I feel very lucky to have had a wonderful childhood playing in a region of Quebec that is today recognized as having played a significant role in the history of the province and the nation. It also is the home of a number of unique minerals on the planet and a Quebec provincial historical site, the Manoir Rouville-Campbell seigneury (where I cut the grass as a youngster and roamed its hallways, the stables, and its passages) which was granted to Jean-Baptiste Hertel by Louis XIII 1694. Along with the former A. Hamilton Gault estate and Mont. Saint-Hilaire that he bequeathed to McGill University, the region is renown for its maple syrup and apple orchards.
Mom and Dad moved from Westmount in Montreal out to the country when its population was only just above 3,000 whereas today its edging 20,000 inhabitants. They wanted their children to have a more free rural lifestyle roaming the mountain, playing along side the Richelieu River, watching the red fox kits at their dens in Otterburn Heights, and generally just being kids without the worries of big city life.
Grandma and Grandad along with my uncle, and my dad built our family cottage in Haliburton, Ontario. It’s where we spent every summer playing in the lake, berry picking with my mother and grandmother who prepared homemade berry pies and going on canoe excursions with my older brother. Life was carefree and joyful!
The artifacts in the photograph are just a few of the family momentoes that I have and cherish. That’s the next story I’ll share with my readers. Both sides of the family have a rich and interesting history that I’m proud to say I have the privilege by virtue of birth having inherited.
Life ultimately is about the memories and being grateful to our ancestors that paved the trail ahead for us. They did the heavy lifting; cleared the land we prize today for its productivity and its monetary value. In some cases they endured six weeks of squalid conditions onboard ships driven by wind and sails. Then only to reach our shores and become indentured serfs for five years to pay for his or her passage across the Atlantic. How fortunate are we?