AGM- Saturday March 21st 1pm, Murray Memorial Hall
Canada Day Georgeville- Saturday June 27th 1pm
GHS Annual Meeting and Guest Speaker- Sunday July 5th 1pm
Events from Recent Years
Capt. Fogg's Wheelhouse on the Mountain Maid.
The Historical Society's prize-winning float in Georgeville's Canada Day parade in the summer 2015 portrayed Captain George Washington Fogg in his wheelhouse aboard the Mountain Maid. The first steamer to ply the lake, the Mountain Maid was built in the village in 1849-50. For an account of its launching on June 27, 1850, see the 'Greatest Day that Georgeville Ever Saw' under our 'Stories' tab.
Historical Scavenger Hunt
The Georgeville Community Association has a recreational program for children during the summer. In 2015, the GHS was invited to organize a two-hour event where children would learn of the history of Georgeville. It was decided that there should be an Historical Scavenger Hunt. John Boynton wrote nine clues. The pictures show the children being met at the historical sites.
John Boynton and Sheila Robertson waiting for children to find the plaque to a famous captain on Lake Memphremagog. (Captain Fogg)
Martin Bosch with children and photos of buildings lost in the Great Georgeville Fire of 1898. Note the troublesome lantern that set the fire.
Rev Doreen Moffat with children at the site of the first Methodist Church.
The Trollopes Climb Owl's Head
The Georgeville Historical Society hosted an outing to Mount Owl's Head on Wednesday July 22, 2015. Forty-two people with a spirit of adventure travelled by car pool to the base of the Owl's Head chair lift to be swiftly carried to the summit. The intrepid climbers arrived with no sweat to be cheerfully met by Luc 'Skypowder' St-Jacques, Director of Marketing and Sales for Owl's Head. Luc acted as our personal guide. The weather was perfect and the view absolutely breathtaking. There on the summit, Hugh Scott gave a very riveting account of how the Victorian novelist Anthony Trollope and his wife Rose made the ascent in 1861.
The Trollopes’ mountain adventure was significantly more eventful that our group experienced. They came up the Lake on the Mountain Maid, stayed at the Mountain House hotel, climbed the steep trail to the top, and enjoyed their conquest only to get lost during a frightening storm on their descent. Trollope recounted the story in his non-fiction book entitled North America. The account of his experience spurred tourism in the Lake Memphremagog region. For Hugh Scott's talk, see The Trollopes Climb Owl's Head under our Stories tab.
Hugh Scott gave an riveting account of an historical climb to Owl's Head
The Historical Society adventurers at the summit of Owl's Head
GHS Barn Tour
Who would have thought that an historic barn tour would engender such great interest, but interesting it was. The tour was organized by Martin Bosch on Wednesday, August 12, 2015, with the support of Louise Abbott and Niels Jensen. Actually, there were two tours, (both fully booked) one in the morning and a second afternoon tour. The morning tour included visits to two properties owned by Paul Desmarais. Louise Abbott explained the evolution and practical purpose of the barns.
The GHS visitors remarked that we are fortunate in our area to have owners who have so carefully protected our built heritage. The afternoon tour included a visit to Aileen Desbarats' barn where we not only enjoyed Louise’s description of the practical uses of the barn, but also an account, written by John Scott and delivered by Martin Bosch, of the history of the construction and restoration of the Desbarats' barn.
The last barn on the tour was Robert Coallier's barn, the former Evans’ property. This was very enjoyable as it was an example of a working mixed farm. Not only did the barn tourists enjoy the faithfully reconstructed barn, but they were also greeted by gentle horses, curious sheep, clucking chickens, Thanksgiving turkeys, sociable reddish pigs, and the very friendly team of farmers who proudly showed us around. Louise explained the unique and practical architecture of the barn. It has to be said that these two tours were very well received and gave a practical understanding of the importance of farm buildings to the agricultural life of an era swiftly disappearing.
Catching the Spirit of History at Birchbay
They used to come by rowboat and canoe, or on foot or by horse and buggy. On Sunday, August 30, 2015, some sixty men, women and children came by automobile – though some walked a few hundred feet along the lakeshore to get there. At the invitation of Elizabeth Hill and her husband Gerard Ensink, members of the GHS and Georgeville’s United and Anglican congregations attended a worship service in a chapel-like clearing at Birchbay.
The service was planned by Rev. Doreen and Rev. Deane Moffat to reflect the spirit of outdoor services held at Birchbay by the Boston Unitarian minister Samuel June Barrows and his wife Isabel, beginning with their first camping trip to the lake in 1878. Sarah Hoblyn played a pump organ, brought out from the main cabin, that dates back to 1870. Led by Sarah’s choir, hymns such as 'This is God’s Wondrous World' and 'Great is Thy Faithfulness' filled the air. John Scott, a GHS director, recalled something of the history that brought the Barrows and to the lake and their services of praise attended by fellow campers and neighbouring farm families. The text of John’s talk appears under Stories.
Photo by Charlie Scott
A New Sign for the Historical Society's Bigelow Garden
A tall lady scarecrow, amply surrounded by pumpkins and hay, smiles over the Bigelow Garden these days, marking the end of summer. It will stay up for Hallowe’en.
The garden truly flourished this summer, perhaps because of the plentiful supply of rain, but also because of the committed care of the Monday morning team of volunteers, led by Suzanne Marcil. New this year is an attractive, substantial street sign to the garden, donated by Claude Lagace. Many thanks to Danny Bernais for his help in its challenging installation. Martin Bosch generously donated a new garden bench to replace the aging original bench. Interesting new plants are filling out the beds, accurately renovated and restored to their original geometric design by the Corylus Inc. gardeners.
The Bigelow Pioneer Garden was the first major project of the GHS. It is heartening to see what dedicated and generous volunteers have accomplished over its 23 years.