“I am not from the Valley,” says Sylvie Crevier, though she and her husband, Raymond, own a piece of its history in the house at Anderson’s Corners.
“I just fell in love with it the minute I stepped foot in it,” she says of her first visit to the house in Hinchinbrooke. “There was something special. I felt like I was home,” she adds. They moved in 2002, and so began a 20-year odyssey to discover as much as possible about the history of Anderson’s Corners and the families that had previously called it home.
Crevier took a deep dive into local history, starting first with notarial deeds for the property, which she categorized backwards from her own. She says she learned a lot about land transfers, as well as details of a general store and a sawmill. But she craved a better understanding of what everyday life was like for the earliest residents. She says she began to read over 100 years of The Gleaner, page by page, and that while this helped, it didn’t satisfy what she was looking for.
Then, one summer day in 2014, a car rolled up the driveway and James Walter Anderson, the last of the Andersons to own the property, stepped out. He was hoping to show his family around his beloved old home. Crevier welcomed him in, and they talked throughout the afternoon. By the end of their visit, he had promised to send stories and photos if she would write about them. The idea for a book was born.
“I wanted to make sure the next owner knows what they have,” she says of the historical value of the property. She says that while it has taken a long time, things fell into place in such a way that is seemed the book needed to be written. She was able to benefit from a Ministry of Culture grant, and was supported by fellow members of the Chateauguay Valley Historical Society.
And now, two decades later, following the November 12 launch of her book telling the story of life at Anderson’s Corners, Crevier says she can finally turn the page.