Organized in 1991, the Georgeville Historical Society (GHS) is dedicated to documenting the history of the village of Georgeville, Quebec. Located on the eastern shore of Lake Memphremagog, Georgeville lies in the heart of the Canadian province's scenic Eastern Townships and is the oldest community on the lake. Originally founded as 'Copp's Ferry' in 1797, the village evolved as an eastern terminus for a ferry service that traversed the lake. The proprietor of the ferry, Moses Copp, was the first settler and from whom the village took its first name. The small community assumed the name of Georgeville later in the 1820s when it is believed, efforts were undertaken to secure a federal government postal designation.
In the early 1990s, sufficient interest arose among local citizens of the village and the surrounding countryside to form an organization whose aim was to record the history of the village. While a number of local amateur historians had endeavored to collect information and preserve various artifacts relating to its history, it was felt that a more concerted and organized approach was necessary. It was within the context of this enlightened appreciation for the unrecorded history of the village, that the GHS was formed.
Since its inception, the Society has been governed by an elected volunteer Board of Directors and Officers. It has over the years enjoyed office space in various locations within the village proper, not the least of which is its current base of operations in the second story level of a former carriage house. Accessible year round, the facility is affectionately referred to as the ‘GHS Loft’ and is used primarily as a location for meetings, undertaking research projects as well as the storage of archives and artifacts. While an attempt has been made in the past to secure and preserve any and all important historical objects relating to the history of Georgeville, it is not within the mandate of the Society to create nor maintain a museum for these objects. Nevertheless, many items are on display in the spacious one room loft which is open to the GHS membership, as well as the general public, by appointment.
The Society has previously been the beneficiary of gallery space for which a number of varied exhibitions were undertaken. Many of these interesting displays which were available during the summer months of July and August pertained to the subject matter highlighted by guest speakers at the Society's annual general meeting. Unfortunately, this space is no longer available to the Society.
The current membership of the Society stands at approximately 130, made up of a combination of life members and their regular member counterparts. This is a sizable level of support from such a diminutively-sized community, in essence a small lakeside village.
In terms of annual operation, the Society has two seasons, an active period from May to September and an essentially dormant one for the balance of the year. During the warmer months, the GHS undertakes a number of activities that involve both the membership and the general public. These include the operation of a pioneer garden, participation in the annual Canada Day parade and a variety of undertakings such as walking tours, excursions, and special gatherings, all dedicated to highlighting some aspect of village or area history. During the off-season, less public oriented activities are pursued such as planning and strategy sessions for the active summer months as well as a number of ongoing research and archival projects by Board members and interested parties.
The Georgeville Historical Society welcomes you to its web site and extends the invitation to become a member of our small, but active organization. For membership, requests and contact information, please consult the appropriate subpages in the site menu.
The featured artifact is a WW1 souvenir brought back from the battlefields of Western Europe. It is a German bayonet that was picked up by Wray Preston Adams, a soldier who enlisted with the 117th Eastern Townships Overseas Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF). To the dismay of many Townshippers back home, the recruits of the 117th were depleted during the course of the war to replenish the ranks of other regiments suffering casualties at the front. In Wray’s case, he faced action with the 42nd Royal Highlanders of Canada, better known as the Black Watch.
Born the 6th of October 1885 in Fitch Bay, Wray was the grandson of Reverend Levi Preston Adams, Congregational minister of Georgeville and Fitch Bay. Reverend Adams was the first ordained minister to serve the two communities starting in the 1850s.
The five foot four inch brown-haired and grey-eyed Adams listed his address as Georgeville at the time of his enlistment in 1916. The 31-year old brakeman for the Boston & Maine Railroad was recorded as a sergeant upon disbandment of the regiment following the end of the war. It is unclear as to whether his elevated rank may have been a factor of his age or his leadership skills under fire, as he had no previous military training or experience prior to his recruitment.
Like many WW1 soldiers heading off to war, Adams opted to marry his hometown sweetheart, Charlotte Brevoort prior to enlisting. The two were wed in 1915 in Derby Line, Vermont. Both had connections to Magoon Point, the former’s grandparents having lived on The Point, the latter having been born there.
Wray Adams fortunately survived the war.. in 1919 he was awarded the Military Medal of Valor and together with his wife, spent the rest of his life stateside, at one time in the state of New York, later on in New Hampshire. Wray was an avid sportsman and often with his wife Charlotte, returned home to Lake Memphremagog for visits with family and friends. Upon his death, he was buried in Brookside Cemetery in Fitch Bay.
Over the years, the bayonet has been handed down through the family, from Wray’s wife Charlotte to niece Adelaide Atkin, then to her great-nephew Stephen Moore, who recently donated it to the Society.
The Banner Photograph & Logo
The banner photograph which headlines the GHS webpage depicts the scene from the public wharf in Georgeville looking westward across the waters of Lake Memphremagog. This iconic view to the west highlights the Appalachian Mountains that dominate the far shore of the lake, part of the Bolton Lavas, which extend .northward from the Green Mountains of Vermont. The photograph reflects an eastern view of Mount Elephantis, the preeminent height of land portrayed in the scene. (Source: Unknown)
The GHS logo, which is superimposed on the photograph, is an architectural representation of another Georgeville icon, namely, the oft-photographed village's 'Red Schoolhouse' situated between the convergence of the Channel Hill Road and the Magoon Point Road.