To explain the history of Morin Heights and surrounding areas from the earliest settlements until the present, through events, displays and publications that are both informative and entertaining; to find a permanent home – a museum – as a research base and to preserve and display items of historical interest; to research, document and preserve information, artifacts and historic buildings. Projects can include oral histories, academic research, field work, reconstructions and exploration.
Although the Morin Heights area has become increasingly more developed with a growing permanent population, it is still essentially rural, with sizeable pristine natural areas. There is also a strong environmental awareness in the district, with local towns facing more questioning from people as to the route future development should take. This has given an activist air to groups, such as Morin Heights Historical Association, that are interested in heritage.
The Morin Heights Historical Association was initially an offshoot of the local monthly English language newspaper, now called Main Street and based in Lachute. Some articles on historical themes appeared in that paper, leading to an interest in setting up a historical society for Morin Heights. Since its creation, the Morin Heights Historical Association has grown steadily both in membership and in the scope of its interests and activities. The organization’s primary focus is Morin Heights, but also the neighbouring areas of Mille Isles, Lakefield, Saint-Sauveur-des-Monts and Montfort, as well as the lower and middle Laurentians, Argenteuil County, east towards Rawdon, and west towards the Rouge River district.
Photography; local research.
The association’s first event (July 1997), a summer exhibit in Trinity Hall celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Irish Potato Famine, was a huge success. The earliest settlers in Morin were from Ireland, though many had come to the Laurentians long before the Famine years.
Also in 1997, the association launched the first volume of its new magazine, The Porcupine. To date, six volumes of the magazine have been printed, contributing significantly to the organization’s growth and its success in creating interest and raising funds. The Porcupine is researched and written entirely by volunteers, including local residents, former residents, and visitors to the area. The subject matter covers a wide range of topics spanning over two centuries, and includes everything from 19th century lumber camps, to hotels of the 1940s, to military history, to skiing, and much more. The last three volumes have featured a photo gallery showing older homes and heritage sites in the area.
The association’s other activities have included three popular mid-summer House & Garden Tours (this year’s takes place on July 31); four autumn Antique Evaluations; and numerous exhibitions and speakers. A historical walking tour of Morin Heights is currently being planned.
--The Porcupine (annual bilingual magazine). Volume 6 ($15.00, plus $2.00 s/h) is available by contacting the association. Volumes 4 & 5 are also available; volumes 1, 2 and 3 are out of print.
--Bilingual newsletter, mailed to members four times a year.
Annual Membership: $10.00.
Morin Heights Historical Association, C.P. 2693, Morin Heights, QC J0R 1H0.