HISTORY OF LIMOGES The birth of a community is often based on an important event that will attract a large influx of people towards a common place. The village of South Indian, named after the local creek, is no exception.
forest industry. The region was covered by a dense forest consisting mainly of red pines. Lum- berjacks would cut down the trees. Farmers would then remove the stumps and then seed the land.Others came to work in the sawmills in South Indian and nearby Ga- gnon village, located to the east of South Nation. Clearly, such an effervescence promoted businesses and trade. The population was mainly - but not exclusively - French Catholic Canadians from different regions of Quebec. However, the region also attracted people from other cultures, such as the Irish. In 1892, a first census counted 160 Catholic families. Of these, about 30 were of Irish origin. Some of them would settle in the village of Grant, which has since disappeared, and that was located north-east of South Indian. In terms of worship, a Presbyterian church was created around 1882. Then, two years later, the Catholics erected their first chapel. A decade later, a new chapel would be built. In the fall of 1897, tragedy struck. South Indian, Grant and Gagnon village were in the heart of a region of about 1,300 square kilometers, that would be ravaged by the flames. The chapel, the whole village and the sawmills were ravaged by the destruc- tive fire. The forest was destroyed. People died. It was complete desolation. South Indian would reborn from its ashes, but this fire struck a hard blow to the effer- vescence of the last 15 years. Despite the economic slowdown during
the following decades, the village of South Indian, which become Limoges in 1928, in honor of the father Honoré Limoges, parish priest from 1913 to 1921, continued to grow. A new church was inaugurated the fol- lowing year. The first priest of the new Saint-Viateur parish, Auguste Desjardins, was appointed in 1901. The Saint-Viateur school was founded in 1912. In 1924, another fire destroyed the church, the presbytery and some houses. However, this did not discourage the pio- neers of the village. The church was rebuilt. Several other community projects would emerge in the decades that followed, in- cluding the construction of a parish hall in 1928, the establishment of a credit union, the arrival of electricity in the 1930s, the fire department in the 1970s, and so on. In the 1960s and p 1970s, improve- ments in road infrastructure, particularly the construction of the 417, greatly improved access to the community, located less than 40 kilometers from Ottawa. During the last decades, Limoges has become a major dormitory town. Over the past few decades, the village has seen some economic growth and conti- nues to grow. New residential projects, businesses such as J.C Cayer and Bytown Lumber, the Calypso Park and many others contribute to the development of this com- munity. Limoges is now in full effervescence, as it was in the early days.
As with many new communities in Ca- nada in the late 19th century, this deve- lopment was driven by the arrival of the railway in the early 1880s. Of course, families had already settled in the region several decades beforehand. Loyalists first, and then French Canadians had begun to settle there, due to the appeal of the colonization project set up by Bishop Guigues of Bytown. However, the railroad allowed the village to fast forward into the future, favoring the rapid growth of South Indian during the last decades of the 20th century. In anticipation of the arrival of the railway, George H. Perley, the main owner of the land in this area, devised a village plan and began to sell properties. The South Indian village was sitting on the backs of two other municipalities – the Russell municipality and Cambridge. This is still the case today. To the west, Limoges is located in the municipality of Russell and to the east, the community is now part of the municipality of The Nation, which was formed in the late 1990s from Cambridge and three other municipalities. Direct and indirect jobs would be the result of the arrival of the railway – first, the construction of the road and its sub- sequent maintenance. The arrival of the railway would also give impetus to the
L’école Saint-Viateur a été fondée en 1912.
Saint-Viateur School was founded in 1912
En 1898, une nouvelle église remplacera la chapelle qui avait été ravagée lors du grand feu de l’année précédente. In 1898, a new church will replace the chapel that was destroyed by fire the previous year.
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