J.M. Le Moine.

Picturesque Quebec : a sequel to Quebec past and present online

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summer dwelling only, and it is not known that he improved the estate to
any extent, unless it were the garden, which he enlarged and stocked with
choice fruit trees. Previous to the purchase of Mr. Bell, Woodfield was
occupied as a dwelling during several years (1795-1802) by Bishop
Mountain, the first Protestant Bishop of Quebec. During his occupation he
removed a bridge which spanned Bell Borne Brook, with the intention of
cutting off communication with Powell Place (Spencer Wood), the
neighboring estate, for reasons which it is not now necessary to enter
into. The bridge was subsequently restored, by the sons of Sir R. S.
Milnes, Governor General, and was known by the name of Pont Bonvoisin.

"In 1816 Woodfield passed into the possession of Mr. William Sheppard, by
purchase, from Mr. Bell. Mr. Sheppard improved the house and grounds
greatly, erecting vineries and a large conservatory, changing the front of
the house so as to look upon a rising lawn of good extent, interspersed
with venerable oaks and pine, giving the whole a striking and pleasing
aspect. The alteration in the house gave it a very picturesque appearance,
as viewed from the foot of the old avenue, backed by sombre pines Mr.
Sheppard added to the estate about sixty acres of land on its southern
side, it being now bounded by the road leading to St. Michael's Cove.
During the alterations made in the house, a leaden foundation plate was
discovered, stating that the house was built in 1732, by Bishop Dosquet.
This plate was deposited for safe keeping in the Museum of the Literary
and Historical Society, where (if still extant) it may be consulted.

"In December 1842, the house was unfortunately destroyed by fire, and with
it a valuable library of some three thousand volumes, many of them costly
illustrated works on Natural History and other sciences. Shortly
afterwards a new house was built on a more desirable and commanding site,
in the midst of splendid old oaks and pines, looking down upon an
extensive lawn, with the St Lawrence in the middle distance, the view
terminated by the South Shore, studded with cheerful-looking cottages. To
suit the new site Mr. Sheppard laid out a new approach, placing the
entrance somewhat nearer Quebec, than the old avenue, following the
roundings of Belle Borne Brook, and leaving it with a striking sweep,
among groups of trees, to the house. This approach is one of the greatest
attractions of the place. He also built a large conservatory in connection
with the house.

"Woodfield changed hands in 1847, having been purchased by Thos. Gibb,
Esq., who exchanged it with his brother, Jas. Gibb, Esq., a wealthy
merchant of Quebec, president of the Quebec Bank, who added much to the
beauty of the estate. [237] Woodfield, with the improvements and
embellishments made by the preceding proprietor is one of the most
imposing and showy places in Canada, well worthy the encomiums passed upon
it by J. Jay Smith, Esq., of Philadelphia, editor of the
_Horticulturist_, who, with a party of friends, visited it in 1857.
He says, in that work, 'James Gibb, Esq., at Woodfield, possesses one of
the most charming places on the American continent. Thoroughly English in
its appurtenances, and leaving out its views of the St. Lawrence, its
lawns, trees, and superb garden are together, a model of what may be
accomplished. The whole scene was enchanting. The traveller felt as if he
was transported to the best parts of England, our whole party uniting in
an exclamation of pleasure and gratification. Here is everything in the
way of well-kept lawns, graperies and greenhouses, outhouses for every
possible contingency of weather, gardens, redolent of the finest flowers,
in which bulbs of the best lilies make a conspicuous figure, and every
species of fruit that can be grown. The traveller who does not see
Woodfield hah not seen Canada in its best trim.'

"The remains of one redoubt [238] are visible near Belle Borne Brook, just
above Pont Bonvoisin, or Bridge of Friendship, no doubt intended to guard
the approach to Quebec by the footpath from Pointe à Puiseaux. Another
large one was on the west side of Samos road, nearly opposite the entrance
gate of the new approach to Woodfield, it commanded the Samos road.

"Woodfield once could boast of a well-stocked aviary. The garden, of large
extent, has always been celebrated for its fruit and flowers, for the
taste in which it was laid out, and for the beautiful prospect obtained
from it of the Citadel of Quebec, of the intervening portion of the St.
Lawrence, with the numerous shipping in the harbour busily engaged in
taking in their return cargoes of the staple article of exportation."

Since this sketch was published in the _Maple Leaves_ for 1865, death
has borne heavily on the estimable Gibb family we then knew at Woodfield;
and in 1879, Mr. John Lawson Gibb sold the old homestead as a site for an
ornate rural cemetery.

"WOODFIELD CONSERVATORY - On 10th Feby, 1869 we availed ourselves of
the opportunity afforded to the public of visiting this celebrated
conservatory, and feasting our eyes on the immense mass of floral
treasures which it contains. Flora's rarest gifts from every quarter
of the globe are here in full bloom. The Indian Azaleas are
magnificent beyond description - the one near the entrance called
'Criterion" is exquisitely beautiful, Roi Leopold, purpurea and alba
are also very handsome. The Dielytra, or Bleeding Heart, is chaste and
beautiful the Joy plant (Chorozema) from the Swan River, struck us as
particularly interesting, the colours of the flower are so
harmoniously blended, the Golden-leaved Geranium (Cloth of Gold) - well
worthy the name, with intense scarlet flowers, is very pretty Numerous
Camelias of every shade and colour, these we think may well be called
the Queen of winter flowers rivalling in beauty the famous "rose." The
Cinerarias and Cape cowslips are very fine, and so are the Acacias
Many beautiful and interesting Ferns, the most remarkable being the
elks-horn, walking fern, hearts-tongue, maiden-hair and silver-
braken." - _Morning Chronicle._


This country seat, two miles from the city limits, stands in view of
Pointe à Puiseaux, at Sillery, exactly fronting the mouth of the Etchemin
River Imagine a roomy, substantial, one story cottage equally well
protected in winter against the piercing north, east and west winds,
surrounded by large oaks and pines to temper the rays of an August sun,
and through whose foliage the cool river breeze murmurs in the vernal
season, wafting pleasure and health to the inmates Add one of those
unrivalled river landscapes, peculiar to Sillery, well cultivated fruit
gardens, pastures, meadows, and lawns intersected by a long curving
avenue, fringed with single trees at times, at others tastefully concealed
in a clump of evergreens, and leading to the house by a circuitous
approach, which hides the mansion until you are a few feet of it Place in
it a toiling professional man, eager, after a dusty summer day's work in
St Peter street, to breathe the coolness and fragrance of his rustic
homestead, and enjoy the presence of his household gods, again, add to it
the conviction in his heart that country life has increased the span of
his existence by twenty years, and you have a faint idea of one of our
many Canadian homes, of _Sous les Bois_ the former residence of Errol
Boyd Lindsay, Esq., one of the few remaining Quebecers who can recall the
festivities of Powell Place, when Sir James Craig flourished there in

In 1870, _Sous les Bois_ was disposed of for educational purposes. The
flourishing Jésus Marie Academy, with its shiny dome and lofty walls,
looms out in the very centre of the demesne The Lindsay manor, at present,
is the hospitable lodge of the devoted and talented almoner of the
Convent, Rev. Abbé Octave Audette.


This handsome dwelling, is situated at the foot of the Cape, close to the
Jesuits' old house, on a line with the river: it stands in the centre of
an extensive garden, with here and there some large forest trees

The residence was built a few years back by the late John Sharples,
Esquire, of the firm of Sharples & Co., whose vast timber coves are in
view from Sillery house.


"A rural chapel neatly dress'd,
In covert like a little nest;
And thither young and old repair
This Sabbath day, for praise and prayer."
- _The White Doe of Rylstone_.

St. Michael's Church was built by some spirited parishioners, in front of
Mount Hermon Cemetery; a not inappropriate monument on their part to the
memory of the ancient and worthy patron of the parish. St. Michael's
Church was weekly honoured by the attendance of the Sovereign's
representative and _suite_ when inhabiting Spencer Wood; and on fine
summer days by the rank and fashion of the neighbouring metropolis. It is
a handsome cut-stone church, in the Gothic style. The incumbent for many
years has been the Rev. Anthony A. Von Iffland.

This neat Gothic structure was erected in 1854, at a cost of $12,400,
the proceeds of the munificent donations of several members of its
congregation and others. The ground on which it stands was presented,
as a gift, by Mrs. Jas. Morrin. Several handsome stained-glass
windows, representing scriptural scenes, have been recently added. We
read, amongst others, the following names on the list of subscribers
to the foundation of the chapel, parsonage and school-house: -

Sir Edmund Head Lord Monck The Lord Bishop Mountain
Colonel Rhodes Henry Lemesurier Denis Godley
Ed. Burstall Charles E. Levey Jos. B. Forsyth
Captain Retallack Captain Pemberton Colonel Boomer
J. Walker E. Jackson F. H. Andrews
Miss Mountain D. D. Young C. N. Montizambert
Miss Cochran Rev. A. Mountain Mrs. Carroll
F. Burroughs W. F. Wood Robert Hamilton
Wm. Petry Honorable W. Walker Mrs. J. Gibb
W. Price Michael Stevenson Major H. W. Campbell
T. K. Ramsay Mrs. Helmuth Okill Stuart
Lieut.-Colonel Mountain John Jordan
Miss Guerout Hon. Henry Black G. B. Symes & Co.
J. F. Taylor Mrs. Montizambert C. Coker
G. Alford Mrs. Forsyth H. S. Scott.
N. H. Bowen G. Hall Mrs. G. R. Mountain
Charles Hamilton J. K. Boswell James Gibb
Rich Tremain T. G. Penny J. H. Oakes
Miss Taylor W. Drum Mrs. Woodbury
Dr. Boswell W. Herring Miss George
Charles Wilson John Giles Charles O'Neill
Preston Copeman Thomas Nelson Society for the Promotion
Thomas Beckett Barthy W. Goff of Christian Knowledge

Through the aid and efforts of the late Charles E. Levey, Esq., of
Cataracoui, a handsome organ was subscribed for in England, and now
graces St. Michael's Chapel.



Oh, Hermon! oft I wander o'er,
Thy silent records of the past,
In fancy, when the storm and roar
Of icy winter holds thee fast,
But, when the gentle spring-time tells
'Tis time to rove amid the flow'rs,
I love to walk amid thy dells,
And dream once more of happy hours.

All seems a dream! thy lovely slopes,
O'ershadowed with primeval trees,
Are rich with many blighted hopes,
And ceaseless tears, _He_ only sees
What broken hearts, and scatter'd homes,
And grief of mourners ne'er since met,
One pictures by these solemn tombs,
This scene of parting and regret!

Bless'd spot! though long, long years ago
That loving one was buried here,
My soul still ever seeks to know
When once again we shall be near!
A day ne'er pass'd in foreign climes,
At home, or on the restless sea,
But I have sought thee many times,
Oh, Hermon! ever dear to me.
S. B. F.

In this neighbourhood is situated Mount Hermon Cemetery. It is about three
miles from Quebec, on the south side of the St. Lewis road, and slopes
irregularly, but beautifully, down the cliff which overhangs the St.
Lawrence. It is thirty two acres in extent, and the grounds were
tastefully laid out by the late Major Douglas, U. S. Engineers, whose
taste and skill had been previously shown in the design of Greenwood
Cemetery, near New York. A carriage drive, upwards of two miles in extent,
affords access to all parts of the grounds, and has been so arranged as to
afford the most perfect view of the scenery. The visitor, after driving
over the smooth lawn-like open surface, finds himself suddenly transferred
by a turn of the road into a dark avenue of stately forest trees, from
which he emerges to see the broad St. Lawrence almost beneath him, with
the city of Quebec and the beautiful slopes of Point Levi in the distance.

Many beautiful monuments now adorn the grounds, some of which are from
Montreal and some from Scotland; but the great majority are the
productions of Mr. Felix Morgan, of Quebec, and do credit to his taste and
skill. Many of them are beautiful and costly structures of Italian marble.
The Aberdeen and Peterhead granite is much used at present for monuments
to the departed.

A neat gothic lodge at the entrance of the grounds contains the office and
residence of the superintendent. In the former, a complete plan of the
grounds is kept, every separate grave being marked upon it with its
appropriate number, so that at any future time, on consulting it, the
exact spot of interment can be ascertained, and the Register which is also
kept, affords information respecting the places of birth, age, and date of

There are few sites round Quebec more attractive to visit, especially
during the month of September, than the last abode of the departed,
crowning the green banks of the St. Lawrence at Sillery - the Cemetery of
Mount Hermon. Apart from possessing some of the most picturesque scenery
in America, this spot borrows from the glories of autumn tints of a fairy
brightness. In providing for the repose of the dead, the citizens of all
denominations seemed to have vied to surpass one another. Scarcely had the
skilful designer, Major Douglas, U.S.E., completed the laying out of the
Mount Hermon grounds, when a strong desire was manifested in all quarters
to do away with _intra mural_ burials. In a very short time, the
Roman Catholics had selected as a cemetery the lovely old seat of the late
Mr. Justice P. Panet, on the banks of the St. Charles, whilst a few years
later the shady groves of Belmont, on the Ste. Foye road, were required
for a similar object. The ornamentation of a _necropolis_ must naturally
be a work of time, trees do not spring up in one summer, nor do lawns
clothe themselves with a soft, green velvety surface in one season, and if
the flowers in Mount Hermon are so beautiful and so well attended to, the
secret in a measure possibly rests with the landscape gardener located at
the entrance, and who professes to furnish flowers for the adornment of
cemetery lots, and to plant and keep them fresh during the summer. The St.
Charles, St. Patrick and Belmont Cemeteries, which do not enjoy in the
same measure these facilities, cannot be expected to possess all the
rustic adornments of their elder brother. One may safely predict that ere
many summers go by, our public cemeteries, by their natural beauty, are
likely to attract crowds of strangers, as Greenwood and Mount Auburn do in
the States. Chaste monumental marbles, on which can be detected the chisel
of English, Scotch and Canadian artists, are at present noticeable all
over the grounds, tastefully laid out and smiling _parterres_ of annuals
and perennials throw a grateful fragrance over the tomb where sleeps
mayhap a beloved parent, a kind sister, an affectionate brother, a true
friend, a faithful lover. How forcibly all this was brought to our minds
recently on strolling through the shady walks of Mount Hermon. Under the
umbrageous trees, perfumed by roses and lilies, tombs, [239] silent,
innumerable tombs on all sides, on marble, the names of friends, kindred,
acquaintances, solemn stillness all round us, at our feet the placid
course of our majestic flood. There were indeed many friends round us,
though invisible, nay, on counting over the slumberers, we found we had
more, though not dearer friends, in this abode of peace than within the
walls of yonder city. Overpowered by mournful, though soothing thoughts,
we walked along pondering over those truthful reflections of Washington
Irving: -

"There is a voice from the tomb sweeter than song, there is a
recollection of the dead to which we turn ever from the charms of the
living Oh, the grave! the grave! It buries every error, covers every
defect, extinguishes every resentment. From its peaceful bosom spring
none but fond regrets and tender recollections. * * * The grave of
those we loved - what a place for meditation. There it is that we call
up in long review the whole history of virtue and gentleness, and the
thousand endearments lavished upon us almost unheeded in the daily
intercourse of intimacy; there it is that we dwell upon the
tenderness, the solemn, awful tenderness of the parting scene; the bed
of death with all its stifled grief; its noiseless attendants; its
mute, watchful assiduities; the last testimonies of expiring love; the
feeble, faltering, thrilling (oh, how thrilling!) pressure of the
hand; the last fond look of the glazing eye, turning upon us from the
threshold of existence; the faint, faltering accents struggling in
death to give once more assurance of affection! aye, go to the grave
of buried love and meditate! There settle the account with thy
conscience for every past benefit unrequited, every past endearment
unregarded of that being who can never, never, never return to be
soothed by thy contrition. If thou art a child and hast ever added a
sorrow to the soul, or a furrow to the silvered brow of an
affectionate parent; if thou art a husband and hast ever caused the
fond bosom that ventured its whole happiness in thy arms to doubt one
moment of thy kindness or thy truth; if thou art a friend and hast
ever wronged in thought, word or deed the spirit that generously
confided in thee; if thou art a lover and hast ever given one
unmerited pang to that true heart that now lies cold and still beneath
thy feet, then be sure that every unkind look, every ungracious word,
every ungentle action will come thronging back upon thy memory and
knocking dolefully at thy soul....

Then weave that chaplet of flowers and strew the beauties of nature
about the grave; console thy broken spirit if thou canst with these
tender, though futile, tributes of regret; but take warning over the
dead, and be more faithful and affectionate in the discharge of thy
duties to the living." Reader, allow not pensive September to close in
without visiting Mount Hermon, linger under its silent shades, go
partake of the joy of grief, and meditate at the grave of a buried

"MONUMENT TO LIEUT. BAINES, R.A. - Few of our readers but recollect and
cherish the name of Lieut. Baines, who unfortunately lost his life
while gallantly endeavoring to arrest the progress of the
conflagration which destroyed the greater portion of St. Roch's
suburbs in October, 1866. His gallant devotion to duty, and his zeal
in one of the most praiseworthy and charitable objects that ever
engaged the attention of man, has caused his memory to be cherished
with love and respect by every one of our citizens. Last year the
ladies of the General Hospital sent a tribute of their gratitude to
his widowed mother in England, worked by their own hands. Now the
citizens of Quebec have completed their share of the grateful task. We
had the mournful pleasure yesterday of viewing one of the most chaste
and graceful monuments that adorn Mount Hermon Cemetery, erected by
public subscription, and placed over the grave of one whose memory is
so dearly cherished by all. The monument is of the Egyptian style of
architecture, an obelisk 18 feet in height, with a base of 4 feet 10
inches, designed and modelled by our talented fellow-citizen, Mr. F.
Morgan, sculptor, St. John street, so many of whose classic memorials
of the dead grace Mount Hermon. It is cut from a solid block of
imported sandstone, and in chasteness of design or execution is not
excelled on this continent. It bears the following inscription: -

Erected by the citizens of Quebec
To preserve the memory
and to record their gratitude for the
gallant services of
Lieut. Henry Edmund Baines,
Royal Artillery,
whose death was occasioned by his noble
efforts to arrest the progress
of the calamitous fire
which, on the 14th Oct., 1866
destroyed a large portion of the city.
Born at Shrewsbury, England, April 4, 1840
Died at Quebec Oct. 27, 1866

Surmounting the epitaph is the coat of arms of the Royal Artillery,
chiselled out of the solid block by the hands of a finished artist,
with the motto of the regiment in a scroll underneath - "_Quo fas et
gloria ducunt_' The erection of this, monument to the memory of the
brave but unfortunate young officer is a noble tribute of gratitude on
the part of our citizens, and in entrusting its execution to our
talented fellow-townsman, Mr. Morgan, the committee has shown a wise,
discretion that makes the completion of their task one upon which they
may heartily congratulate themselves.



My dust lies sleeping here,
Mother dear!
In this, far off distant land,
Away from your little band,
And the touch of loving hand,
Your boy lies sleeping here,
Mother dear!

The Ocean rolls between
Mother dear!
You and your own boy's grave,
And the distant rush of waves
On the pebbly shore to lave,
Is the requiem sung between,
Mother dear!

Mine is a sweet green spot.
Mother dear!
And the song of the bird
Is ever heard
In the trees that gird
Us, in this quiet spot
Mother dear!

And echo answers here
Mother dear!
The tinkle of chapel bell,
And the murmur of its knell
And the mourners "_It is well_,'
Echo answers here,
Mother dear!

To picture my last home,
Mother dear!
I am laid me down to rest,
Where "Our Father" saw 'twas best,
In this quiet little nest,
For my last home,
Mother dear!

And my spirit is with Him,
Mother dear!
In the precious home above,
Where all is light and love,
There rests your own dear dove,
Now with Him,
Mother dear!

Through Jesus' blood I'm here,
Mother dear!
In this happy, heavenly land,
One of a glorious band,
Touched by His healing hand,
Through Jesus I am here,
Mother dear!

So dry that bitter tear,
Mother dear!
'Twill not be very long
Ere with Jesus you'll sing the song,
Sung by those who to Him belong,
And wipe that bitter tear -
Mother dear!



"Far from me and my friends be that frigid philosophy, which can make
us pass unmoved over any scenes which have been consecrated by virtue,
by valour, or by wisdom." - JOHNSON.

Pleasant the memories of our rustic homes! 'Tis pleasant, after December's
murky nights, or January and February's inexorable chills, to go and bask

Online LibraryJ.M. Le MoinePicturesque Quebec : a sequel to Quebec past and present → online text (page 34 of 59)