The Grande Maison
Moulders at work, Grande Maison.© Parks Canada / Jean Audet
Your first stop upon arriving at the Forges is the Grande Maison (the "ironmaster's house"). Our personnel will be on hand to welcome you and give you updates on the activities and services offered.
The Grande Maison, which once was a private residence, an administrative centre, a store and a warehouse, today houses a series of exhibits which recount the exceptional history of the Forges du Saint-Maurice, the first industrial community in Canada.
Every visit to the National Historic Site begins there.
Exhibits at the Grande Maison
Exhibit of cast iron objects in the cellars of the Grande Maison.© Parks Canada / Jean Audet
On the ground floor, you will meet the three most important figures in the history of the Forges. Following this, you will go down into the original cellars of this impressive building.
The cellars feature exhibits of the products which made the Forges famous for more than 150 years. The outfit was initially founded in order to fulfill the needs of the king of France (the Forges and the war). During a second phase, the company contributed significantly to the development of the country (the Forges and the colony). Finally, the Forges played a role in efforts at modernizing iron and steel production in Canada (the Forges and industry).
Multimédia show combining projection on a big screen and special effects on the model© Parks Canada
Once you have finished exploring the cellars, you will attend, at the upper floor, a fascinating multimedia show of about 20 minutes. This show, of the most innovative, combines visual projection on big screen to special effects on the benches and on the model of the Forges site, representing the Forges village in 1845.
At that time, the company, which produced cast iron and bar iron in the workshops lining St. Maurice Creek, was at the zenith of its output and fame. The settlement numbered more than a hundred buildings, and was the home or workplace of more than 400 people.
This show uses high technologies so that visitors can discover or rediscover the history of the Forges and how took place the everyday life in the first industrial community of the country.
There's all the makings of an unforgettable experience!