Young Émile at Cacouna House

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First lodging

The village centre as seen from the bell tower of the Church of Saint-Georges, with the Cacouna House hotel (1929) on the left and the facade of the hotel in the first half of the 20th century.

In the 1880s, the Nelligan family took lodgings at the Cacouna House hotel. It was a cozy inn with a ground floor, two upper floors, a fence and a porch, located in the heart of the village, not far from Rue de l’Église and almost directly across the street from the Mansion House hotel (today Place Saint-Georges), near Joseph Sirois’ general store. The Nelligan family occupied rooms on the second floor.

Photo source :
Postcards “Rivard Series’’, éditeur and Ramsey & Co., éditeur, Richard Michaud Collection
 


From land to sea

From land to sea, a space of freedom...

Several times a day, Émile passed by farmer Michaud’s field (across from Cacouna House), looked at his little bakehouse, patted the horse on its neck, and sometimes went with Ulric to collect the fish caught in the boxes of the fishing weirs.

Photo source :
Photographic postcard, Richard Michaud Collection
 


Le petit hameau

A view of Cacouna, small coastal village, from the open sea. Early 1900.

«Or voici que verdoie un hameau sur les côtes».
A pastoral landscape, filled with memories of youthful joy.

The last two lines of the poem “Petit Hameau” attest to this nostalgia tinged with sadness:
«Je vous bénis. Que la joie habite à vos portes
En campagne, ô ces soirs de primes feuilles mortes!» »
(Paul Wyczynski, in Nelligan à Cacouna, p.66)

Photo source :
Postcard “Rivard Series’’, éditeur, Richard Michaud Collection
 


“Petit Hameau’’


“Petit Hameau’’

Or voici que verdoie un hameau sur les côtes
Plein de houx, orgueilleux de ses misères hautes.

Des bergers s’étonnant contemplent dans la plaine,
Et mon cheval qui sue à la hauteur se traîne.

Pour y vivre l’Octobre et ses paix pastorales
Je vous apporte, ô Pan, mes lyres vespérales.

Les bœufs sont vite entrés. Ils meuglent dans l’étable,
Et la soupe qui fume a réjoui ma table.

Que vous êtes heureux, hommes bons des campagnes,
Loin du faubourg qui pue et des clameurs de bagnes.

Je vous bénis. Que la joie habite à vos portes,
En campagne, ô ces soirs de feuilles mortes !