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Pioneers trekked on foot and by ox-cart from Berthierville and l’Assomption to the wilderness that would become Rawdon. These people of Scots, English, French, and mostly Irish ancestry arrived as early as 1817. Seen in the foreground is local historian Beverly Copping Prud’homme, a descendant of the Coppings who came in 1819. Beverly fondly remembers her grandfather’s steam-run mill.
Christ Church, Rawdon; Beverly Prud'homme. (Photo - Ray & Diana Baillie)

The first Anglican church was built of logs in 1822. This handsome stone church, next to the cemetery, was erected in 1857. Today, the municipality of Rawdon is primarily French-speaking; however, there is also a substantial Eastern European community and a small Anglophone community.

The pioneers came to farm, but they found the soil to be poor, and they turned to the forest for additional income. This area had a thriving lumber and potash industry. The Montreal market was a long and sometimes dangerous journey away. Brass knuckles were said to be standard equipment for the road!