File 061 - Lemay and Vachon families of Garthby

Two cars with occupants, license plates from New Hampshire (delivered in 1909). Brompton Pulp and Paper Co. Inc. office in Garthby Hay wagon and hay rake Small buggy driven by a child and pulled by a goat Garthby rail station. St-Jacques street in Garthby Rue St-François, Garthby. "Central square" in Garthby Shipyard in Garthby Station ( now Beaulac-Garthby). Part of Garthby Station Village of Garthby Station. Garthby, seen from the back Floating winches on Aylmer Lake. Church and presbytery of Garthby The pond in Bishopton ( now called Mirror lake). The bridge-Bishopton The C.C. Wilson, a tug on Aylmer Lake "La Marine", a tugboat on Aylmer Lake Garthby, seen from the lake. A pontoon on Aylmer Lake. Skaters on Aylmer Lake. The wharf of Garthby. Two steam trains meeting at Garthby. Garthby wharf with its pergola and a wooden boom Baseball team, Garthby, ca. 1910 A mother and three little girls on a small bogey. Noël Lemay Noël Lemay on his motorcycle. Portrait of members of Noël Lemay's family. Garthby, St-Jacques street.
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Lemay and Vachon families of Garthby

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CA ETRC P998-2022-061

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53 digital photograph reproductions.

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Biographical history

Noël Lemay was born on December 25, 1890 in Garthby. He is the son of Pierre Lemay (d. 1899) and Arthémise Lepage (d. 1923).

In 1899, the family home in Garthby burned down following a large fire that also destroyed almost a third of the village of Garthby. Noël's family emigrated to the United States. Noël studied in East Hampton (Massachusetts, USA) from 1899 to 1904. His stay in East Hampton allowed him to study in English, but also to visit Boston and to discover many facets of American culture, notably the abundance of visual arts and photography. He became perfectly bilingual, which eventually opened many doors for him.

Noël married Marie-Louisa (Lauza) Campeau on July 17, 1916. They had 15 children, one of whom died at birth and another in his first year of life.

Noël was the local administrator for the Brompton Pulp and Paper Company from 1917 to 1930. Due to the Great Depression of 1929, the Brompton Pulp and Paper Company closed its Garthby office in 1930. Noël and his family moved to Bishopton. Noel worked for Mr. Sydney Bishop's casket making business there.

In the 1940's, Noël and his family moved to Ville Saint-Laurent (Montreal).
There, Noël worked for an architect for a few years. His mandates led him to design architectural details, and furniture, ornaments and decorations in large stores in Montreal.

He died on September 2, 1967 in Ville Saint-Laurent at the age of 76. His wife Lauza died in February 1976 in Montreal.

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Biographical history

The first Vachon to settle in Garthby was Félix Vachon (1817-1910), a carpenter from Beauport, Quebec. He married Luce Carreau on June 4, 1839. They settled in the St-Roch district of Quebec City. Félix Vachon and his family lost their home and possessions to the widespread fires that destroyed two thirds of Quebec City in 1845.

In the following years, in order to respond to the needs of thousands of citizens who had lost everything to the fires, the government decided to open new lands for colonization, including in the Township of Wolfe. Félix Vachon settled on a lot in Wolfe Township, along with Joseph Lacroix, a sailor from Quebec City, François-Xavier L'Heureux, François-Xavier Larrivée and François-Xavier Mercier, all from Quebec City. He settled on August 5, 1848 on lot 42, range 1 north of Garthby Township.

The first four children of Félix and Luce – Luce (1840), Rose-Célerise (1844), Marie-Philomène (1846) and Marie-Célestine (1848) – were born in Québec; Noël-Félix (1851) and Pierre (1853) were born in Garthby. During the 1880's, Félix Vachon settled in the village of Garthby.

Pierre Vachon was a farmer. He married Agnès Gosselin in Wotton on January 7, 1878. On January 25, 1883, Pierre Vachon was granted Lot number 10 on Range B with an area of 90 acres. He, too, would eventually settle in the village of Garthby. Pierre and Agnès had twelve children: eight boys and four girls. Henri was their second-to-last child.

Henri Vachon was born in Garthby, near Disraeli, on October 28, 1893. He studied at the school of rank.
He was a farmer, as well as being secretary and an agent of the local butter factory. He became President of the Catholic Farmers Union in 1930. He was also a member of the Knights of Columbus and the Renaissance Club. In 1938, he became an Alderman in the municipal council of the village of Garthby. He also served as Churchwarden of the parish of Saint-Charles-Borromée-de-Garthby from 1946 to 1949. He defeated the National Liberal Action candidate in Wolfe in 1935 and was elected Union Nationale member of Parliament in the same riding in 1936. He further served as Deputy Whip of this political party from 1936 to 1939, when he was defeated. He was re-elected in 1944 and 1948 but defeated again in 1952. He was again re-elected in 1956 and served as Whip of the Union Nationale from 1945 to 1952 and from 1956 to 1960. He did not seek re-election in 1960.

Henri Vachon married Marie-Anne Grégoire in Garthby on October 30, 1916. They had four children: Madeleine, Gertrude, Daniel and Renaud. Henri died in Loretteville, on July 12, 1970, at the age of 76 years and 9 months. He was buried in Garthby Cemetery on July 15, 1970.

Madeleine Vachon married Gaspard Lemay in Garthby on June 17, 1944. Gaspard is the oldest son of Noël Lemay. Paul Lemay, the donor of the Vachon family photos, is the son of Madeleine and Gaspard.

Custodial history

The photos associated with the Vachon family came to Paul Lemay via Henri Vachon, his maternal grandfather. The photos associated with the Lemay family came to Paul Lemay via his father, Gaspard Lemay, who was the elder son of Noël Lemay.

Scope and content

The file contains primary source information on the Garthby region and surrounding areas, as well as the Lemay and Vachon families, from 1894 to 1958. It consists of photographs taken by Noël Lemay and by members of the Vachon family.

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The photographs were donated by Paul Lemay, grandson of Noël Lemay and of Henri Vachon, in 2022.


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The descriptions were written and translated into French by Paul Lemay, grandson of Noël Lemay and of Henri Vachon, in 2023.

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