this first meeting (although she was aware of its taking place). Betty was at the second meeting, which took place a week later in her home on either Brisbane or Birch Hill Avenues. Prior to this first meeting, Maben W. Poirier and John Thompson had discussed the idea of forming a historical society in the area while travelling back and forth on the train to attend university in Montreal. Maben W. Poirier recalls that John Thompson mentioned that he and Rev. Royle had discussed the idea of founding a historical society in the area earlier on in the year, but nothing resulted from these discussions.
c) 1965…: It is also difficult to be specific about when the beach began operations. The best guess is that it began functioning as a public beach charging an admission fee some time around 1900, or perhaps a little earlier. Mrs. Joseph Blenkinship (Alicia [Alice] Gray) was well remembered locally in the 1950s for her assiduousness when it was a matter of collecting entrance fees at “the gate.”
d) 1965: The Hudson Sandy Beach, property of the Blenkinship family, ceases to function as a public beach. It is difficult to say exactly when the beach ceased operations for it took place over a two to three year period following the death of Mrs. R.A. Blenkinship (Effie Bignell) in early November 1964, during which time the Blenkinships made up their mind about the future of the resort area.
e) It should be noted here that the Sandy Beach was a well frequented area both by locals and by people from further afield. Many local families have pictures of family members enjoying themselves at the beach, and from the later 1940s on into the late 1950s, Montreal businesses (Vickers, for example) afforded their employees a “day-at-the-beach,” and special passenger trains would stop vis-à-vis the beach road crossing to allow their passengers to disembark. Many will still recall Allen Blenkinship standing at “the gate,” counter-in-hand, smiling to all and issuing words of welcome, while clicking away as each person went through a narrowing in the gate. At the end of “the count,” a Vickers official would approach Allen and ask for the tally, and Allen would say 847, or 926, or, in some rare cases, 1074. The charge per person in these days was 0.25 cents. It was $1.00 per automobile, up to a maximum of 4 persons, and if more than 4 were in the car, then an additional 0.25 cents per person would be charged. Often Allen would overlook the extras if the family seemed poor and the father was evidently attempting to give his children a “day in the county.”
f) 1967: The fusion of the villages of Como, Hudson and Hudson Heights takes place, and the resulting municipality is known as the "Town of Hudson."
g) 1967: John Thompson's M.A. thesis is published by the Hudson Historical Society. The title of the work is Hudson: The Early Years, up to 1867. This work will go through a number of editions. The focus of the thesis is on the years between 1820, when the Cumberland settlers arrived in the area, and 1867. (A history of the area that convers the period from 1702 on to the present has yet to be written.)
a) 1983: December – An ice storm on December 12th knocks out electric power for approximately a week in the Hudson area.
b) 1988: Storm-drains are installed along the main road in central Hudson disrupting life in town from July until late November.
a) 1992: The 150th anniversary of the Anglican parish of St. James is celebrated.
b) 1996: The fusion of the towns of Dorion and Vaudreuil takes place on March 16th.
c) 1997: The 100th anniversary of the Parish of St. Thomas Aquinas is celebrated in January.
d) 1998: A major "ice storm" hits southern Québec in early January (January 6th), and knocks out electric power for three weeks, and even longer in certain localities.
I. The Twenty-first Century.
1. 2002-2003: A developer proposes to build a multi-family housing development on the former Sandy Beach or “Blenkinship's Beach” in the centre of Hudson. This causes some consternation amongst some of the older residents of the town as well as amongst some of the new arrivals in town. The beach property is the last sizable piece of potentially public land in town giving residents access to the Ottawa shoreline. The beach property, some 45 arpends, had been offered to the town by the original owners, the Blenkinship family, for a very small fraction of its value in 2002 in the early 1970s. However, the town council of the day rejected the offer, claiming it was too costly a venture.
2. December 2004: The proposed nature-trail for the Sandy Beach development project is revealed in the Hudson Gazette for December 2nd, 2004.
3. 2008: Sewers and a waste water treatment plant are installed in Hudson. Though the work involved is more complicated than the installation of the storm-drains in 1988, the disruption of life in town is minor by comparison, and this is largely owing to the fact that sections of roads are brought back to normal almost immediately after the work is done.
4. 2009: The Hudson Historial Society publishes, in French and with minor amendments in the form of corrections and footnotes, a new edition of Robert Lionel Séguin's 1947 monograph on the history of the Parish of St. Thomas Aquinas entitled Étude Monographique relative â la paroisse de Saint-Thomas d'Aquin d'Hudson, Conté de Vaudreuil. The 1947 edition of this work sparked interest in local history and led to the publication in the 1950s of Rev. C. Royle's history of St. James Anglican Parish, and John Thompson's history in 1967 mentioned above.
Topics: Hudsonpoirmw on Mon, 2007-05-21 09:49.