Between earth, sky and water
Since its founding, Héritage Saint-Bernard has evolved with important social values, working among other things to enhance collective goods , that is, the natural environments it manages. In addition to natural resources, human resources are at the heart of the invaluable wealth of our organization. Although it is managed like a business, offering products and services, Héritage Saint-Bernard pursues its mission with the goal of collective wealth and social profitability . It is in fact the very foundation of a social economy enterprise.
To trace Île Saint-Bernard’s rich history, it is necessary to go back 4,000 years in time, when Aboriginal communities occupied the land. Several archeological digs over the years have confirmed that a stopover on the island was highly appreciated by these occupants.
Several centuries later, in 1673, Île Saint-Bernard welcomed its first seigneur, Sieur Charles Lemoyne de Longueuil. He was responsible for the construction of the first manor house, a wooden fortification with a chapel, and a windmill. As the years came and went, so did a succession of seigneurs.
In 1765, Marguerite d’Youville, the founder of the Sisters of Charity of Montréal, better known as the Grey Nuns, acquired the seigneury of Châteauguay and became its last “seigneuresse.” For over 200 years, the Grey Nuns lived on the island and protected the land. They planted an orchard, set up a small dairy farm and grew wheat, barley, oats, buckwheat and vegetables. Since the Grey Nuns believed in “protecting all life,” it was possible to preserve an exceptional natural area, the Refuge faunique Marguerite-D’Youville (wildlife sanctuary). It is protected in perpetuity.
In 2011, the City of Châteauguay purchased the Gray Nuns “mound” comprising nearly ten buildings, including the Manoir D'Youville, a 115-room hotel, an imposing stone manor, a barn. , an old mill and even a cemetery. Héritage Saint-Bernard was mandated to ensure the property management (maintenance) of the buildings and buildings located on the mound of Île Saint-Bernard.
En 2003, Sœur Suzanne Olivier, de la Congrégation des Sœurs Grises de Montréal, a rédigé un fascinant texte relatant le riche passé de l’île Saint-Bernard.
To consult the document, click here(french only). here.
(Archives des Sœurs Grises de Montréal, Olivier, Sœur Suzanne. Historique de Châteauguay, mai 2003, 138 pages.)
Les Sœurs Grises de Montréal ont également eu la gentillesse de partager un autre document historique fort intéressant, soit celui du récit du voyage de Sœur McMullen à Châteauguay, écrit en 1838 lors de la rébellion!
To consult the document, click here(french only). To consult the document, click here.
Have a pleasant reading!