The History of Forestry in Bury

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The Bury History and Forestry Society, in collaboration with the Association forestière du sud du Québec (Forestry association of southern Quebec), invites the public to a day that is especially dedicated to the history of forestry.

“Growing out of a reflection by the Historical and Heritage Society on the origins of the municipality, we quickly realized that the forest had an enormous influence on the development of Bury,” said Alain Robert, member of the society and a history buff. Forestry played a role in the development of not only Bury, but also of the entire Eastern Townships and the whole of the province. The project was presented to Ghislain Bolduc, provincial deputy for Mégantic, and he was immediately interested. He plans to attend the event. Bolduc opined that this kind of project should be carried out Quebec-wide.

In carrying out its research, the Historical Society realized that the primary important economic motor was forestry. Among other things, they located a number of places where sawmills were operated in the past. In the early days of settlement, many families came to work in the sector, and stayed. Among them were the ancestors of Roch Lapointe, who will give a talk about their arrival. Durwood Dougherty will offer a testimonial on the job of a log driver. The president of the Agence de mise en valeur de la forêt privée en Estrie (agency for private forest management in the Estrie, AMVFPE), Jean-Paul Gendron, an expert in the domain, will also be present to sensitize participants to how “economically important” the forest is, as he says so well, said Robert. A supper similar to those in oldtime work camps will be served, giving an opportunity to experience the simplicity of the festive evenings and the hard work of the courageous men who built the region.

In the evening, the documentary “L’Homme des bois” (man of the woods) by Simon Rodrigue will be presented. It is a project that appreciates and transmits the forestry heritage. It’s the story of our grandfathers and great-grandfathers, hardworking and devoted men who pushed back boundaries in order to feed their families, and who, in spite of everything, loved their work. It’s a film that imparts the misery experienced, told with the smile of men who toiled all their lives as lumberjacks.

A one-day museum will also let participants discover the tools used by the workers of yesteryears. All this will be presented at the Armoury Community Centre in Bury on April 22, from 3 to 9 p.m. For more information, contact Véronique Thibault at or 819-562-3388.

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