A Village Supported by Monks
A village Supported by Monks
The Trappist Fathers were the central figures in the development of the new community, and provided food and employment to the population through their activities.
For example, at the very outset, they built a general store in the buildings of the monastery. They were also responsible for building a post office, a school, a dairy creamery, a laundry, a sawmill and a flour mill. This new mill had three wheels which allowed the Fathers to grind wheat, barley and feed for animals. The re-opening of these mills in the spring, was "the neighbourhood” event. The people from the surrounding area, impoverished during the winter, flocked to find employment. People settled around the village to participate in the activities, and the village blossomed.
The Fathers had planned to make the village self-sufficient using their facilities. Most of the settlers turned to them to obtain goods, food, clothes and spiritual service.
It must be said that the official mission entrusted to the Fathers by the clergy was "to take care of agricultural education’’. In addition to all their buildings and services which they rendered to the community, the Fathers perfected agricultural techniques and livestock care with the inhabitants. They also bred foxes and mink to sell fur, which was so much in demand. Furthermore, they were engaged in beekeeping and even built a cannery to more easily export crops of blueberries.