The Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada has designated Maison Saint-Gabriel as a National Historic Site



    MONTREAL, Nov. 19 /CNW Telbec/ - In keeping with the recommendation of
the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, the Environment Minister,
the Honorable John Baird, has just designated Maison Saint-Gabriel as a
"National Historic Site". The federal historical commemoration program serves
to recognize the sites, personalities and events of national importance and
the museum is proud to be included among the remarkable historic sites in
Canada.
    Maison Saint-Gabriel was purchased in 1668 by Marguerite Bourgeoys. In
1671, King Louis XIV gave Marguerite Bourgeoys letters patent and authorized
the establishment of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame on the Island of Montreal,
in New France... the petitioner and her associates are in no manner indebted
to the country, since they have cleared several land concessions, and built a
farmhouse equipped with all necessary things. Large-scale agriculture,
farmhouse garden, and animal husbandry... about a dozen employees worked at
the farmhouse. The sisters who lived there administered the property, and were
responsible for maintaining the house, providing schooling for children and
teaching young girls in Montreal the art of keeping house. Maison
Saint-Gabriel housed the King's Wards, young girls who came from France to
marry the settlers and establish families, from 1668 to 1673.
    A farmhouse, in the style popular in the 17th and 18th centuries, this
fieldstone building was surrounded by barns, stables, and other stone
buildings, some of which had thatched roofs. Its façade, like those of all the
dwellings built along the St. Lawrence River, looked out over the river from a
mere 50 feet away. Whitewashed, with a shingle roof topped with a bell-turret,
the main portion of the building is flanked by two immense fireplaces. On the
east side, an addition with a curved, peaked roof housed the dairy. The
extension on the west side was added in 1826.
    In 1965, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada classified
Maison Saint-Gabriel, as well as its 19th century stone barn and what remained
of the former property, as a monument of national interest. In March 1966, the
house opened its doors to visitors. The inventory of 1722 was consulted to
bring together an impressive collection of furniture from the 17th and 18th
centuries, sculptures, paintings, silverware, embroidery and lace. The
collection includes more than 15,000 very well preserved artifacts. In 1992,
as a result of a major subsidy from the Federal government, the 19th century
stone barn was restored and opened to the public. It houses a gift shop, a
temporary exhibit room, a teaching room, and a conference room. In 2001,
Maison Saint-Gabriel further developed its site by creating gardens in the
style of the 17th century. A vegetable garden, embellished with scented,
aromatic and medicinal plants was recreated by ethnobotanists. In 2007, a
glade typical of the Montreal plain and a Poetry Path were also developed.
    Through its permanent collection, Maison Saint-Gabriel helps make the
story of rural life in the 17th century and the history of the King's Wards
known to thousands of visitors who come from throughout Canada. Maison
Saint-Gabriel has won several awards of excellence since 1999, including four
Grands Prix du Tourisme Québécois in 1999, 2003, 2005 and 2007.

    
             Maison Saint-Gabriel is located at 2146 Place Dublin
                    in Pointe-Saint-Charles, Montréal, Qc
             Info : 514 935-8136 or www.maisonsaint-gabriel.qc.ca
    




For further information:

For further information: Monique Tairraz & Cie, Annick Van Craenen,
(514) 781-3832, vannick@videotron.ca

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MAISON SAINT-GABRIEL

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