The Le Bras River

208, rue du Séminaire

The Le Bras River is the source that gave birth to Saint-Victor-de-Beauce. As we saw, the first pioneers arrived through the Abenakis road that followed the river. With its power and flow, it also fostered the creation of several industries. This first development was followed by the arrival of the train, which enabled a new boost as the 20th century dawned.

The Le Bras River, used by the Abenakis people, also contributed to the development of Saint-Victor. On its shores settled a brick manufacturer, then the Johnson American family mill, the station, animal enclosures and stores.

Source : La Société du Patrimoine de Saint-Victor-de-Beauce


LE BRAS RIVER 2

Gédéon Plante à Petit, for example, opened a store and a post office in the area. Gédéon Giroux à Olivier settled as shoemaker and barber. The Cloutier brothers, Ernest and Odilon, nicknamed the Dédasse, were involved in wood and animal transportation and trades.

Source : Société du Patrimoine de Saint-Victor-de-Beauce


LE BRAS RIVERS 3

From 1938, blacksmith Hector Jolicoeur à Joseph settled at the Station and later opened its own flour mill. In the winter, ice blocks were cut on the river. These blocks helped the creamery to cool the cream through the summer.

Société du Patrimoine de Saint-Victor-de-Beauce
 


LE BRAS RIVER 4

For a long time, the Le Bras River was also an important source of entertainment, and people from Saint-Victor, especially from the Station, gathered there to fish, swim, boating (rowboat or canoe), especially nearby a sandy beach located next to the old railway. In the winter, people enjoyed skating on the river.

Source : Société du Patrimoine de Saint-Victor-de-Beauce


LE BRAS RIVER 5

Gradually, water quality in the river deteriorated, and people left the river. People started talking about ecology in the 80s. Watercourse protection politics were developed. After several years of discussions, in 1997-1998, a water treatment system was added to two waste water settling ponds adjacent to the Le Bras River.

SOURCE : 150 ANS DE FIERTÉ


LE BRAS RIVER 6

Today, the river is mainly used by canoeists like Claude Poulin (à Zézephe) and Michel Roy

Source: Claude Poulin


LE BRAS RIVER 7

Their love for nature is reflected in their pictures of flora and fauna, but also of the pollution that still affects the river today.

Source: Claude Poulin 


THE JOHNSON MILL

The Johnson & Johnson American family sawmill was built along the Le Bras River (the building, made of boards, cedar shingle and sheet metal can still be seen at 208 du Séminaire Street). The owner bought soft wood logs that he drove at springtime, after snowmelt. The sawmill in the area had an impact on the implementation of the railway station nearby. The train greatly facilitated wood transportation. The mill was bought back by Petit (Gédéon) Plante, was burnt down by lightning in July 1917, and rebuilt that same year. It was briefly owned by Louis Turgeon, who soon resold it to William Duval.

SOURCE : PAUL CARPENTIER COTE, E6, S7, SS1, P29319. CENTRE D'ARCHIVES DU QUEBEC BAnQ


THE DUVAL MILL

William Duval, who bought the mill from the Johnsons, then added a flour mill and a woolen mill by the river. People had their sheep's wool carded. Women spun it, installed it on dispensers and made wool hanks

Source : La Société du Patrimoine de Saint-Victor-de-Beauce


THE DUVAL MILL 2

People had their grain milled and brought it back home. The mill also made various types of flours, but also stock feed.
A sawmill is still operational in Saint-Victor: the Fecteau et Frères Sawmill located at 367 Principale Street. The Fecteau Mill was built in 1921 by Adélard Fecteau. It burned down in 1940, and was then rebuilt. It is now owned by Benoît Fecteau and his children. Benoît is Henri's son and Adélard's grandson. The mill produces various types of wood.

SOURCE : CAROLINE LAPOINTE, phot.


THE DUVAL MILL 5

When moving away, look at the house on your left, located at 199 du Séminaire Street, at the junction of Station Street. It is an Italian-villa type house. On the façade, on each side of the main door, protrusions in encorbel arches create layered oriels. This house was first owned by the Johnson American family, owner of the sawmill of the same name. It also hosted a general store on the ground floor.

Source : La Société du Patrimoine de Saint-Victor-de-Beauce

The dam

A dam powered those mills. But before the digging of the river, the dam was bought, then torn down. In the 50s, the Coopérative de Saint-Victor bought Mr. Duval's feed mill to manufacture stock feed. At the time, animals were increasingly fed with stock feed. The wollen mill became Les Lainages Victor company, located on du Séminaire Street. The company is now part of Groupe Dulvatex, which also manages Victor Textiles, a north-American leader in textile manufacturing.

SOURCE : 150 ANS DE FIERTÉ

Extract of
Saint-Victor | Heritage Tour of the MRC Beauce-Centre

Saint-Victor | Heritage Tour of the MRC Beauce-Centre image circuit

Presented by : Municipalité de Saint-Victor

Directions to get there

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