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Monday, 21 May 2012

Ste. Margeurite Station, Quebec


I think it was the summer of 1952 that we rented a chalet style building in an area in the Laurentian Mountains north of Montreal that we always called St. Margaret’s. I was about 5 years old at the time. Several miles away there was a winter and summer resort called Chalet Cochand where I think the famed Jack Rabbit Johannsen hung out from time to time. My parents also spent their honeymoon at the Chalet Cochand in the mid 1930s.


The chalet was on a hill and had a balcony. I once took a header off of that balcony and that may explain a few things. Across the road in front of the house there was a brook and I remember dipping my toes in the water and having a picnic there with my mother. Cue the cherubs and the harps. I am guessing that she was pregnant with my younger sister at the time.
The closest house to us, and I am guessing here too, was a few hundred yards away. One day, while I was in the care of my older brother and sister, and probably out of boredom, they decided to see if they could break into that house being that it was unoccupied. They jimmied the door to the garage and found an old horse buggy stored there. I think the French word for old horse buggy is “caleche”. The only things that were pilfered were some swizzle sticks. I think some of them were from The Stork Club in Montreal.
And that’s about all I can remember.

Chalet Cochand 1982

6 comments:

  1. I remember my first time on skis. My father took on the Chalet Cochand slopes at the age of 5. this would've been in 1963. My family knew the Mirons, Emile Cochand and everyone else in the community. We avidly skied every winter up until 1973. I remember seeing Emile for the first and last time on a bunny slope leading from the edge of the main road. At 6 or 7 of age, I said hi to him while he attempted to make repairs to the poma lift. He was too busy and intense in his work to say hi back. Our family were members of the Ste-Marguerite Ski Club, perched half way up one of the slopes off Lake Lucerne.
    Now, sadly, at 55 of age, driving back to ski area, couldn't help but feel torn looking at was once a spectacular place all to be erased by forest and trees.

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    1. Robert Nangreaves12 February 2013 at 05:40

      Wow. I first went to Ste Marguerite in the summer of 65. We went to Lake Ashton on Ch. Chertsey. My brother in law at the time had a piece of land there. They moved there year round in the early 70,s. We spent most weekends there, fishing in the summer and snowmobile in the winter. Olng story short I moved there 85 and sayed for 15 yrs. Great area loved it.

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  2. Hello! Thank you very much for sharing. I've just purchased the land and what would be the last remaining log cabins from the Chalet Cochand days (1930s construction). The Historian in me is intrigued by the history of the place - would you mind if I downloaded your photos and blog post to add to my archives?

    If anyone is feeling nostalgic, let me know - while the Auberge is no longer here, #2 cabin is and will be available to rent once I've spruced up the somewhat neglected porch. I spent my first night in it last night, and it's quite lovely ;)

    Cheers!

    Michelle

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    1. I think the rule of thumb is that it is fine to download pretty well anything unless it is copywrited or going to be used to make a profit. Enjoy your cabin!

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  3. My Granddad Emile and my Dad Louis Cochand built that hotel and the cabins and we grew up there. My younger Brother has tons of stuff from my Dad on the hotel etc if anyone is interested. Hoping he has the time to share.
    A lot of my family still lives in those hills. Nestled around the old hotel site. My oldest sister lives on the other side of the lake in front of what used to be the hotel site.
    We lived and breathed sports. I did anyway until boys. And I left home.
    Not a religious person per se but feel blessed to have been born into that place at that time with that family. Strong, hard working, Swiss/ Scottish descent, funny combo and fun loving.

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    1. Thanks for the note Heidi. It must have been a great place to grow up. I think my parents spent their honeymoon at the Chalet Cochand.
      My mother had 2 aunts and 2 uncles who owned a resort on Lac Quenouille from the 1920s until the 1950s. My parents met each other there in the mid 30s.
      Nothing but dirt roads back then.

      Cheers

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