Located on the banks of the Pike River, the municipality of Notre-Dame-de-Stanbridge owes its start to the power of the river. The many dams built in places of steep gradients fed the water mills that changed the flow of water (hydropower) into rotating force (mechanical force) used for sawing wood, grinding grain, wool carding, producing electricity, etc.
In 1801, heavily in debt, the first settler Loyalist Hugh Finlay sold his land to the Scotsman James McGill, founder of McGill University, who married Marie-Charlotte Guillemin, widow and mother of the two DesRivières children. The DesRivières family played a major role in commercial and residential development including the construction of the Malmaison manor and the DesRivières Bridge
Notre-Dame-de-Stanbridge sets itself apart on many counts: first municipality to be incorporated into the province of Lower Canada; first Catholic Church; first village of the county of Stanbridge with a predominantly French-speaking population in a territory reserved for English-speaking Loyalists. Today it is home to nearly 700 people.
A tour of the area also leads one to discover commercial development including mills and the brick making factory; as well as the fame of certain citizens such as Dr Lambert creator of ‘’Lambert Syrup’’ still found today in our pharmacies, not to mention buildings, vintage homes and a tourist information booth housed in an old rectory.
The level land attracts cyclists who enjoy easy, contemplative rides allowing them a special contact with nature, the landscape, the Pike River and above all, the history and heritage of Notre-Dame-de-Stanbridge.
Many visitors extend their outing with a stay of one or two nights in nearby tourist accommodations. More time to enjoy the region!