Châteauguay’s 350th: Just what are we celebrating?
In 2023 there will be plenty of festivities as part of Châteauguay’s 350th anniversary. But contrary to what some might think, it’s not the birth of the city that is being celebrated, but rather that of its territory.
Translation Amanda Bennett
“There is often confusion around the Corporation (City) and the territory of Châteauguay,” explained Karine Landerman, the Director of Maison LePailleur and the Société d’histoire du Grand Châteauguay, whom Le Soleil questioned regarding the meaning behind Châteauguay’s 350th.
The Seigniory’s Beginnings
Municipalities didn’t exist in 1673. It was actually the beginning of colonial occupation and the foundation of the Seigniory of Châteauguay, reminded Ms. [JG1] Landerman. As can be read on the city’s website, at the time the Seigniory of Châteauguay was ceded to [JG2] Charles Le Moyne by the Governor of New France, the Count de Frontenac, for services rendered. The seigniory’s territory extended beyond Châteauguay’s current geographic limits. It included Châteauguay, Mercier, Saint-Isidore and Léry, the museum Director pointed out.
While today Châteauguay has some 51,000 residents, that was far from the case 350 years ago. “During the first ten years of the colony, there were two families and six other people,” indicated Ms. Landerman. “It was a lot of work to come settle here. That’s what we are celebrating; those who had the courage to come settle here.” She stressed that the First Nations peoples helped the first colonists to adapt to the local climate. [JG3]
The Grey Nuns had a played a very important role in the region’s development. “They were genuine business women,” Karine Landerman said.
City’s 110th Birthday
As for the City of Châteauguay, one might say that it will be celebrating its 110th birthday this year. It was in 1913 that the city was founded following its separation from the Saint-Joachim de Châteauguay Parish. The city was not, however, made up of the entire territory it occupies today. Its first Mayor was John Edward Charles Bumbray.