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Manoir-Papineau National Historic Site of Canada

The Occupants of the Seigneury

The Era of Louis-Joseph Papineau: 1850 to 1871
Louis-Joseph Papineau, between 1850 and 1860 Louis-Joseph Papineau, between 1850 and 1860
© Parks Canada / Fonds Jacqueline Papineau Desbaillets / Archambault / 206/ic-1G/PR-6/S-93 no 3, 1843

Built between 1848 and 1850, the manor house bears the unmistakable stamp of its creator, Louis-Joseph Papineau, who oversaw the laying out of his domain down to the smallest details: "In the isolation of this location, I have been architect, farmer, designer and gardener." 1 A number of indications suggest that he was every bit as much involved in designing the rooms and choosing the furnishings.

Retirement from political life prompted him to devote himself entirely to developing the domain according to his precise specifications and in keeping with his notions of integrity and pride.

1 Letter by Louis-Joseph Papineau to Pierre Margry, November 19, 1852. In Louis Philippe Cormier, Lettres à Pierre Margry, de 1844 à 1886 (Papineau, Lafontaine, Faillon, Leprohon et autres), Québec: P.U.L., 1968. (Les cahiers de l'Institut d'histoire, no 10) p.2

The Era of Amédée Papineau: 1871 to 1903
Louis-Joseph-Amédée Papineau, circa 1890 Louis-Joseph-Amédée Papineau, circa 1890
© Parks Canada / Fonds Jacqueline Papineau Desbaillets / Quercy Frères, Montréal

The eldest son of Louis-Joseph Papineau became life tenant of the domain upon the death of his father. From 1871 to 1903, he made a number of changes to the manor house which perpetuated the spirit and legacy of his father. Thus, for example, he had a fourth storey added to the library tower, fitted out a second drawing room (the blue room), and turned one of the conservatories into a smoking lounge. Amédée installed running water in the manor house and was responsible for building the family museum and tea house.

The Era of Caroline Rogers Papineau: 1903 to 1929
The selling of the manor's advertisement, in 1929, by the Walter Molson & Company. Advertisement to sell the manor house, 1929
© Parks Canada / Fonds Jacqueline Papineau Desbaillets / 206/ic-1G/PR-6/S-67 no 5

Barely one year after Amédée passed away, his own son Louis-Joseph III died in 1904. Louis-Joseph's widow, Caroline Pitkin Rogers, inhabited the manor house with her four sons: Louis-Joseph IV, James Randall Wescott, Talbot Mercer et Philippe Montigny. Few changes were made to the house during this period. Beset with financial difficulties, the family auctioned off most of the books contained in the library in 1922. In the end, the Papineaus were no longer able to defray the costs of upkeep and resolved themselves to selling the manor house and outbuildings on September 23, 1929.

The Era of the Seigniory Club: 1929 to 1970
View of the manor's exterior from the South-East, circa 1930 View of the manor's exterior from the South-East, circa 1930
© Parks Canada / Fonds Clara Barbara Joy / 206/ ic-1S/PR-6 / S-120 no 2

With the exception of the funeral chapel and adjoining cemetery, the former seigneurial domain was sold at auction. The buyer then resold this property to Lucerne-in-Québec Community Association Limited, a private resort club.

In 1929 and 1930, the new owners made several major changes to the manor house, which seriously altered the sobriety of the decor designed by Louis-Joseph Papineau. A large ballroom was created on the second floor, in place of most of the former bedrooms. In the basement, a billiards room and a mock Elizabethan tavern replaced the servants' quarters and a portion of the kitchens. Beginning in 1933, the establishment went by the name of "Seigniory Club Community Association Limited." On November 4, 1970, the Canadian Pacific hotel company took over the resort, which then acquired the name of "Château Montebello".