Aug 19, 2012 - Canada, Nice Folks, Quebec, Social, Travel    5 Comments

Fort Chambly (and a Bonus Side Trip to Downtown Montreal)

Canadian history is a bloody mess of conquests, racial tensions, thrilling battles, crushing defeats, and centuries-long grudges. How anyone can call our history boring is beyond me. It is such a shame that many Canadians know about, say, the battle of the Alamo or Custer’s Last Stand but know nothing about the raid on Deerfield or why the political situation in Quebec is as it is.

Canadians need to go to places like Fort Chambly and read the placards or to sites like Fort Lennox where history is brought to life. Our country was born here, along the Saint-Lawrence, Ottawa, and Richelieu Rivers. You can’t understand what it is to be Canadian today without understanding how it is that we got here. I believe that if more Canadians knew and appreciated their history, we would be able to get over our linguistic and cultural grudges and form a strong, united, country. But as long as we keep this nearly four-century year old resentment alive without understanding its basis, there can be no resolution.

Fort Chambly sits at the heart of Canadian history, rooted in the French-Indian Wars of the 17th century, the English conquest of New France of the 18th century, and the 1812 war against the United States.

Located on the banks of the Richelieu River, an important north-south link with New York state, Fort Chambly is now a park where families come to picnic and I used to spend long hours up a tree writing, reading, and day dreaming. I spent my late childhood and adolescence just a few blocks away and the grounds of the fort were like my second home

I’d been meaning to return to the fort all summer. Since I was due for a date with my grand-mother, I proposed that we go to Fort Chambly today. I felt a little trepidation at coming back for the first time in 15 years, but I was glad to see that it was the same place. The trees have grown a little, but that’s it.

I’ll put all the information in the photo captions, but will say that after we toured the fort, we enjoyed a picnic under the trees. Then, we drove to Saint-Lambert to drop off something for my aunt and I got spirited away on a short jaunt to downtown Montreal to see my cousin’s loft; hence the bonus Montreal pictures.

Merci pour la belle journée, grand-maman!

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  • I can’t stop laughing – I don’t know where Custard’s Last Stand was either. Old George was sure turned in to custard, which he undoubtedly deserved!

    I’ve been in Montreal twice and all I can remember was the traffic! I’d love to have you as a tour guide of Ft. Chambly as well as Montreal. Great post.

  • ROTL I can’t believe I spelled it like that! Custer! Custer! I was hungry, okay?! 😀

    As for Montreal, it’s shame that what most of the people remember is the traffic. 🙁

    I actually wouldn’t make much of a tour guide since I’ve been gone so long!

  • Hi Rae,
    Great post, very informative, loved the pictures & captions too.
    Didn’t catch any typos. I was just along for the ride.
    Hope Miranda gets fixed asap!
    Thanks 🙂

  • I fixed the typo! 😀

    Repairs start in seven hours and 22 minutes or so!!!!!

  • I have to sheepishly admit that I’ve never been to Fort Chambly, but now you’ve piqued my interest. Thanks for the tour.
    I recall in High School asking my grade 13 history teacher (yes, we had grade 13 back in those days) why the heck we were studying American History, and hadn’t really studied any Canadian History up to that point?
    He was just following the curriculum. No other reasonable explanation. And History was a required subject, as I recall. Just too bizarre.
    I’ve learned more since the internet came along than I ever did in High School I’m afraid.
    Thinking of that song by Paul Simon right about now…

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