The region of "the deep lake" 1 has always been a communications route where it was possible to control traffic and trade. Over 60 archaeological sites bear witness to human activity going back more than 9000 years 2. Later on came the era of New-France with its feudal system. We know that the area was known to Champlain's companions even before the founding of Québec.
The French colonies quickly realised that their survival depended on the geographical links that they could establish. Famous missionaries and fur traders trod the ancient portages. The development of this corridor of communications owes much to the old road which is still partially existent.
In 1839 the efforts to develop communications and extend the influence of the British authorities were crowned with success with the development of the road network. Trading routes appeared, marked out by the stones cleared away whilst making them. And history continues on its way.
The road in its various transformations, saw changing times and needs . The opening of the Témiscouata road coincided with the era of the industrial revolution. A dynamic period when steamboats plied the St. Lawrence river along with other water transport. Economic activity reached Témiscouata. A new future based on the expansion of the forest industry provided the necessary impetus to the development of the region.
The twenty first century has brought with it the collapse of that era necessitating a redefinition of our identity. Promising projects generating new growth are creating a fresh start for this magnificent region.
- Meaning of « Témiscouata » in the Malécite language.
- According to "Témiscouata, Synthèse historique", by the Société d'histoire et d'archéologie du Témiscouata, (Communications Faucon, 2001) the first inhabitants were ancestors of the Malecites, members of the Amerindian nation of Abenakis, who are part the larger Algonquin confederation.
To know more about the history of Témiscouata, consult the book Témiscouata, Synthèse historique by the Société d'histoire et d'archéologie du Témiscouata.
Telephone: 418 854-2375
By Chantal Gélineau
Cultural development coordinator.
Web site: www.mrctemiscouata.qc.ca
Telephone: 418 899-6725 or 1 877 303-6725 ext 112