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Entête

Le Courant

Automne 2014 | 16

East-Hereford-Business 1950

East- Hereford

East Hereford is a municipality consisting of 73 square kilometers in the south-eastern part of the Eastern Townships, near the American border. It has a population of 325 persons of whom 10% are of English-speaking descent.

Other Days

Business in 1950's East Hereford

Business during the 1950's included: a hotel, three general stores, a butcher shop, a creamery, three gas stations, a blacksmith shop, a caisse populaire, as well as trucks loading 4 foot pulpwood (la pitoune) for the United States and logs to Canada as well as Christmas trees.

The municipality had seen four saw mills over time. In 1900, the first mill belonged to a Mr. Western, the second mill to a Mr. Lefebvre, and he sold the rights to Mr. Thibeault who resold shortly after to Mr. Lowell and finally the mill was sold to a Mr. Wolley. The third mill had Mr. Joseph Pokin in 1934 as the owner but the building that housed the mill belonged to Mr. J.M. Dallaire. Finally, the fourth mill is owned by Marcel Lauzon and he has always remained the sole owner. In 1966, the mill sawed 30,000 feet per day and had 13 employees. In 1979, after enlargement, it sawed 60,000 feet per day and had 30 employees. In 2014, the production increased to 150,000 feet per day, with an active employee base of 52.


The saw mill has its own conversion plant which makes its own electricity producing 350 kilowatt/hour to allow for the drying of the wood, heating and lighting.

East Hereford should also mention (and it should not be ignored) that they have seven tree producers. The growing of Christmas trees gives work to our students during the summer, as well as to workers planting trees as well as cutting and pruning in the fall. Our growers annually produce several thousand trees.

There is also the fish farm, ''Les Bobines'', which annually produces 125 tons of trout for market. They employ eight people who prepare the trout in filet packages, in pate, caviar and take care of the sales counter.

East Hereford is proud of their ancestors, these brave people who worked by the sweat of their brow to clear this land and make East Hereford a place where one could make a good living (or live a good life).

Contraband (Smuggling)

One cannot talk about East Hereford without mentionning that smuggling took place in this particular area.

During the 1950's, several families in East Hereford were involved in smuggling, imagine also that even the priest bought his cigarettes in the United States and one time when he was coming through customs, this dear priest lifted his hat showing good manners and the etiquette of the times and, at the moment that he did this, all the packages of cigarettes (under his hat) fell out.


In the United States from 1948 to 1955 there was a terrible disease which affected many animals, especially cattle. This disease was known as hoof and mouth disease and was killing thousands of cows and calves. During this time in Quebec the cows calved in February and March for the most part and the market for calves was zero. For some people, though, brought about a small business and they could smell a bargain. They bought all the calves in the area and things started to move on the evening of the full March moon. The plan worked when all were in agreement as to a time to begin. They also got in contact with a couple who lived nearby and who '' watched'' the border for potential problems so that they might be notified. When everything seemed to be under control, all the calves were loaded onto an old truck and great care was taken to tie the calves mouths shut so that they would not bellow and consequently, make noise. When the truck reached the Gregoire Road, the lights of the truck were turned off and they made their way close to the river. Two farmers had installed a pulley system on a tree on either side of the river. Things would start to happen like this. We hung up a calf in a harness, then attached the calf to the pulley and pulled the calf across the river to the other side where the calf was unhooked and replaced with (an old can) a milk can filled with cigarettes. This procedure would continue until all the work was done. The truck was loaded and when it came in front of the house of the couple who were monitoring the border for them, someone would get off the truck holding a small brown envelope. Upon arrival home, the cans filled with cigarettes were unloaded and the work started all over again.

Farms

Around the year 1950 in East Hereford there were about forty farms and the farmers brought their cream to the creamery in the village. Today, there are no more that 5 farms in the area.
Source Diane Lauzon Rioux

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