My city is notorious for not advertising its little historic gems. You really have to actively search for them. Sigh. And they wonder why they can’t stay open. I stumbled on St. Norbert Heritage Park in the usual fashion and decided to check it out Saturday. St. Norbert is basically a town that is partially swallowed by the city. They rescued a few buildings and moved them into the park. The first building you get to (besides the out house…an honest to goodness outhouse with a toilet plunked over the hole in the ground) is Bohemier House. Benjamin Bohemier and his wife Marie-Louise built the house in the 1880s. In the 1970s, the land it stood on, was slated for an apartment block so the house was moved to the park. The house is furnished with mostly items that are original to the house during 1906-12. Unfortunately, it was under renovation so I couldn’t go in and see it.
It would have been a fairly large house for its day
They are saving the nice trim on the house.Down the little path from this house is the Turenne House which was build in 1871 by Joseph Turenne. The next year he married Adele Royal. They lived in the house with five kids.
The little part on the side is a summer kitchen.
Next to that is the diningroom/winter kitchen as well as the trap door to the root cellar.
Through the door and the right you enter the parlour. It is all done in period furniture. Unfortunately, the mannequins are not. They are wearing wedding clothes from 1907. At least the guides don’t try to pawn them off as 1870s wear!And here is the lady of the house.
The gent was a country clerk and he worked at home. His little office was across from the parlour and next to the bedroom.And here is the bedroom for the parents and babies. There were no other bedrooms so they think the other children slept on the floor in various rooms. They had an extensive attic but the theory is the kids didn’t sleep there as they would have either roasted or froze to death, depending on the time of year.
There were two more buildings at the back of the park which are disasters and being held together with all kinds of support work. I have no idea what the plan is. I can’t imagine they’d be worth trying to restore but perhaps they are being kept for the sake of study and perhaps for historic reasons. One of them was built in the 1850s and saw 13 children raised in it. The fellow was a leader with the Metis (half aboriginal and half European people) and was an ally of Lois Riel-a major historical Metis figure. On the grounds of the park, there is a walking path to the rivers, which I did not take and some picnic benches. It might be a nice place for costumes and a photo shoot. May be next year, when the park hopes the Bohemier house will be done.