Maison LePailleur – Cultural Programming
A museum and historical site specializing in the history of Lower Canada, Maison LePailleur offers tours and guided tours, shows, educational programs, workshops, exhibitions and major annual events such as Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day and National Patriots Day. It is also possible to rent space.
200 years of history to discover
Its mandate is to preserve, enhance and disseminate the regional historical heritage through its building dating back to 1792, which is one of the oldest houses in the Montérégie region and is one of the many tourist attractions in Châteauguay.
The Maison LePailleur is part of a vast estate that includes gardens and a terrace.
The Maison LePailleur takes its name from a family of notaries, father and son, respectively François-Georges LePailleur and Alfred-Narcisse LePailleur, who were owners from 1826 to 1834 for the former and from 1855 to 1875 for the latter. A prestigious and imposing house for its time, the Maison LePailleur was built in 1792. It is a fine example of the typical Quebec house.
Curiously, the house in its present state looks very much like the one described in the construction contract between Pierre Bouthillier and François Rolland, dated February 14, 1792. In this agreement, Pierre Bouthillier undertakes to deliver the house on a turnkey basis, on September 1st. But in fact, there is more than just a house that stands in the decor of the seigniory of Châteauguay. An entire estate now faces the St-Joachim church. In fact, this domain has several outbuildings at the back, such as a stable, a vegetable cellar, a barn and latrines.
Over the years, the house has known many vocations. It was first used as a fur warehouse, then as a general store, as a private residence for French and English speaking families and as a notary’s office. In the aftermath of the Patriots’ rebellion in 1839, the house was reportedly requisitioned by English soldiers stationed in Châteauguay.
It is truly exceptional that with such a varied history, the house has remained without major changes. Of course, the outbuildings have been destroyed and the land is smaller, but the fact remains that the house is a witness to the past.
Today, the LePailleur house hosts artistic or historical exhibitions. The City acquired it in 1997. The Société du Musée du Grand Châteauguay, founded in 1989, has housed and managed the estate’s facilities since 1998.
Take advantage of your visit to the estate to have a picnic in the old Gravel house. This consolidated ruin, newly converted into an open-air rest and exhibition area, will allow you to take the time to admire nature, while learning the history of Maison LePailleur’s little sister.
Initiate yourself to ancestral horticultural methods in our early 19th century vegetable garden. Reconnect with the know-how of our grandmothers and let your senses teach you about our foods of yesteryear and our traditional pharmacopoeia. Cultivated the old-fashioned way, listen to our lush vegetable garden reveal the secrets of our heritage seeds.
Accessible from spring to fall, the terrace of Maison LePailleur is reminiscent of the old architecture of Maison Gravel and offers a magnificent view of the church and the river. A stroll on the estate and a visit to the museum can easily conclude with a small herbal tea with fragrant aromas. Take advantage of this moment to do some reading, or bring your own snack, and make our terrace a place to meet and share with friends or colleagues.
The Maison LePailleur’s collection of artifacts was built up mainly thanks to donations of objects made by the citizens of Châteauguay or the surrounding municipalities who did not want to see these witnesses to their history disappear.
Over the years, several objects have been acquired by the Société du Musée du Grand Châteauguay, manager of the LePailleur estate. The majority of them are objects that date back to the 19th and 20th centuries. Tools, clothing, and kitchen accessories fill the shelves of the reserve. A few pieces of furniture have also been transferred to us. A large majority of them can be seen in our permanent exhibition, along with other artifacts that provide a context for the various topics discussed. At each of our temporary exhibitions, other objects come out of their hiding places so that you can discover them.
To date, just over 1,600 pieces have been documented. In addition to those previously named, we have several photographs, postcards and books. The collection is in constant evolution and regularly new objects are added to the old ones.
The Société du Musée du Grand Châteauguay is a non-profit organization, supported in its operations by the City, whose mission is to conserve, enhance and disseminate the regional historical heritage through the Maison LePailleur. It achieves this by putting forward means such as inventories, exhibitions, research, educational programs, classification, publications, cultural activities, symposiums and acquisitions.
Why did you choose the name La Société du Musée du Grand Châteauguay?
Because at the end of the 17th century, Châteauguay was a seigniory that encompassed the territory covered today by the cities of Mercier, Saint-Isidore, Léry and Châteauguay. It should be noted that in the 18th and 19th centuries, the Châteauguay seigneury belonged to the Grey Nuns. Today, the name Grand Châteauguay refers to the seigniorial past, to the four cities that were part of it.
La Maison LePailleur offers a variety of cultural activities related to the discovery of the history of Châteauguay.