History of Embrun/Saint Augustine-de-Catherine/The Start of the Settlement
Saint Augustine-de-Catherine: The Start of the Settlement
In May 1845, a group of 56 people in Montreal (although they were originally from the area of Joliette, Quebec) left the city by boat with hopes of establishing a new settlement somewhere in the Eastern portion of Canada West (now Ontario). Over the course of the next few decades, these people became known as the 'Founding 56'. They wanted to start a boomtown that would end up having thousands of people, with various neighborhoods and prosperous businesses.
Most of them were doubtful that their vision would ever come true. Little did they know that this vision was reality by the early 21st Century.
They had already planned out the settlement. They decided that lumbering could be the town's main industry. While a lumber town was not exactly what they wanted in the long run, they knew it would be the only industry they could set up right from the start.
They spent two months traveling on various rivers now part of Eastern Ontario, looking for suitable sites for settlement. They wanted a place that had so many trees that by the time the town ran out of trees, it could be strong enough to get another industry.
The Start of the Settlement
On August 24th, 1845, they found a good spot - along the north shore of the Castor River. This spot had numerous trees stretching as far as the eye could see, and already had a large clearing just a mile away from the river, just right for building a settlement in so they wouldn't have to worry about clearing an area in the dense forest.
There was also a clearing just by the shore. They decided to build a small dock in that clearing. This dock was completed in October. They made a rough dirt road from the dock to the inland clearing, where they started building about 15 log cabins. They also built a much larger log cabin that could be used for religious ceremonies and other community purposes. All of this was complete entirely by early December. By then, winter was on the way, so they moved into the cabins. They managed to find enough food to last the winter. In the spring, they started up the lumber industry. They decided to use the boat to export lumber to Hull. The town had began.
They named the town Saint Augustine-de-Catherine. The reason behind the name is not known, however.
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