Map of Bellechasse. Detailed map of the highway and local roads of Bellechasse with cities and towns

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Map of Bellechasse. Detailed map of the highway and local roads of Bellechasse with cities and towns

Bellechasse

Ancestral homes, seigneuries, water mills, timeless i ghost stories-attractions like these at every turn serve as pleasant reminders that Bellechasse is one of the oldest regions of French settlement in North America. Nestled between the scenic St. Lawrence River to the north, the Chaudiere region to the west and the rugged summits of the Appalachians to the southeast, Bellechasse is a living record of French history. The many churches, chapels, and presbyteries you will see along the backroads here tell the tale of life in the early 17th century, when the first seigneuries were granted during the French regime. Keep your eyes open for the snow geese, another local attraction. They flock to the region every year, stopping to feed on the South Shore before continuing their long migration between Baffin Island and South Carolina.

Berthier-sur-Mer [A2]

Life in Berthier-sur-Mer centers around the St. Lawrence River. Visitors are drawn to "The Capital of Sail-boating" for its beach, wharf, marina, and the many beautiful islands nearby, easily accessible by daily boat cruises. The Irish Memorial National Historic Site on Grosse lie was an immigrant quarantine station during the 1832 cholera epidemic and the 1847 typhus epidemic. In March, the inhabitants of lie aux Grues disguise themselves in costume for a week in their annual celebration of mi-caremc (mid-Lent).

Massif du Sud Regional Park [D4] This breathtaking park, with Mont du Midi as its highest point (915 m), provides over 75 km of paths for family strolling, cycling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and horseback riding. At the Massif du Sud Ranch and Gold Rush Museum, you can become a prospector for a day; relive the Gold Rush on horseback, and visit a completely restored gold mine.

Saint-Damien-de-Buckland [D2] Saint-Damien was founded in 1882 by Father Onesime Brousseau, and this rural town maintains much of its religious heritage today. Visit the historical center run by the Sisters of Notre-Dame-du-Perpetuel-Secours to view fine architecture and fascinating exhibits on the order's history and the nun's daily lives.

Saint-Michel-de-Bellechasse [A1] Upon entering this town, stop to admire the Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes Chapel (1879), a replica of its namesake in France, and the church and presbytery, rebuilt in 1759 after they were destroyed by the British. A haven for water sports enthusiasts, Saint-Michel boasts a large marina, pier, and sandy beach. In summer, you can catch a good play at the Beaumont/Saint-Michel Theatre. Nearby vineyard Vignoble Angile offers ambrosial wines and aperitifs made from strawberries.

Saint-Valuer [A1]

Home to the infamous spooky legend of La Corriveau, Saint-Vallier is also a temporary home to thousands of snow geese during their annual migration. Be sure to stop by the roadside rest area to watch them groom and feed. At the local Horse-Drawn Carriage Museum, you can view 65 summer and winter carriages, harnesses, farm tools, and other examples of man and horse working together.

LOCAL LORE

The Legend of La Corriveau

In the village of Saint-Vallier on January 27, 1763, the body of farmer Louis Dodier was found in his stable, his head crushed. Despite strong evidence of foul play, it was decided that he was tragically killed by his horse.

His widow, Marie-Josephte Dodier, and her father, Joseph Corriveau, were shortly thereafter accused of murdering Dodier. A first trial found them both guilty, yet afterward Joseph Corriveau confessed that his daughter alone did the killing, unable to endure her husband's merciless beatings.

A second trial was held, and Marie-Josephte Corriveau was found guilty and sent to the gallows on April 15, 1763. As was the custom, her body was put on display, suspended in an iron cage held by chains at the crossroads in Pointe-Levis. The ghastly sight of her rotting corpse swaying in the wind became the inspiration for The Legend of La Corriveau, the witch of Saint-Vallier.

 

Map of Bellechasse. Detailed map of the highway and local roads of Bellechasse with cities and towns