DID YOU KNOW THAT…
THE MONTE-À-PEINE FALL TAKES ITS NAME FROM THE COLONIZATION PERIOD?
Long before being a tourist attraction and a place of relaxation, the site of the Monte-à-Peine waterfall was, at the beginning of the century, a natural constraint for travelers and residents of the surrounding area. The fall was an impassable obstacle by waterway and therefore an obligatory portage place. Ground transportation was hardly easier. At the beginning of the 20th century, to get to the neighboring village of Saint-Félix-de-Valois, the inhabitants of Sainte-Béatrix and Sainte-Mélanie were forced to take the Chemin de la Chute, a road with several steep slopes. As this path was not really suitable for vehicles, travelers had to climb it on foot, painfully carrying luggage and provisions on their backs. Also, it was given the name of Côte Monte-à-Peine. By extension, the expression was then used to refer to the fall itself and its multiple veils. In regional usage, we also hear a distorted version of the name: Montapel.
MAJOR WORK SHAPED THE RIVER BED IN 1889?
In October 1885, Father Provost bought a piece of land of 123 arpents, partly located in the territory of the park, which ran along the L’Assomption river and reached its southwestern limit at the level of the Noire river. He pays a “committed man”, who will live there with his family to take care of the animals and cultivate the land. He quickly noticed that the significant spring floods of the L’Assomption River, aggravated by the ice jams formed by the floating logs at the top of the Chute Monte-à-Peine, inundated his land and caused significant damage. In 1889, therefore, he obtained a grant of $ 3,500 from the Federal Ministry of Public Works for carrying out various “corrective” works. Here is his description: “These works were first of all the mining of the foot of the stone island which is at the head of the fall, and of which the high curvature of eight to nine feet barred a part. considerable length of the western channel. I then had a very high point of land cut, on the east side, which projected at least forty feet into the river, and which was about to join the head of the aforementioned stone islet, leaving only a small, very narrow channel (…). I had the earth raised from this point, mine the pebbles and large rocks that you could not get rid of otherwise, I also had a strip mined at the point of the island and we now have a beautiful straight channel and rapid in which water and logs will pass without hindrance. “2 (Théophile-Stanislas Provost. 1890. (Cited in a document compiled and annotated by historian Daniel Tessier: T.-S. Provost. 1993. Collection – texts 1860-1904. Éditions d´Orphée).
SEVERAL REASONS EXPLAIN THE PLANT POPULATIONS OF THE PARK?
The Parc des Chutes-Monte-à-Peine-et-des-Dalles overlaps the Érablière à tilleurl and Érablière à bouleau jaune domains. These stands are characteristic of the overall landscape of the region given its latitude, climatic conditions (temperature, degree of sunshine, quantity, frequency and nature of precipitation, etc.) and edaphic (nature and texture of the soil, drainage, pH , etc.) and the regime of natural disturbances (fires, windfall, insects epidemics, etc.) that prevail there. However, as you may have already noticed during your visit, these typical plant associations are not very present in the park where mixed groups are most frequent. This situation is due to the origin of the forest stands in the park resulting from the abandonment of fields and logging, but also to environmental factors moderatly associated that create specific conditions at the site level. These are, in particular, the nature and texture of the ground, topography, drainage and the orientation of the land in relation to the sun and the prevailing winds. Thus, the type of plant stand may differ depending on whether it is located in a depression where water accumulates regularly, on a steep slope with thin ground and excessive drainage, or on the top of a mountain, exposed to severe weather. These various plant populations are home to a variety of fauna which find food, drink, reproduce and shelter in the habitats represented by these plant groups. The wildlife inventory of the Parc des Chutes Monte-à-Peine-et-des-Dalles conducted in 2005 revealed that the park is home to no less than 124 species of wild animals, including 10 kinds of amphibians, 6 species of reptiles, 82 species of birds (including 8 birds of prey and 18 warblers) and 26 species of mammals (including beaver, white-tailed deer and several small rodents). Of the 124 listed wildlife species, 6 species are in a precarious situation in Quebec.
MAJOR WORK SHAPED THE RIVER BED IN 1889?
FNLPs refer to products of biological origin other than wood, obtained from forests. These are food products extracted from the forest, such as maple syrup, wild blueberries or wild mushrooms, ornamental products taken from the forest, such as species useful in horticulture or decorative products such as Christmas wreaths, and substances extracted from forest plants used in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals and personal hygiene products, such as Taxol or essential oils from conifers. The value of FNLPs to the Canadian economy is in the billions of dollars! The Lanaudière region, in order to supervise this nascent industry, a Working Table for the development of non-timber forest products was created in 2012, following a mobilization of stakeholders wishing to support the emergence of agroforestry sector. Regional players involved in the development of the agroforestry sector consider that Lanaudière has unique value products. In particular, sensitive and vulnerable species must be protected. Thus, training for gatherers and entrepreneurs are offered to guide the industry. Protecting the resource and habitat The Chutes Monte-à-Peine-et-des-Dalles Park is a unique place to discover and observe FNLPs. However, remember that it is forbidden to harvest all or part of the plants, mushrooms and other components of the natural environment found in the park.
A LEGEND ABOUT THE CREATION OF THE L’ASSOMPTION RIVER?
A legend states that, a long time ago, an Indian left his village on the riverside to go hunting in the north, with his canoe. After several days, he had traversed many lakes and rivers, carried out portages and crossed lands and mountains; he had thus found himself very far from his village. Feeling tired, he decided to go home. However, he was disheartened at the perspective of having to go all the way back. In his despair, he cried out that he would be willing to give his soul to find a river that would bring him back to the river. Then, he lay down and fell asleep. In his sleep, the devil appeared to him and told him that, when he would wake up, he would find a river that would open for him as he goes on his journey. In return, once he rould reach his destination, the Indian would belong to him. The next day, the Indian did find the promised river and entered it. However, remembering that he had to give his soul to the devil when he would get home, he began to zigzag left and right to take time to think about it. It is said that he made his way to the river … but that no one ever saw him again. This is how the course of the l’Assomption River would have been traced. 1 Legend reported by Marcel Ducharme: Réjean Olivier and Anne Le Blanc (editors). 1997 Legends of Lanaudière. Private edition. (Distribution: Lanaudière Regional Archives Center, L’Assomption (Quebec).