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Municipality

History

The seigniory of Grande-Vallée des Monts was ceded by Louis de Buade de Frontenac, at the time governor of Nouvelle-France, on the 23rd of March 1691 to sieur François Hazeur, bourgeois merchant in the village of Québec.

In the early 1700s, sieur Hazeur cedes the seigniory to his progeniture, Michel Sarrazin, member of the colony's Upper Council. This last is a great surgeon and biologist. He possesses the title of King's physician, at Québec.

Unfortunately we have no documents relating the ownership of the seigniory between the epoch of Michel Sarrazin's seigniory and the year 1851.

In the late 1830s, it is told that fishermen from St-Thomas-de-Montmagny inhabit the seigniory of Grande-Vallée des Monts, but in summer only.

1842 - It is in the autumn of this year that the seigniory of Grande-Vallée des Monts welcomes its first permanent residents. Alexis Caron and his family, originally from St-Thomas-de-Montmagny, settle on the banks of the river, where one can today admire a magnificent monument commemorating their story.

1843 - In springtime, Etienne Fournier and his family, also from St-Thomas-de-Montmagny, join their friends, the Caron family, and settle at Grande-Vallée des Monts.

1847 - The first Minvilles arrive on Grande-Valléen soil. They are Pierre and François Minville.

1851 - The settlers at Grande-Vallée des Monts learn they are living on a seigniory belonging to Colonel Richard Henry John Beaumont McCumming, resident of London, England. The residents are fearful, but the Colonel cedes his properties to the settlers without much resistance.

1863 - With 13 families now in Grande-Vallée, a chapel is constructed to celebrate religious offices.

Eglise de Grande-Vallée

1896 - Esdras Minville, celebrated 20th century economist and sociologist is born at Grande-Vallée. He is son to Joseph Minville and Adélaïde Fournier. He will write numerous articles, memoirs and books on the emancipation of French Canadians and on rural development. He joins the ranks of such men as Henri Bourassa, Édouard Montpetit and Lionel Groulx.

1905 - Grande-Vallée now has one big sawmill producing planks and another big mill producing cedar shakes.

1908 - The Dominion Lumber Company employs 250 people annually at Grande-Vallée.

1910 - Construction of a church, sitting on the point, to the east of the river.
This is the church now standing in Grande-Vallée, visible from the tourist rest area to the west of the village.

Pont couvert

1923 - The bridge dating from 1901 is replaced with a covered bridge : Galipeault Bridge. It is named in honor of Antonin Galipeault minister of public works at the time of its construction.
This bridge is still and always, in 2004, open to visitors and traffic.

1924 - Opening of the Caisse Populaire at Grande-Vallée.

Arthur S. Fournier

1927 - The village of Grande-Vallée becomes a municipality. The first mayor is Arthur S. Fournier. A document from the time relates: Arthur S. Fournier: Merchant, very intelligent man, very well disposed and qualified for this responsibility. Mister Fournier, justice of the peace, by the acuity of his judgement, always knew how to attract the admiration and esteem of his fellow citizens.
The present mayor, Mister Gabriel Minville, is the tenth mayor of the municipality and has held his post since 2005.

1930 - Foundation of a fisherman's cooperative. First director: Arthur J. Fournier, son of the first mayor.

1937 - Beginning work for the development of the Grande-Vallée colony. Esdras Minville and Henry Lemaître Auger, minister of colonization at the time, are at Grande-Vallée to give information sessions on the subject of colonization.

1938 - Creation of the Grande-Vallée Agriculture and Forestry Society, following the recommendations of Esdras Minville. It is the birth of the first forestry cooperative in the province. A recipe for success which will be reproduced by many Québécois villages during the 20th century.
Georges Côté and family become the first to settle in the Grande-Vallée colony.

1939 - There are 121 families, making a total of 792 persons, inhabiting Grande-Vallée.

1943 - Celebration of the centennial anniversary (one year late!) of the arrival of the first inhabitants of Grande-Vallée. The party gathers some 3000 persons, most coming from the sector between Sainte-Anne-des-Monts and Gaspé. Even the 22nd regiment's fanfare is present!

1947 - There are 160 families, making a total of 930 persons, inhabiting Grande-Vallée.

Grande-Vallée1955 - Electricity comes to Grande-Vallée.

1962 - Construction of a provincial police station.

1966 - Construction of a post office.

1967 - Construction of a secondary school, costing 1,5 million dollars, and known today at Esdras-Minville secondary school.
Construction of a firehouse.

1975 - Construction of a CLSC costing one half million dollars.

From the mid 70s on, Grande-Vallée has all the services and attractions necessary for its development.
Over the years, organizations are put it place, with the municipality's collaboration, in order to develop and make known all the varied services and attractions of Grande-Vallée :

  • Association Sports et Loisirs (Sports and Leisure Association)
  • Corporation de Développement Touristique (Tourism Development Corporation)
  • Corporation de Développement Économique (Economic Development Corporation)

Finally, did you know that?

Anse-à-Collin and Anse-à-Mercier (two sectors of the village of Grande-Vallée) owe their names to the fishermen Charles Collin and André Mercier, who fished these coves in the middle of the 19th century.

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