Château Masson is the first name borne by the majestic building of the Collège Saint-Sacrement. When her husband died, Seigneur Joseph-Masson, first Quebec millionaire, Madamde Sophie Raymond Masson decides to achieve one of their dreams and build a house reflecting their social rank. She sought the services of Pierre-Louis Morin and those of a mason, Pierre Chapleau, to undertake the construction, which began in 1848.
The original plans of the castle contained only one floor, but given its large size – 125 feet long by 75 feet wide – that gave it the impression of flatness. They quickly adjusted the plans by adding a second floor. An iron fence surrounds the enclosure of the building. Made of carved stone, the manor architecture demonstrates great attention to detail by its ornaments and the integration of the straightest lines.
The Masson family moves to the mansion at Christmas 1854. At the time, of the couple’s eight children, three are already married and two are abroad to study. Madame Masson moves into this huge house with her three youngest children and her staff. For thirty years, Château Masson is the meeting place for the religious as well as the political crowd. Very generous by nature, Sophie Raymond-Masson is involved in various projects and social works.
The Château was bequeathed to the Sisters of Providence upon the death of Madame Raymond-Masson in 1883, at age 84, an honorable age at the time. It will then be converted to the Hospice of Sainte-Sophie for ladies of high society, a position it held for four years. Unfortunately in 1888, the sisters realize that the legacy had become more expensive than profitable. They decide to return the house to Sophie Masson’s estate.
The property remained unoccupied for nearly fifteen years. In 1902 it was bought by the Fathers of the Saint-Sacrament, who make it a school. Since then, the Collège Saint-Sacrement has been offering quality high school education here.
Audio content - Château Masson
WHAT ELEMENT OF THE BUILDING WAS BUILT IN A MAJOR EXPANSION IN 1912?
CHOICES 1) A double gymnasium. 2) An infirmary. 3) A larger dormitory. 4) A chapel.
Audio content - Question #17
Answer and explanation - Question #17
4) A chapel.
The construction of the Roman-Gothic style chapel began in 1912 and is the work of the architect Charles Bernier. It contains a 65 feet long nave, divided into three bays. The first blessing was held on September 8th, 1913 but no decorations were yet installed in the chapel, named Saint-Tharcisius. It will take four years before the decorations starts to be installed.
The work required seven years and is undertaken by the famous artists Toussaint-Xenophon Renaud and Georges Delfosse. It is among the most beautiful chapels in the country, especially due to the quality of its art works. These includesthe bust of Father Eymard, sculpted by Auguste Rodin himself. It was restored in 2007. Today it is the venue for many events such as concerts, weddings and conferences, among others.
HOW MANY WORKS OF GEORGE DELFOSSE ARE EXPOSED INSIDE THE CHAPEL?
CHOICES 1) Three different pieces. 2) A dozen sculptures. 3) Forty different works. 4) One hundred religious portraits.
Audio content - Question #18
Answer and explanation #18
3) Forty different works.
There are several works by Quebec artist George Delfosse, including twenty-four marble engravings, six statues of angels and ten religious character portraits. He is gaining more and more popularity with these works.
Painter, illustrator, portraitist and art teacher, Delfosse left a legacy in several art forms in Quebec. Born in Mascouche on December 8th, 1869, he died in Montreal on December 22nd, 1939. Both Terrebonne and Mascouche have streets bearing the name of the artist as a tribute.