Benefactors with the Montfort Fathers and Brothers, around 1890.
In 1880, Rousselot called upon a group of Montreal investors with land in Wentworth Township to contribute to his agricultural orphanage: François Froidevaux, F. X. Montmarquet, Joseph Brunet, L. A. Grenier, Eusèbe Senécal and George Laurent, G. A. Raymond, God. Chapleau, V. Pausé, A.S. Hamelin, Ed. Lafleur, and J. G. Guimond. While the press of the time was very complimentary of these benefactors and the charitable cause with which they were associated, the choice of location for the establishment also disconcerted some.
“These gentlemen, guided less no doubt by human prudence than by a secret impulse of Providence, had the idea of choosing, in a country where fertile land abounds, a place 12 miles from the village of Saint-Sauveur and five miles from any inhabited country, situated in the middle of a forest and in the middle of a mountain, absolutely unfit for cultivation, to lay the foundation of their agricultural orphanage.”
In addition to philanthropy, a number of political and economic factors influenced where the orphanage was built: the desire of the clergy to establish Catholic parishes in a region populated by English-speaking Protestants, the development of new territories to counter the exodus of French-speaking people to American factories, and finally, the availability of prime forest resources.