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Montmagny, Quebec (Canada)

Ville de Montmagny

Last modified: 2021-02-27 by rob raeside
Keywords: montmagny | quebec | geese: 3 |
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[Montmagny flag] image by Masao Okazaki, 10 January 2021

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The municipality of Montmagny (11,078 inhabitants in 2019; 14,500 ha) is located 60 km east of Lévis.

Montmagny is named for Charles Huault de Montmagny (1583-1657), appointed in 1636 the first Governor of New France, who was granted the domain of Rivière-du-Sud on 5 May 1646. Huault originated from the French town of Montmagny, and added the epithet "de Montmagny" to his name to emphasize his social position. The lord did not care much for his domain and left New France a few years later.

The domain was acquired in 1654 by Louis Couillard de Lespinay. Involved in fur trade, seal hunting, je never settled in his domain, preferring fishing cod and salmon on the Saint-Lawrence. His descendants subsequently initiated the exploitation of the domain, operating grain mills and salmon fisheries. The Couillard family would rule the domain until 1759, when they sold the domain because of the English threat.
In 1776, the erosion of the banks of the river forced the villagers of Saint-Thomas-de-Montmagny to move eastwards, where the town of Montmagny slowly emerged.

The municipality of the village of Saint-Thomas-de-Montmagny, established in 1645 and upgraded in 1883 as the municipality of the town of Saint-Thomas-de-Montmagny, was merged in 1966 with the municipality of the parish of Saint-Thomas-de-Montmagny to form the town of Montmagny.

The industrial development of the town was pushed by the Price family, who developed timber industry. William Price rented in 1833 the sawmill owned by Jean-Baptiste Couillard-Dupuy, exploiting several forest plots. After his death in 1867, he was succeeded by his two sons, William-Evans and David-Edouard. Then the second most important employer in the region, the business was increased in 1891 by the third Price brother, Evan-John, who built a steam sawmill to increase the production. In 1893, the Price company employed 350 workers and operated 20 ships.
Evan-John Price was succeeded by his nephew William Price III, who established in 1901 the Montmagny Light and Pulp Co., connected to an hydro-electric power plant. Not profitable, the company winded up five years later. In 1908, Price founded the Basin Electric Light and Power Ltd., which supplied energy to the 78 street candles of the town. William Price built a mill in Montmagny in 1912, which was destroyed by a blaze in 1920. The Price company winded up in 1938.

The second successful developer of Montmagny was Amable Bélanger (1846-1919), who established in 1872 a foundry near the railway, replaced in 189 by a stone building stilt standing in the downtown. Bélanger, then the town's second most important employer, produced plows and, mostly, wood stoves, soon of national fame. Bélanger was the first president of the Chamber of Commerce of Montmagny.

Saint-Thomas-de-Montmagny is the birth town of Sir Étienne-Paschal Taché (1795-1865). Taché supported the Patriotes rebellion and organized in 1837 an assembly of the movement attended by its leaders, Louis-Joseph Papineau and Augustin-Norbert Morin, but, as a pacifist, he refused to take the arms. To defend the interests of the French Canadians, Taché quit medicine and was elected Representative of L'Islet in 1841. Serving twice as the Prime Minister of Canada, he promoted the establishment of a confederation of the provinces of North America, and is therefore considered as the precursor of modern Canada.

Saint-Thomas-de-Montmagny is the birth town of Louis-Jacques Casault (1808-1862), Ordained priest in 1831, Casault founded in 1853 Université Laval, the first French-speaking university in Lower-Canada, named for François de Laval (1623-1708), first bishop of Quebec (1674-1688), and became its first Rector.

Saint-Thomas-de-Montmagny is the birth town of Edwin Bélanger (1910-2005), a virtuoso violinist and conductor, who served as the first musical and artistic director of the Quebec Symphony Orchestra,n established in 1942 as the merger of the Quebec Philharmonic Circle and of the Quebec Symphonic Society.
Municipal website
Ivan Sache, 10 January 2021

City flag

I saw this flag flying in Montmagny in the Summer of 1998. It replicates the goose logo on a b- field. The goose logo consists of three landing geese. Montmagny is the self-proclaimed capital of the white goose, hence the logo. The three geese personify the communitarian spirit and the constancy of the city's residents. The flag is quite spectacular, and proves that logo-based flags can be attractive when done right.
Luc Baronian, 20 May 2005

Image of the flag above is based on a logo on the city's website:
Masao Okazaki
, 10 January 2021

Montmagny is self-styled the Capital of Greater Snow Goose. The logo features three migrating geese about to land, with simplified but still figurative lining. The three geese represent the community spirit and symbolize the citizens' energy and constancy.
Municipal website

Everything you need to know about the Greater Snow Goose at Hinterland Who's Who:
Ivan Sache, 10 January 2021