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The Townships Trail, A Wonderful Web Chronicling Our Two Worlds
Art and Culture

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By Lucie Swennen 31 May 2018

Following the townships trail, discover a rich heritage and the most entertaining tales linking our two cultures!

History and architecture buffs can leave their dusty books behind and follow incredibly scenic routes as they travel through some of the most beautiful towns and reconnect with the heritage sent down to us by our two countries.

St-Armand, along with Philipsburg, Frelighsburg and Pigeon Hill, are all custodians of historical and architectural landmarks spread over magnificent landscapes. Learn about the first Loyalists who arrived and settled most of the county. Stand on the very site where the Fenians and the Red Sashes fought in the battle of Eccles’ hill. Take the time to drive through the area’s cared-for, covered bridges and visit beautiful church steeples of all denominations, true vernacular symbols of the region’s history.

Paysage de la ville de Frelighsburg

Several towns established on the Pike or the Yamaska rivers still have original mills that date back to the late 1700s. In fact, the Missisquoi Museum is housed in such a mill! Along with the Walbridge 12-sided barn, these are two not-to-be-missed stops. You’ll find them in the town of Stanbridge-East and the lovely hamlet of Mystic, where you’re invited to complete your visit in the sweetest way by browsing in their original antique and pottery boutiques as well as their amazing chocolate and ice-cream shops.

The next stop will take you to the town of Sutton which offers fascinating audio-guided walking, biking and driving tours. They include a tour of the area churches and cemeteries and a circuit leading you through all the hamlets that were settled by American loyalists and others who saw their destiny was to travel north … there is so much history here for you to discover! At the end of the day, may we suggest discussing your finds over a beer in some of the finest microbreweries this side of the border?

Grange patrimoniale de Lac-Brome

As you travel further east, the town of Lake Brome is a must for its Brome County Museum. Housed in several historical buildings, all worth their while, the home of Paul Holland-Knowlton, the founder of the town, stands out with its artifacts dating back to the first settlements as well as a section dedicated to the Abenaki, who first occupied these areas. For military collectors, the Martin annex holds an admirable collection of war memorabilia! The Knowlton historical tour will have you discover incredibly well-preserved landmarks and teach you so much about the first settlers and their ties south of the border.

As you visit these magnificent villages, take along a basket and fill it with delicious local products you’ll find on the way and take in the view as you savor your amazing picnic!

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Lucie Swennen

Lucie Swennen is native of Brome-Missisquoi County, she feel passionate about its history and its nature. A Teacher by profession specializing in Language Arts, she now freelance for different public and private organizations.

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