The Info List - Eastern Townships

--- Advertisement ---

Coordinates: 45°28′53″N 71°40′04″W / 45.4814°N 71.6678°W / 45.4814; -71.6678

Eastern Townships

The Eastern Townships
Eastern Townships
(French: Cantons de l'Est) is a tourist region and a former administrative region in southeastern Quebec, Canada, situated between the former seigneuries south of the Saint Lawrence River and the United States border. Its northern boundary roughly followed Logan's Line (or Logan's Fault)—the geologic boundary between the St. Lawrence Lowlands and the Appalachian Mountains.[1] The region comprises counties that were originally divided into townships after the traditional method of land grants of the original New England
New England
and New York settlers. Earlier French settlement along the Saint Lawrence River
Saint Lawrence River
had divided the landscape into parishes and Seigneuries. The tourist region now covers most of the region. The administrative region, officially called Estrie, is slightly smaller. The principal cities are Sherbrooke, Granby, Magog, and Cowansville. The towns of Drummondville, Victoriaville, and Thetford Mines
Thetford Mines
are part of the historical region. The region has summer colonies used by vacationing Montrealers and several ski resorts, including Mount Orford, Ski Bromont, Mount Sutton, and Owl's Head.


1 Geography 2 Demographics 3 History 4 Heritage sites 5 Notable natives and inhabitants 6 See also 7 Footnotes 8 External links

Geography[edit] For a complete list of the townships, see List of Eastern Townships. Demographics[edit] The area contains a population of about 330,000, most of whom are French-speaking. It also contains about 41,000 native English-speaking inhabitants, forming a significant minority in the community.[2] The area has been described as "populated by well-heeled cottagers and gentlemen farmers."[3] History[edit] The first inhabitants[4] of the region were the Abenaki
First Nations. The names of many towns, lakes and rivers of the area are of Abenaki origin. The Abenakis allied themselves with the French during the Seven Years' War to fight the British. The region was part of New France
New France
until the 1763 Treaty of Paris
1763 Treaty of Paris
which granted the region to the British. Shortly after the American Revolution, a few United Empire Loyalists, who fled the revolution in order to stay loyal to the British Crown, settled in the Eastern Townships. The land there was controlled by three English seigneurs: Colonel Henry Caldwell had purchased what had been the Foucault Seigneurie, which ran along the Richelieu River
Richelieu River
and a little over the present day frontier; Colonel Gabriel Christie was seigneur of Noyan; and Thomas Dunn was seigneur of Saint-Armand. The early loyalists settled in and around Missisquoi Bay. A popular misconception is that there was a huge influx of Loyalists to the Eastern Townships. In fact most of the immigration from New England
New England
happened in the early nineteenth century, thirty or so years after the Revolution. Most were farmers seeking new lands, something the townships had to offer. Some Loyalists moved to the area during the Revolutionary War. After it ended Sir Frederick Haldimand, the governor of Quebec, expected them to move westward with the rest of the Loyalists. He cut off the rations the government had been providing. However, they resisted efforts to be moved by force and were finally permitted to stay by Lieutenant Governor Henry Hamilton after Haldimand's return to England.[3] The status of the Eastern Townships
Eastern Townships
Loyalists was resolved when the seigneurs agreed to permit them to stay on their land for a nominal fee. The exact number cannot be ascertained, but a petition they sent to the governor included 378 names. Allowing for a family of five, this could suggest a population of about 1600 or so. The land they settled on, the present-day area of Noyan, Clarenceville and St. Armand, was not part of the Eastern Townships
Eastern Townships
(which were not opened to settlement until 1791), but have since been regarded as part of the Townships. Under the terms of the Constitutional Act of 1791, the Eastern Townships were open to settlement and a land rush followed. Most of the 3,000 or so settlers came from the United States. A few were Loyalist, at least in spirit, but most simply wanted land and had no strong feeling about nationality. Many more immigrated from the British Isles, including Gaelic-speaking Scots. The Eastern Townships
Eastern Townships
were originally part of the following counties:

Arthabaska County Brome County Compton County Drummond County Frontenac County Mégantic County Missisquoi County Richmond County Stanstead County Shefford County Sherbrooke
County Wolfe County

English-speaking inhabitants remained a majority in the Townships until the 1870s. In the early 1980s Quebec
was reorganized into 16 (later 17) administrative regions divided into regional county municipalities. The bulk of the Eastern Townships
Eastern Townships
became the Estrie
region, but Arthabaska, Drummond, and part of Wolfe and Megantic counties became part of the Mauricie–Bois-Francs region (later, part of Centre-du-Québec
region), while the remainder of Megantic County became part of the Chaudière-Appalaches
region, and the Shefford and Missisquoi counties became part of the Montérégie
region. Today the region is heavily Francophone, with the notable exception of Lennoxville, which is about evenly divided between English and French speakers and hosts the region's only English-speaking university, Bishop's University. Even though the region is now predominantly French-speaking, the influence of the Loyalists and settlers from New England can still be observed in the architecture of older buildings and the names of various towns. Heritage sites[edit] Heritage sites in the Eastern Townships
Eastern Townships

Holy Trinity Anglican Church (Maple Grove, Quebec), near Thetford Mines

Notable natives and inhabitants[edit]

Conrad Black
Conrad Black
became the owner of his first newspaper, the Eastern Townships Advertiser, in 1966.[3] Joseph-Armand Bombardier, Canadian inventor, 1907-1964, was born in Valcourt. Jean Charest, twenty-ninth Premier of Quebec, was born in Sherbrooke. Dian Cohen, economist, Order of Canada, Order of Manitoba, lives part-time in Hatley, Quebec. Muriel Duckworth, pacifist and feminist, died in Magog. Reginald Fessenden, Canadian inventor, was born in East Bolton. Louis St. Laurent, Prime Minister of Canada
1948-1957, was born in Compton. Paul Martin, Prime Minister of Canada
2003-2006, lives in Brome.[5] Damian Pettigrew, Paris-based Canadian film director, lives part-time on Lake Memphremagog.[6] Donald Sutherland, actor, lives part-time in Georgeville.[7] Julia Grace Wales, World War I
World War I
peace activist

See also[edit]



^ [1] ^ "Byline" in The Outlet, August 2007. ^ a b The Star Accessed 15 March 2008. ^ Ethno-Cultural Transition and Regional Identity in the Eastern Townships of Quebec, J.I. Little, Canadian Historical Association, Ottawa, 1989 ^ Paul Martin
Paul Martin
profile ^ Radio France interview with Pettigrew and Caroline Caldier. Accessed 12 August 2011. ^ [2]

External links[edit]

Tourism Eastern Townships Townships Heritage Society Townships Trail The United Empire Loyalists
United Empire Loyalists
Association of Canada Gaelic Settlers of Eastern Townships
Eastern Townships
of Quebec The Haldimand Collection, a major source of information regarding Loyalists set