Obéline Léonard House
The building that served as a store and a home for the Léonard Family is recognized as a local historic site given its commercial and residential purposes and its unique architecture.
Born in Fallowfield, Ontario, Samuel Léonard married Obéline Séquin on September 11, 1882 in Ottawa before moving to Schenectady, New York. Two years later, Samuel purchased Michael Boyer’s farm for $1,500. Only the land in front of the house and the small stable were cleared at the time. Samuel worked hard to clear the trees from the rest of the property, but died tragically at the age of 37 leaving behind five children.
Widowed at 38, Obéline returned to the United States for a few years to make a living. When her only son William was twelve years old, Obéline felt he was old enough to cultivate the land on his father's farm. Obéline was a true pioneer; she worked in the fields, the butcher shop and never hired anyone except when very heavy work was required. In March 1909, she had this magnificent red brick house built and the barn was expanded at the same time.
In 1912, she sold the farm to her son William. She lived in the house until her death in 1949 at the age of 91. William was selling produce at the Ottawa Market; leaving at four in the morning with a fully loaded sledge. He would get blocks of ice from the river in Rockland to keep the meat, butter and milk fresh during summer months. Along with his neighbours, he would also clear the snow on Sarsfield Road using a big wooden plow that he had built.
In 1933, William and his wife Doralice opened a store to attract customers who travelled daily to the cheese factory located across from his house. Over time, his store increased its inventory. In addition to selling groceries, he sold clothes, work boots, gasoline, feed, and many other products. The small Léonard store served the population of Hammond and Canaan until March 1960.
Noël Léonard, William’s son, became the owner of his father's farm in 1963. He operated the farm for four years, then sold it to his brother Yvon who changed its purpose, built a large barn and bred pigs with his brother Ernest for eight years. In the 1970s, the brothers began contemplating the idea of converting the farm into a golf course and since 1980, golf lovers have been grateful!