A few weeks ago Montreal Gazette reporter Monique Beaudin devoted one of her Green Life columns to the issue that though Montrealers live on an island in the middle of the St-Lawrence River they’ve had little or no access to that river since the 1960s, because of the increased pollution including improper raw sewage treatment. She goes on to say that “Now there are two public beaches on the island – one at the Cap St. Jacques nature park in Pierrefonds and the other the man-made Jean Drapeau Park beach on Ile Notre Dame” and authorities are working on many new projects including “a floating dock on the waterfront near the Natatorium swimming complex in Verdun”. Continue reading
This is a historic, turn-of-the-century image of Montreal’s Victoria Jubilee Bridge.
MONTREAL, Victoria Jubilee Bridge
Dating the postcard
A handwritten notation on the front says “Montreal, le 6 dec. 1905” and the two legible postmarks confirm that the postcard was indeed mailed in December of 1905. I’ve been unable to decipher the Manitoba postmark.
Reverse of Vintage Postcard: Victoria Jubilee Bridge
Sender of postcard
Mlle G. Brouillet, 476 rue Rachel, Montreal, P.Q.
The name Graziella Brouillet was written on the front so I did a little genealogy research and found two women by that name who were living in Montreal in the early twentieth century.
1.Graziella Brouillet (daughter of Pierre Brouillet and Emilie D’Arminault-Rolland) who married Fernand St-Georges (son of Joseph St-Georges and Odile Dubois) in Immaculee-Conception parish (Montreal) on May 19th, 1908.
2.Graziella Brouillet (daughter of Guillaume Brouillet and Rosilda Girouard) who married Armand Frechette (son of Achille Frenchette an Mathilda Olivier) in the same parish on November 7th, 1911. She then married Joseph Bergeron (son of Thomas-Louis Bergeron and Laure Bouchard) on September 29th, 1923 once again in Immaculee-Conception parish.
After narrowing it down to two Graziellas, and with the postcard address in hand, I consulted Lovell’s historic street directory for Montreal and found that there was a William Brouillet who had a grocery at 476 rue Rachel in 1906.
William is the English equivalent of the name Guillaume, so now I’m confident that the sender of this postcard was Graziella Brouillet, daughter of Guillaume Broullet and Rosilda Girouard. (Please see note from reader Pierre Brouillet below)
Recipient of postcard
Mr. J.A.P. Merizz, Hotel Imperial, Winnipeg, Man.
While looking for information on the Hotel Imperial, I discovered a great history webpage called Winnipeg: Then and Now by the Manitoba Historical Society which contains Edwardian views of Winnipeg AND a great essay on the value of vintage postcards to our study of history. They have a postcard of the Empire Hotel in Winnipeg and I’m wondering whether this might be the Hotel Imperial on my postcard.
Handwritten message on back of postcard
Ayant vu votre annonce dans votre (“votre” crossed out) le samedi je me suis permis de vous envoyer cette carte pour vous demandez si vous voulez corresponde avec moi.
Je suis …
English Translation of the message:
Having seen your announcement in (“your” crossed out ) on Saturday, I’m permitting myself to send you this card to ask whether you want to correspond with me. I am ………………
I wonder whether this was a request to be a penpal?
A Final Note
1. P.Q. = Province Quebec – New abbreviation is QC
2. As I child I also learned to write the letter “Q” something like the number “2”
- Bridges Over The St-Lawrence River(1): Honore Mercier Bridge, Quebec
- Bridges Over The St-Lawrence River(2): Jacques Cartier Bridge
- Bridges Over The St-Lawrence River(3): Victoria Jubilee Bridge, Montreal, Quebec
- Vintage Postcard: United We Stand, British Empire Ensigns
Note from reader Pierre Brouillette
Very interesting! Maybe you want to know that W. Brouillet, grocer, was still in business in 1944 in the telephone book of Montreal but moved to 434 Milton.
Sure this Graziella was a relative, she had the same address in 1905 but I don’t know why Guillaume used the English form of his name (if it’s the case). But it’s plausible, because I found another William Brouillet who named his first son Guillaume.
The Victoria Jubilee – another bridge that spans the St-Lawrence.
Vintage postcard of the Victoria Jubilee Bridge – Reverse Continue reading
Vintage Postcard of the Jacques Cartier Bridge which connects Montreal to Longueuil.
The Jacques Cartier passes over the St-Lawrence River and the St-Lawrence Seaway.
Reverse of Vintage postcard of the Jacques Cartier Bridge.
It’s time for the July issue of Postcard Scavenger Hunt and this month Postcardy Lynne asked us to hunt for a postcard on the theme of “Night Lights”. I’ve decided to share this vintage postcard which depicts a quintessential night scene from early twentieth century Montreal.