Reunion of Bill Russell, Penny Rose and Chris Rawlings in front of the old cafe sign, 2017.
In the 1970s, the house was given a facelift when Penny Rose, Bill Russell and Chris Rawlings decided to rent it out to open a café and offer folk music concerts. Penny tells the story of their arrival.
"We wanted to move to the country, you know, it was the hippie movement. We had been to Huberdeau and were driving down the hill on Route 29, now Watchorn Road, when all of a sudden, the brakes gave out. Bill managed to stop the car, and as we turned left, there was a gas station. While waiting for the repair, we saw a nice house for rent with a large porch across the street. Bill Russell was from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and fell in love with it. So we went to Mickey's to call the owner. Everything was done over the phone without even seeing the house. The rent was $110, and I was paying $125 in Montreal. I said we'll take it. Rose's Cantina was born, and Morin-Heights was suddenly in the heart of Quebec's counterculture. "