• st godefroi
  • hopetown
  • shigawake
  • newrichmond
  • stelzear
  • bonaventure
  • paspebiac
  • cascapedia
  • stsimeon
  • hope
  • entete caplan
  • entete st alphonse
  • newcarlisle
  • SAINT-GODEFROI | Photo: CLD Bonaventure 2009, Jean-François Henry
  • HOPE TOWN | Photo: CLD Bonaventure 2009, Jean-François Henry
  • SHIGAWAKE | Photo: CLD Bonaventure 2009, Jean-François Henry
  • NEW RICHMOND | Photo: CLD Bonaventure 2009, Jean-François Henry
  • SAINT-ELZEAR | Photo: CLD Bonaventure 2009, Jean-François Henry
  • BONAVENTURE | Photo: CLD Bonaventure 2009, Jean-François Henry
  • PASPÉBIAC | Photo: CLD Bonaventure 2009, Jean-François Henry
  • CASCAPÉDIA-SAINT-JULES | Photo: CLD Bonaventure 2009, Jean-François Henry
  • SAINT-SIMÉON | Photo: CLD Bonaventure 2009, Jean-François Henry
  • HOPE | Photo: CLD Bonaventure 2009, Jean-François Henry
  • CAPLAN | Photo: CLD Bonaventure 2009, Jean-François Henry
  • SAINT-ALPHONSE | Photo: CLD Bonaventure 2009, Jean-François Henry
  • NEW CARLISLE | Photo: CLD Bonaventure 2009, Jean-François Henry




b portraitb organisationb servicesb documentation

Historical

Contrary to popular belief, the Micmac Indians native to this region did not occupy the territory in a firm manner until the 15th century. It was not until they migrated north of New Brunswick that they established themselves in a more permanent style. The early settlers placed themselves along the coast and would fish during the warmer seasons. It was these individuals that Jacque Cartier met on the shores of Paspebiac in July 1534. The native name for this area was « Epsenegeg » which means (place to warm up).

Moreover, after a cruel expulsion of the Acadians in 1755-1760, over 1000 refugies came to the « baie des chaleurs ». At first, they installed themselves near the Restigouche River and the surrounding areas. In the summer of 1760, the naval battle of Restigouche took place and the English invaders won. The installed refugees were once again forced to move. They relocated to the surrounding areas now called Carleton, Cascapedia St-Jules and Bonaventure. Then in 1774 recruited by the company Robin, 81 Acadians that were previously deported to France were re localized to the « Baie des Chaleurs ». Three years later, the Nicolas Cox survey reported that the Bonaventure area had 104 established people and 47 in Paspebiac. In 1776, Charles Robin started a business in the area and the beach head in Paspebiac was chosen to set up shop. He planned on expanding his cod fishing monopoly along the entire coast and the down to the Maritime Provinces. He would recruit his employees from all walks of life but mainly he would employ his fellow anglo-normandes ( Jersey, Guernesey, Aurigny, Sercq). He also saw farming in the Bonaventure area as a bad thing because it would employ potential employs that he needed.

The Basques, Normands and the French from many regions saw fit to install themselves along the Gaspe coast and start a new life. The sea full of fish also attracted people from as far as Belle chasse and the Montmagny area. In the last quarter of the 18th century a good number of seasonal fishermen installed themselves in a permanent manner which over the years left behind a certain number of siblings in the area.

During the 19th century, the English and the Irish implanted themselves in different areas along the Gaspe coast. In particular towns like New Richmond, Cascapedia St-Jules where chosen. In 1891, the Belgium priest Henri-Joseph Mussely tried to start a colony in the North end of modern day Caplan. The 60 to 80 people that tried to establish themselves gave up and left rather quickly due to the hard work of logging out land to live on. Although, it's worth noting that some families persevered and pushed on to create modern day St-Alphonse.

At the end of the 19th century, the new settlers came from all over Quebec where the land in densely populated areas couldn't support big families. There were a small number of people that came from New Brunswick and Prince Eduard Island.

It is thanks to this variation in new comers that we have such a diverse region. Also, if we look at the most recent statistics available 10 municipalities are still mainly french. They are: Saint- Elzear (100%), Saint-Alphonse (100%), Saint-Simeon (99%), Caplan (98%), Paspebiac (98 %), Bonaventure (92%), Saint-Godefroi (90%), New Richmond (87%), Hope (90%) et Hope Town (52%). There are three municipalities that are mainly english Cascapedia-Saint-Jules (68%), Shigawake (65%) et New Carlisle (62%).