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Lachute is at the centre of the early English-speaking settlements of the Laurentians, and many historic trails lead back to it. There is no mystery as to where its name came from, though. Both La Riviere du Nord and La Chute appeared on maps made during the French regime, prior to 1760 and the property was designated as a seigneury as early as 1682. All the same, the land where the town is today and some of its surrounding area was once described as Lane's Purchase, and was first officially called the Parish of St-Jerusalem.

Under the seigneurial system, the Seigneur did not sell his property, but simply rented it, and then lived on the rental income. While the British did not abolish the seigneurial system, their policy of selling the land did influence the management of the seigneuries, and sometimes parcels were sold. When Jedediah Lane visited his sister and brother-in-law on their property at Carillon in the 1790's, he saw a development opportunity, and decided to buy a stretch of the Ottawa riverfront for resale. So much of it had already been sold or leased, though, that he finally settled for a large parcel on either side of the North River around the falls, or La Chute, ideally located because rivers were the only corridors of transportation. Lane was from Jericho, Vermont, a town high in the Green Mountains and he marketed his land there, bringing settlers up from the United States.For the entire article, click here: