In the late 1800’s entrepreneurs came to Eastern Ontario, more specifically at a location between Limoges and Casselman, to cut down huge pine trees. These were sawed to a certain form and sent to Montreal harbor where they were shipped to England to build boats. In 1889, two sawmills were built by Morris Shaver and Peter Kelty, one on each side of he Ottawa Montreal’s Canada Atlantic Railway (CAR later CN) constructed in 1882. When the dwindling wood reserve came and also because of the October 5th 1897’s Great fire, the two mills finally closed not without leaving behind a small community called Gagnon named after the first Postmaster.
With the hard till of the French Canadians that established in the area, more houses were built, a Catholic school was erected, a cheese factory took in the milk production from the local farms. The community prospered. With evolution and modernization the area changed drastically specially after the second World War. In the late 1940’s the chese factory was sold as milk was being shipped to more modern facilities. The post office was transferred to Casselman and finally Limoges. In was in 1965 that the last students left the #4 Cambridge Separate School at Gagnon.
All the original buildings have now disappeared. The last farmer sold his cows in August 2009. With the construction Highway 417 between Ottawa and Montreal, Gagnon has become a somewhat subburb of Ottawa. Within a kilometre of the Gagnon Historical Park, Calypso, the largest aquatic park in Canada was built. More than 400,000 people a year enjoy the resort.
In 2001, a number of people formed a committee and in June 2002, a large crowd of over 150 people gathered at the site of the old Gagnon Village to inaugurate plaques commemorating the history of the old Village Gagnon. Since then a large shelter has been build, picnic tables set up, trees planted on what is now known as the Parc historique Gagnon Historical Park. In 2010, Réjean and Barbara built a new residence and gave their 1880 log house that was passed on from 4 other generations. This house was spared from the 1897 fire that destroyed South Indian (Limoges), most of Casselman and that included thousands of firewood that was piled at Gagnon.
In 2016, the second storey of the house was removed and a new roof installed. A Summer kitchen was added on the north side. The house holds a lot of artifacts
Anyone wanting to help with further renovation and maintenance, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org