The most recently established municipality in the Gatineau Valley
The church in the Sainte-Thérèse-de-l'Enfant-Jésus parish was built in1937 and 1938. Photo © Conseil du patrimoine religieux du Québec, Inventory of the lieux de culte du Québec (www.lieuxdeculte.qc.ca)
This is the former dam on the Thirty-one Mile Lake, which was demolished and rebuilt in 2010 at a cost of $1.35 million. This work was done to improve safety during spring freshets and to keep the lake water at a level required for recreational, tourist and vacation activities. Photo © Infrastructures Québec.
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Sainte-Thérèse-de-la-Gatineau was founded in 1946, which makes it the most recently established municipality in the Gatineau Valley.
Its first mayor, Omer Talbot, was elected for three terms, but the longest serving mayor was Hubert Tremblay who held this office for 22 years from 1971 to 1993. Moreover, he was the Gatineau Valley warden for many years.
The municipality’s name is partly derived from the Sainte-Thérèse-de-l'Enfant-Jésus parish erected in 1933, a name in honour of the well-renowned nun Sainte Thérèse de l'Enfant-Jésus (1873-1897), who was struck down in her youth by a lung disease.
The paternal home known as Les Buissonnets and le Carmel where she died attracts a steady stream of followers to Lisieux.
Gatineau was added to the name to underscore where it is located and the nearby presence of the Gatineau River.
The parish was amalgamated with the L’Assomption de Maniwaki parish in June 2011.
The territory of the municipality is criss-crossed by numerous waterways: the Thirty-one Mile Lake and lacs Beaulieu, Marcelin, Michel and the Grand lac Rond, in particular. The presence of these various lakes made it possible to go from the Gatineau River to the Lièvre basin and to the mouth of the river on the Ottawa River in Masson. Long before Sainte-Thérèse-de-la-Gatineau became a parish in 1934 or a municipality in 1946, a small hamlet made its appearance right at the point where you leave the Gatineau River on the way to lac Rond and the other lakes.
The first hamlet
This tiny hamlet was named Petite-Visitation-du-Lac-Rond after the Oblates who served there or Crique du Poste, for travellers and forestry workers who took to the lakes. Citizens also called it the Coin flambant that was named after a hotel with a somewhat crusty reputation. This passageway was also known as Lac Bitobig, an Algonquin name meaning a “lake where one can go to another lake.”
Long before the arrival of the first white explorers, the Aboriginals frequented this passageway that linked the Pointe Désert at the confluence of the Désert and Gatineau Rivers and the course of rivière du Lièvre. That location was where the limits of the Bouchette and Sainte-Thérèse-de-la-Gatineau municipalities join up with the east shore of the Gatineau River.
A choice destination
The presence of these attractive waterways draws outdoor, fishing and hunting enthusiasts to the territory of the municipality. Several hunting and fishing clubs have sprung up, including the Sixes Fish & Game Club in 1904 on the shores of lac Rond and Mitchell Lake and the Club du lac in Mitchell in 1931.
Today, Sainte-Thérèse-de-la-Gatineau is not only still the major access to the majestic Thirty-one Mile Lake but is a territory flocked to by vacationers who triple the population during the summer.
Maniwaki et la Vallée de la Gatineau, Anastase Roy, 1933
Une rivière qui vient du nord, Louis-André Hubert, 2001
Commission de toponymie du Québec, http://www.toponymie.gouv.qc.ca
Inventaire des lieux de culte du Québec, http://www.lieuxdeculte.qc.ca
Infrastructures Québec, http://www.infrastructures.gouv.qc.ca
Translation : Municipality of Sainte-Thérèse-de-la-Gatineau
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