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Manoir-Papineau National Historic Site

Learning Experiences

Colloquial Expressions Then and Now

Louis-Joseph Papineau, 1843 Louis-Joseph Papineau, 1843
© Musée du Québec / Patrick Altman / 55.111, 1843

The language of French Canada features a number of colloquial expressions associated with the family name Papineau, all of which derive from Louis-Joseph Papineau. While some of these expressions are no longer in use, a number of others remain a staple of everyday verbal imagery.

"Avoir la tête à Papineau"

Intelligence and even genius are evoked in the expression "Avoir la tête à Papineau" –which literally refers to the head, thus to the intelligence of this major historical and political figure. A comparable use in contemporary English might consist in describing someone as a «real Einstein».

As well, Papineau is referred to in a rhetorical figure that is abundantly used among French-speaking Quebecers–the understatement, or litotes, whereby a person affirms something by negating its opposite. Thus, " Ça ne prend pas la tête à Papineau " means that it doesn't take a genius to figure out a particular situation or problem–in truth, something is dead obvious.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Louis-Joseph-Amédée Papineau family in front of the manor. In the forefront, the children and the calèche, and in the background, the adults in front of the manor's entrance The family of Laouis-Joseph-Amédée Papineau in front of the manor house, circa 1894
© Fonds Jacqueline Papineau Desbaillets / 206/ic-1G/PR-6/S-65 no 2, 1894

How is it that the Papineau manor house was built on the grounds of Château Montebello, the property of the Canadian Pacific hotel corporation?

First of all, the manor house was constructed in 1850, a full 80 years before the Château Montebello. It is true, however, that the seigneurial domain originally included the area where the Château Montebello was later constructed. In 1929, the Papineau family sold the manor house and domain. In 1930, under a new set of owners, the Log Château was constructed on acreage where hayfields had been located during the Papineau era.

La tête à Papineau

Clientele : Grade 3

Length : 90 minutes

Maximum group size : 60

Supervised by experienced heritage interpreters, students will discover the full significance of the typical Québec French expression 'avoir la tête à Papineau,' while learning about the main characteristics of the seigneurial system.

School program components

  1. Step the manor house : A unique opportunity to get the inside view of the manor house. Students will tour the rooms on the elegant main floor where the Papineau family lived and entertained their guests.
  2. Louis-Joseph Papineau, seigneur and builder : With the help of many old photos and some technical illustrations, students will learn to distinguish the various architectural styles that characterize the Papineau estate as a whole.
  3. Tour of the estate's outbuildings : The students will be introduced to the function of each of the estate's outbuildings (buildings surrounding the manor house). Such assets testify to the scope of the seigneur's rights and privileges.

MEQ competencies

  1. To perceive the organization of a society in its territory.
  2. To interpret change in a society and its territory.
  3. To be open to the diversity of societies and their territories.

Louis-Joseph Papineau, great Canadian democrat

Clientele: secondary school students

Length: 90 minutes

Maximum group size: 60

This program features the Seigneur of Petite-Nation, the famous Louis-Joseph Papineau. Between 1848 and 1871, this cultivated man, an ardent defender of Canadian democratic values, built a unique and still visible example of the seigneurial system on the banks of the Ottawa River. Delivered by experienced guide-interpreters, the program includes a tour of the manor house, the seigneurial office, the grain shed and the Papineau family funeral chapel.

School program components
  1. Louis-Joseph Papineau – a popular hero: In this tour introductory activity, the students discover the main achievements of Louis-Joseph Papineau's career. An overview of his biography from his birth to his settlement at Montebello, serves as the background to presentation of the social values he embodied.
  2. The Papineau manor house – a seigneurial residence: A unique opportunity to get an inside view of the manor house. Students will tour the rooms on the elegant main floor where the Papineau family lived and entertained their guests
  3. Louis-Joseph Papineau, defender of the seigneurial system: Students will be introduced to the functions of each of the estate's outbuildings (buildings surrounding the manor house) and will participate in a theme rally, as a pretext for discovering signs of the seigneurial system as established by Louis-Joseph Papineau at Montebello.

MEQ competencies

  1. Question social realities in a historical perspective
  2. Interpret social realities by using the historical method
  3. Consolidate the practice of citizenship through history

School Package: Hosting offer for secondary school students

Nature and Heritage

Clientele: secondary school students

Schedule: May and June, September and October

This package is offered by Centre touristique La Petite Rouge, a four-star vacation centre offering a full range of outdoor activities in an enchanting natural setting and Manoir Papineau National Historic Site of Canada, an outstanding heritage resource of the Petite-Nation region.

Components of the Nature and Heritage Package

Nature and Physical Activities
Hikes on 2-km forest and geology interpretation trails. 15-km hiking and cycling trails.
Canoeing techniques and complete boating facilities.

Chalet Accommodations
Community life and lodging at a chalet with cafeteria
Possibility of reserving a show with folksinger

History and Heritage
Tour of Manoir Papineau National Historic Site of Canada.
Learning Program: Louis-Joseph Papineau, great Canadian democrat

Cost per student (taxes and Manoir tour included)

24 hours / 1 night / 3 meals $83
48 hours / 2 nights / 6 meals $124

Centre touristique La Petite Rouge inc.
61 Rang des Pruniers, Highway 323
Saint-Émile-de-Suffolk (Québec) J0V 1Y0

For information and reservations:
819 426-2191 or 1 888 426-2191 (toll free) – fax 819 426-2569