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A. Vacation Home

In the 19th century, the house became a secondary residence for vacationing. With commerce and industry shifting westward and the original tract of land broken up, this rural property was now isolated on the outskirts of the village. Colonel Wilgress, a retired military man, initially bought a parcel located east of the former LeBer and LeMoyne holdings. When he acquired the Maison site, in 1844, sheds used during the digging of the canal were still standing there. His family added a greenhouse at the east side of the house.

Edward P. Wilgress: A lieutenant colonel in the British army, he died in 1866 at about age 85. His heirs included sons Edward and John, who ran a bank in Calgary, and Henry, a railway agent in Vancouver and shipping line agent in Hong Kong. Son Edward was living in the house at the time of his death in 1888.

First expansion of the canal between 1843 and 1848. Second expansion of the canal and construction of new locks between 1873 and 1884.

1. Playing card case

Metal, velvet and cardboard. Book-shaped, with dragon and floral motifs on front cover and lattice and palmette decoration on back cover. A pack of cards fits between the metal covers. On the inner face of each cover is a numbered dial with a movable pointer for keeping score. Pack contains 51 cards (ace of spades is missing).

Anonymous gift RE-1974-L5C-6

2. Pipe and case

Fine clay pipe, made in Scotland. Impressed on the stem: “SCOTLAND 373 B W WHITE.” Written in ink on the bowl: “CEG.” Black-painted metal pipe case. Embossed on the stem part: “ENTERPRISE BREWING CO.”

Gift of Michel Ste-Marie RG-1999-031-1.2

3. Coin

Copper alloy, 1844. Bank of Montreal. On the obverse: “BANK TOKEN 1844 HALF PENNY CONCORDIA SALUS.” On the reverse: “PROVINCE OF CANADA BANK OF MONTREAL.”

Restored by the Centre de conservation du Québec AR-2000-102

4. Travel domino set (miniature)

Mahogany and ivory, late 19th century. Mahogany box with a sliding cover, ivory playing tiles. Handmade. The rectangular tile faces are divided into two parts, each with up to six black dots. The game is played with 28 tiles that are laid out according to set rules.

Anonymous gift RC-1975-L48-16

5. Case

Metal. Rectangular sheath with a lid that fits over the open end. Owned by James York, who served as an infantry sergeant in the first half of the 19th century.

Anonymous gift. Restored by the Centre de conservation du Québec RA-1980-L14B-44

6 to 10 Bottle fragments (5)

Dark green transparent glass, 19th century. Used to store wine or spirits. England.

6. Rounded punt (convex indentation) and lower cylindrical body.


7 & 8. Butts of two bottles made in a rotating mould. AR-1999-235, AR-2000-421

9 & 10. Fragments of two conical punts. AR-1999-236, AR-1999-422

11 to 13. Plant pot fragments (3)

Coarse, unglazed earthenware, 19th century. Shortly after 1850, a greenhouse for growing small tropical plants was added at Maison LeBer-LeMoyne. Located along the eastern wall of the house, the greenhouse was converted to a sunroom in the early 20th century and likely served as a winter garden.

11 & 12. Base and partial wall. AR-1998-230, AR-1998-231

13. Rim shard. AR-1998-232

14. Decorative plaque

Refined white earthenware, vitrified, 19th century. Transfer-printed brown rural landscape decoration with two ducks and a thatched hut. Narrow sides decorated with a floral motif. Holes for fixing to wall. AR-1999-017

15. Token

Wood, 19th century. Incised cross motif. Irregular rounded shape. AR-1999-225

16 to 19. Marbles (4)

Coarse, unglazed earthenware, 19th century.

16. Marbled due to mixture of pastes (?). Pink and brick red. AR-1999-226

17. Clouds of contrasting clay. 


18. Marbled brick red and rose-beige. Dented. AR-1999-228

19. Fragment, marbled brick red and rose-beige. AR-1999-229

20. Soldier figurine

Refined white earthenware, 19th century. Torso and head of a high-ranking soldier, painted in white, yellow and blue. Possibly a container ornament. England. AR-2000-217

21. Animal head

Refined white earthenware, 20th century. Animal head with blue-dotted yellow object in the mouth. Part of a knick-knack. England. AR-1999-224

22. Writing case

Wood, copper and velvet. Hinged writing case that opens up fully to sit flat. When closed, it is a small travel chest that can be locked with a key. The lid is embellished with a small copper plaque in the centre and copper corner plates. When open, the lids of the two large inner compartments form a writing slope covered in blue-green velvet, on which the paper is placed. The upper section has three small compartments, the centre one with a removable lid. Both sections of the slope can be raised to access compartments for storing letters, envelopes and other accessories. Gift of Marthe Jordan RF-1975-L4-9

23. Inkwell

Ceramic. Short, flanged neck.

Anonymous gift RV-1948-L2B-8A

24. Pen nib

Metal, 19th century. Used with a penholder.

Restored by the Centre de conservation du Québec AR-2000-233

25. Pen

Wood and metal, 19th century. Long metal nib on a penholder of varnished wood with torsade motif. Stamped on nib: “BLACK No 808 F SWAN QUILL.” Partially legible: “LisC-CV... TT” (?).

Anonymous gift RC-1980-L49-2

26. Kerosene lamp

Glass and metal, about 1889. Very fine blown glass. Plain. Queen Mary-brand burner with flat wick. Kerosene lamps were widely used in Quebec between 1870 and 1920.

Gift of Suzanne Riendeau-Clément RG-1991-437-1.2

27. Comb (2 fragments)

Probably horn. Long teeth for securing upswept hairdos. AR-2000-220

28. Mourning brooch

Copper alloy, black stone, glass and hair. Lozenge-shaped black stone set in a copper frame with scrolls and balls. In the centre, a glass-fronted oval copper medallion holds a woven ash blond hair memento. Engraved on the unembellished back: “In Memory of Ann Hopkins died 24 July 1854, aged 33.” The hinged pin and the hook of the fastener are soldered to the back. Ann Hopkins (née Ogden) was the first wife of Edward Martin Hopkins, who later married Frances Ann Beeckey, a painter who worked under the name Frances Ann Hopkins.

Gift of Mrs. I. Parr RA-1974-L14B-4

29 to 35. Buttons (12)

29. Tin-plated brass, 19th century. Concave flower outline on crown. Hemispherical crown, oval shank, convex back. AR-1999-010

30. Copper alloy, 19th century. Flat disk, shank soldered to back. AR-2000-098, AR-2000-097

31. Copper alloy, 18th century, after 1724. Shield-shaped decoration with three small rings of dots. Probably from a Royal Artillery Regiment uniform. Crown and shank. AR-2000-045

32. Copper alloy and glass, 19th century. Glass crown and metal shank.

Restored by the Centre de conservation du Québec AR-2000-099

33. Mother-of-pearl, 19th century. Round, concave centre, four holes.


34. Mother-of-pearl, 19th century. AR-2000-304, AR-1999-308-1.2, AR-2000-319, AR-2000-434

35. Bone, 19th century. AR-1999-309

36 Button cores (2)

Bone, 19th century.

AR-2000-316, AR-1999-310

37. Hook and eye fastener

Copper alloy, 19th century.

Restored by the Centre de conservation du Québec AR-1999-219-1.2

38. Bead

Wood, 19th century. AR-1999-332

39. Ornament

Rosewood, 19th century. Bead with a large hole. Possibly a sewing notion. AR-1999-221

40. Thimble

Copper alloy, 19th century. Crown and upper area ringed with symmetrical indentations. Three narrow decorative bands encircle the lower part.


41. Thread and winder

Silk, copper alloy and wood, 19th century. This thread may have been meant for working buttonholes on military uniforms or on the coats of manservants employed in wealthy homes. AR-1999-223-1.2

42. Dressmaker pins (123)

Tin-plated brass, 19th century.

Restored by the Centre de conservation du Québec AR-2000-415-1.123

43. Bodkin

Steel, 19th century. Two eyes. Used for threading cords or laces. AR-2000-222