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Early Colonization

Baie-Saint-Paul’s history dates back to 1678. The town’s first pioneer families, the Simards and the Tremblays, today number in the hundreds, accounting for approximately a third of the population. Not surprising that the Canadian Tremblay Association erected a monument in their memory, right next to Carrefour Culturel Paul-Médéric.

Most of the land was once owned by the Company of One Hundred Associates, and later to by Québec’s bishop, Mgr de Laval. It was to Noël Simard called Le Lombrette that newly cleared land was entrusted with the purpose of building a farm and two mills, one for grinding wheat, the other a wood mill. In 1679, Pierre Tremblay started building the mills and farming a first tract of land, near today’s Centre éducatif Saint-Aubin. By 1710, one of his sons – also called Pierre – became Seigneur des Éboulements.

1759 marks a dramatic turn of events: an important English flotilla has sailed upriver, conquering the land, forcing residents from Isle-aux-Coudres and Petite-Rivière-Saint-François to

retreat to Baie-Saint-Paul. August 4, the English set foot in town where they are met by a large contingent of militiamen comprised of about one hundred Abenakis, with Sieur de Montcalm leading the way. Without intending to belittle these events, it is said that the cries of crows – similar to the Amerindian war cry – drove the English to take to their heels.

To check it out and imagine what the English invaders would have seen and heard that summer day in 1759, head over to Cap aux Corbeaux and stop at the Baie-Saint-Paul lookout (Route 362, heading towards Les Éboulements). What you see is nothing short of spectacular. Selfie opp!

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