Quebec’s Eastern Townships in Autumn #2

Southern Quebec and the Eastern Townships are simply picturesque, everywhere you look.

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In Autumn, the colours of the trees extends for miles.

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The countryside between towns and villages is dotted with farms, often with the farmer’s name painted on the silo. It certainly makes identifying a particular farm easy!

2015-10-12 15.29.39 Saint Chrystostome, QC

It’s common to see signs along the road warning of deer, moose and other wildlife that may cross and cause hazards.

 

It’s probably not so common to see deer grazing in one’s own back yard. This beauty visited my friends’ home late one afternoon; thankfully, she stayed long enough for me to take some pictures. I was so excited. You don’t see that in Australia!

Covered bridges add to the beauty of rivers lined with trees.

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Proximity to the border and numerous small villages made this area popular for many years among those wishing to cross into Canada from America. Many battles took place during the War of 1812.

This is the site of the Battle of Châteaugay, at Allan’s Corners near Ormstown. It’s easy to see why they fought for it – it had strategic value being near towns, and situated right on the Rivière Châteauguay which provided easy transport of supplies and manpower, but also provides access directly to the St Lawrence river, and therefore right through the heart of Quebec.

2015-10-12 14.00.39 Chateaugay River at Site of Battle of Chateaugay, St-Louis-de-Gonzague, QC

The area was also popular during the Fenian raids which occurred half a century later. The Fenians were Irish patriots who had migrated to America. They wanted the British to withdraw from Ireland, so they attacked and raided many British posts in southern Canada.

One of the most tragic stories of the Fenian raids is that of Margaret Vincent.  She is buried at Pigeon Hill cemetery near Frelighsburg, but there is a marker by the roadside at the site of her death at Eccles Hill that reads “Accidentally Shot by the Royal Fusiliers June 10 1866”.

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Hundreds of Fenians had swarmed into Lower Canada on June 7th, 1866. By the 10th, the Fenians had taken control of Pigeon Hill, Frelighsburg and St Armand.

Mistaken for a Fenian, 71 year old Margaret was a deaf-mute who was shot when she failed to respond to a British officer’s order.  Given her disability,  it’s no wonder she didn’t follow the Fusiliers’ orders.  Even so, she probably didn’t look much like an angry, armed man with authority issues.

The marker is really quite diplomatically phrased, given that Margaret was hardly a threat to anyone. She was shot in error, but not accidentally.

 

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