Vercheres is a small town, dating back to 1672, located on the St-Lawrence River a few minutes from Montreal on the south shore in the Monteregie region.
I stopped there to see this town. I was curious. I learned a few historical elements which include: Madeleine de Vercheres, the Vercheres boats and the mill.
Next to each historical element, an explanation board provides details in french.
What you can do/see:
• Church Saint-François-Xavier
• Old Presbyterian
• Parc Jean Marie Moreau (Rowboat + Ludger Duvernay Bust)
• Parc Des Pionniers
• Memorial To Madeleine De Verchères
• Moulin Banal (mill)
• The Town Hall (Old School)
The village of Vercheres is part of the four (4) picturesque villages located between the St-Lawrence and the Richelieu Rivers which also include: Calixa-Lavallée, Saint-Denis-sur-Richelieu and Saint-Marc-sur-Richelieu.
Rare was transportation associated with a town. The water transportation created in Vercheres was slightly different than other embarkation. The Vercheres boats were rowboats with flat bottoms which eased the access to shallow waters. You can see an example at the Jean-Marie Moreau Park next to the church.
PARC JEAN-MARIE MOREAU
Park with historical elements presented
This park is right next to the church (St-François Xavier) and close to different historical elements which are part of the history of this village. In this park, you can see Ludger Duvernay’s bust and an example of a Verchères rowboat.
MADELEINE DE VERCHERES NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE OF CANADA
The story of Madeleine de Vercheres is fascinating. At such a young age, while her parents were away, at age 14 in the 1690s, Madeleine took over a critical situation and successfully stopped an Iroquoian attack on the fort where she was living. Pretending to be higher in numbers by different tactics she managed to protect her family territory.
Today, an imposing monument facing the Saint-Lawrence River commemorates her heroic moment for the New France.
Other nearby attractions include the Moulin Banal, the church, the grounds next to the church that will take you to important people and elements of the region.
The flour mill of Vercheres, is a great example of the use of the wind. At the time, the other type of mills used the power of water to function. The windmill in Vercheres was built in 1730 at the time of the seignior. It was common practice to have a means to help citizens accomplish some tasks. The owner of the mill obliged the residents to use it to mill their wheat and pay back some due to the “county”. There are a few mills in the town but historic emphasis was on the one next to Madeleine de Vercheres monument.
Note: Special thanks to “B” for rereading.