On 17 May 1642, a group of French settlers led by Paul de Chomedey de Maisonneuve and Jeanne Mance established the missionary colony of Ville-Marie on the Island of Montréal. Today, this modest settlement founded in the middle of the St. Lawrence River is Canada’s second largest city and home to nearly half of the province of Québec’s population. A centre of francophone culture in North America, Montréal also enjoys international renown. Through exhibits, images and articles — as well as several Heritage Minutes about influential Montrealers — this collection celebrates the 375-year heritage and history of this important cultural and economic centre.
The area was granted to Philippe de Rigaud de VAUDREUIL in 1703. However, it was his successor, Michel Chartier de Lotbinière, who fostered the settlement and development of the seigneury that he had bought from the Vaudreuil family in 1763. The FUR TRADE and agriculture supported the local economy.
During the first 40 years (1810-50), the chief source of revenue was the manufacture of potash. The construction of the Stanstead-Shefford & Chambly Railway in 1857 began Farnham's remarkable progress as a railway centre, thanks to its geographic position and competition among railway promoters.
Montréal-based trader Thomas FROBISHER built the first fur trade post in the area in 1776. Competing posts were set up by Alexander MACKENZIE in 1785 and the Hudson's Bay Company in 1799. From here the Athabasca brigades headed northwest. In 1846 Fathers LAFLÈCHE and TACHÉ established a mission.