June 29, 2009
CARAQUET (CNB) - The 20th-century-section of the Village Historique Acadien was officially opened on Sunday, June 28.
Premier Shawn Graham took part in the ceremony, accompanied by Transportation Minister Denis Landry and Wellness, Culture and Sport Minister Hédard Albert. Graham and Landry arrived in a hand car, a small rail car propelled by hand-by-hand lever.
"The village has been an important tourist attraction in the Acadian Peninsula for a long time," said Graham. "It enables visitors to be part of Acadian history and to see how the first Acadians lived. I am proud of the investments our government has made in the village in the past three years. These investments have resulted in this impressive new addition, just in time to welcome people from around the world to the World Acadian Congress this summer."
The new buildings were opened to the public at noon, followed by the official ceremony at 2 p.m. and a concert starring the artists of Ode à l'Acadie.
"The team and I are very proud to show the completed second phase to the public for the first time," said Clarence LeBreton, general manager of the Village Historique Acadien and assistant deputy minister of tourism and parks. "In addition to being an exceptional representation of history, this project has had a major impact on the region, both for the suppliers of materials and the workers."
The show paid homage to the pioneers of Acadian song in the Acadian Peninsula, starring Donat Lacroix, Calixte Duguay, and Raymond Breau from the "boîte à chanson" era; young performers Fayo, Pascal Lejeune, and Annie Blanchard; and the artists of Ode à l'Acadie.
More information about the Village Historique Acadien is available online.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Following is a description of the buildings of the second phase of the Village Historique Acadien. MEDIA CONTACTS: Myriam Léger, public relations, Village Historique Acadien, 506-726-2600, email@example.com; Philippe Basque, historian, 506-726-2600, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Backgrounder: The buildings of the second phase of the Village Historique Acadien
Thériault Store (reproduction, 1924)
The store officially opened in 1903. In 1909, Nicolas D. Thériault took it over from his father, and in 1924, he undertook major renovations. Large display windows, a new entrance, and panels were installed in the front of the store, giving it a square-shaped appearance. The building was then painted inside and out.
Visitors are told that the general store is closed for inventory. Thériault, having decided to get his supplies from wholesalers in Ontario and Massachusetts from now on, has had to do an exhaustive inventory of the merchandise in stock. Visitors are invited to see the display windows, which give an idea of the items that will be for sale.
Ward House (original, 1933)
The Ward House from Miscou was built around 1887 by Thomas Ward of Miscou, who lived there with his large family. Ward was married twice. He had 10 children with his first wife and 12 with his second. It was said that he had a harsh temperament and was not given to displays of feelings. A man of his time, he expected his wife to serve him his daily meal.
McGraw House (original, 1915)
Born in 1874, Onésime McGraw, a descendant of an Irish immigrant who settled in Tracadie in the late 1790s, married Catherine Drisdelle in 1900 in the parish of Saint-Jean-Baptiste and Saint-Joseph in Tracadie-Sheila. McGraw built his house shortly after their marriage, and the couple moved there in 1901. The following year, a room was added in back, and this was used as a kitchen. Between 1900 and 1921, the couple had 11 children, all born in that house, three of whom died very young. His wife was also a midwife. The McGraw House appears as it did in 1915.
Railway station and hangar (reproduction, 1930)
The railway station at the Village Historique Acadien is a reproduction of a Canadian Government Railways standard No. 5 station. The station was designed in 1918, by the office of the Chief Engineer in Moncton. The station has 360 m (1,200 ft) of rail and a small hangar.
Château Albert Hotel (reproduction, 1907)
The hotel underwent a facelift for the opening, with fresh new interior decoration. It still has a commanding presence.
Goguen Mill (reproduction, 1949)
The Goguen Mill is a reproduction of the mill belonging to Éric Goguen of Cocagne. Goguen bought his equipment in 1945, and, in 1949, he settled permanently in Cocagne and opened his circular sawmill.
Irving Service Station (original, 1936)
This original Irving service station is from Sackville. The popularity of the automobile spread quickly during the 1920s and 1930s, necessitating a new kind of building: the service station. It became a cultural icon across Canada's rural and urban landscape. The Irving company wanted its service stations to have a distinctive architecture. The typical service station tower designed by Sam Roy gave them a style that was perhaps unique in Canada.