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The Morin House. (Photo - Matthew Farfan)One of the best preserved and most attractive of Morin Heights’ old houses is the home of Augustin-Norbert Morin, built in 1860. Its mansard roof and two-storey design mark it as a classic example of French-Canadian domestic architecture of the period. There is an original full basement – unusual for the time – and the original walls, under the later wood siding, are of squared logs.

This house started life further east on the village main street, and was moved early in the twentieth century to its present location. The Morin house was always a family home, even when it had a shop on the main floor at least twice during in its history. Its last incarnation was as a restaurant with the top floor rented as an apartment. Because of its central location, good construction, and appearance, the house has been relatively well looked after and preserved. There is a spacious back yard, and the view towards the bridge across the Simon River is one of the best in the village.

The original owner of this house was Augustin-Norbert Morin, after whom the municipality of Morin Heights is named. Morin, though notable in his time, has become a “forgotten man” of history. A French-speaking supporter of Louis Joseph Papineau during the time of the 1837 Rebellion, Morin was not a man of action or violence. He was, however, well educated and articulate, and wrote many political tracts in support of Papineau and the general movement for reform. By the 1860s, when he lived in “Morin Flats” (later called Morin Heights), Morin was a high-ranking official -- Minister for Settlement in the Government of Lower Canada. Eventually he became a superior court judge.

**Editor’s Note: This is an edited version of an article that appeared in The Porcupine, Morin Heights Historical Association, Vol. 2, July 1998.