A Small Overview of the Tour by the Point St. Charles History Society to St. Columban and St. Eustache
On Saturday, October 20th 2007, the Point St. Charles History Society (SHPSC) offered a bus tour from The Point to both St. Columban and St. Eustache.
At a little after 9am, a large comfortable bus pulled away from in front of 2356 Centre St., in the Point and a fun day began. This bus was fully equipped, and included a complete Audio-Video system, so we were able to show parts of our DVD from our fund raising event back in January that provides an excellent overview of the History of St. Columban and our efforts to restore the cemetery. (Copies of the DVD’s are still available and can be ordered on our main St. Columban site at www.stcolumban-irish.com ).
Arriving in St. Columban at around 10 a.m., Claude Bourguignon, our very own St. Columban Historian, was waiting in the Church parking lot to begin a tour of the area. Claude started with a visit to the parish church and then offered a great lecture about St. Columban – its people and history – from its founding until today. Everyone seemed to real enjoy this detailed and interesting presentation. Claude then escorted the visitors over to the cemetery, across from the Church and provided more details about the cemetery and the efforts of the descendents to raise the funds needed to build a monument to their early Irish ancestors.
Next the visitors were treated to a bus ride through St. Columban and saw some historical sights that Claude had mentioned. With the autumn leaves changing colors, as an added bonus, we were provided with really picturesque scenery as we drove along.
We then stopped for lunch the Cabane à Sucre St-Vincent - in St. Columban. Here we were treated to a great meal that included “Boeuf Bourguignon” (perhaps in honour of our great guide Claude Bourguignon!). Although a very large establishment, the owner set up our table in front of a nice fire place that provided a cozy atmosphere.
Once lunch was over, we took a leisurely bus tour between St. Columban and St. Eustache - arriving at about 2pm. St. Eustache, the site of the last big battle between the Patriotes of Lower Canada and the British forces is full of Québec history.
Our first stop in St. Eustache was at the Moulin Légare. In operation since 1762, this Mill still grinds flour using the force of water alone - and using this old fashioned method, the miller continues to produce both wheat flour and buckwheat flour today. This Mill is located in the heart of the old St. Eustache village and worth a visit.
Next we crossed the street to visit the Globensky Manor (now a Culture & Heritage house). Here we had the opportunity to visit the exhibitions and were given a presentation about the battle at St. Eustache - with the Patriotes led by Jean-Olivier Chénier and the British forces led by General Colborne. Unfortunately we did not have an opportunity to visit the old historic Church in St. Eustache (the site of this battle) but perhaps we can see it on our next trip.
At a little after 4 p.m., we started our return trip to Montréal.
It was great day with lots of laughs and the comradeship of people with a shared interest in our history.
Hope to see you on the next trip.