The Gleaner

Search and find history in Hemmingford

The Hemmingford Archives hosted an event on October 22 called “Reconnecting Heritage Live.” It took place in person at the Hemmingford Archives, and as a virtual Facebook Live broadcast for folks at home. Myrna Paquette, who works with the Hemmingford Archives, explained that “The event ‘Reconnecting Heritage’ was meant to encourage people to get back to attending events. People got used to staying at home over the past two years, so we sometimes have to kick-start our interests again.”

The day was put on in association with the Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network (QAHN), which has organized several events of this kind in the past few months. Paquette says, “Hemmingford Archives is one of the many organizations subscribing to the QAHN group. We have collaborated on several shared projects, as well as responding to their requests for articles written about our organization for their publications.”

The program featured the Hemmingford Archives, the Chateauguay Valley Historical Society, the Société d’histoire de Lacolle/Beaujeu, and the Châteauguay Valley Antique Association. Ken Dolphin, the president of the Chateauguay Valley Historical Society, gave a presentation on the history of Valleyfield’s Montreal Cotton Company. There was also plenty of live music performed by John Wilson on fiddle and Connie McClintock on piano, while Jean Merlin performed some old-time country music as well. And, of course, there were live interviews with representatives from various Valley heritage groups.


Woman seated at electric piano and man standing playing a fiddle.
Local musicians John Wilson and Connie McClintock took part in the Reconecting Heritage Live event hosted by Archives Hemmingford and the Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network on October 22 PHOTO Facebook Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network


Paquette has an immense curiosity to learn more about her family and heritage. Supporting that journey for others is one of the reasons she is involved with services like the Hemmingford Archives. “We [continually] have people coming into the Hemmingford Archives ‘searching for their roots’…They are eager for any bit of information we can find for them. It gives me great pleasure to see their surprise and happiness at finding any bit of the puzzle,” she explains. Access to history is of huge importance to Paquette. “This information would not be available unless some interested groups have considered it pertinent to preserve documents that pertain to a community in all of its aspects. The community needs to know that they have a place to leave their precious documents.”

If you missed the Reconnecting Heritage event, fear not! The Hemmingford Archives has other events coming up. On November 12, eight artisans will be demonstrating their crafts and selling their products. Then, on January 7 and 8 it will be commemorating the 25th anniversary of the ice storm of 1998. In April it is planning to bring back the annual Fiddler’s Fancy which has been shut down for the past few years due to the pandemic. Paquette shares that the Archives are always open to new suggestions and collaborators for new events.

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