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In Dr. Grignon's Album Historique de Ste. Agathe, written in 1912 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the parish, he describes the first three colonists who homesteaded in our region. These three men, Narcisse and Olivier Ménard and their brother-in-law Jean-Baptiste Dufresne, had clearly responded to A.N. Morin's initiative in encouraging homesteading of the north country. Despite Morin's noble efforts with potatoes, however, the real economic mainstay would never be the farm, but rather, the pine tree, and these three men were well equipped to exploit it. The Ménard brothers were both over 6 feet tall, and their sister, Flavie, who married Dufresne, as well as their mother, were also big, sturdy people. The mother, the legendary "La Vieille Ménard", was close to six feet tall herself. They came, as Dr. Grignon describes them in 1912, determined to win a battle against the forest: "Ces soldats d'un nouveau genre…c'était des colons. Leur arme c'était la hache du défricheur."

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