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The Turn of the Century  - The 20th Century

In 1901, the Wilgress family sold the house to William Currie, who used it as a summer home. Montréal’s well-to-do bourgeoisie had been building comfortable secondary residences along Lac Saint-Louis for over a decade. The Currie sisters, who inherited the house in 1924, sold it to Karl Gsell in 1941.

William Currie: A clothier, hatter, haberdasher and lifelong bachelor, he owned a store on Notre-Dame Street in Montréal and several properties in Westmount, Côte-Saint-Luc and Lachine. On his death in 1924, he left everything to his sisters.

Karl Gsell: The owner of a Mountain Street rooming house in Montréal, he likely bought the house in Lachine intending to convert it to lodgings for local workers. Industry was growing in Lachine at the time, due to the demand for military material.

1. Miniature ocean liner and base

Wood, metal and plastic. The ship is painted blue. On the bridge are four small rowboats with eight oars, and a small bench painted blue and white. On the front of the hull: “V. F.” Made by Valère Fillion, a folk artist listed in Les patenteux du Québec. Mr. Fillion, who was from the Abitibi region, worked on the construction of the Québec City Bridge between 1910 and 1917. He made this ship during that time.

Gift of Pauline Rivière, daughter of Valère Fillion RE-1987-L6-9A & B

2. Brochure

Montreal Kennedy Taxis Limited. Tourist guide noting points of interest around Montréal.

On the inside back cover, an ad inviting readers to visit the Dawes Brewery on St. Maurice Street. On an inside page, an ad for the Lachine Ferry. 24 pages.

Gift of Michel Ste-Marie RG-1999-707

3. Scissors

Metal. Pair of scissors used at the ribbon cutting for the mine dredger HMCS (His Majesty’s Canadian Ship) Lachine, which served in World War II. Engraved: “H. M. C. S. Lachine Launched, June 14, 1941.”

Anonymous gift RC-1974-L59-28

4. Decorative disk

Copper alloy, 19th century. In the sunken centre, a raised rosette. Flat rim embossed with fine, all- over decoration of beads and foliage. AR-1999-245

5. Ball weight extension (for lamp)

Copper alloy, 19th century. Small bell-shaped weight suspended from a chain attached to a hook. AR-2000-246

6. Montreal Hunt Club cup

Fine hard porcelain, late 19th century. Made in England. Fairly thick, with rounded handle and flat recessed base. Transfer- printed in red on the body, the Montreal Hunt Club emblem (fox head and riding crops, referring to the club’s main activity), the initials “M” and “H,” and “1826” (date of the club’s founding). Band of blue slip and painted lines on the rim, base and handle. Probably part of the club’s everyday dishes.

None of the owners of Maison LeBer-LeMoyne belonged to the Montreal Hunt Club, but club members sometimes gathered in front of the house. This cup may have been broken during a picnic. The club’s fox hunting grounds extended from Mile End, just north of downtown Montréal, to Pointe-Claire, on the western end of the Island. The club also held riding competitions, and in 1881, James Dawes of Lachine took home the trophy. AR-2000-247

7. Boater hat

Straw and textile fibres. Banded with blue, white and red-striped grosgrain.

Anonymous gift RA-1980-L12-2

8. Thimble and case

Metal, late 19th century. Incised circle and scroll motifs.

Anonymous gift RA-1974-L14A-22A & B

9. Button

Bone, 20th century. AR-2000-267

10. Bead

Plastic, 20th century. Multifaceted.


11. Top

Wood and metal. Toy top with button handle. Conical. In the upper area, a painted green band bordered by two parallel lines. Incised line around the middle. Metal tip at the bottom.

Anonymous gift RC-1980-L48-6

12. Marbles and bag

Ceramic and cotton, early 20th century. Set of 44 marbles. Small carrying bag.

Gift of Robert Picard RC-1983-L48-18

13. Doll leg

Coarse porcelain, 19th century. Shoe and garter painted on in red. Very small delicate object. AR-1999-248

14. Reproduction of a lead soldier

Metal, 20th century. Purchase.

15. Toy soldier’s head

Lead, 19th century. Fragment of a toy soldier. Hollow head. The face is painted pink and the cap may have been painted green. AR-2000-276

16. Miniature launch

Wood. Miniature launch with squared ends, signed by the maker, Jacques Malo of Verchères.

Gift of Lucie Vary RE-1985-L3D-1

17. Miniature launch

Pine. Verchères launch with two oars. Original colour. Made by Jacques Malo, a Verchères craftsman.

Gift of Lucie Vary RE-1984-L3C-5