• Culture Coaticook
  • Société d'histoire
  • Pavillon des arts
  • Musée Beaulne
  • Harmonie
  • Coatic'Art
  • Bibliothèque

Le Courant

Automne 2012 | 14

The Cantine

Cantine St. Hermenegilde (at the 4 corners)
The first mobile cantine in the village.
Mr. Gaudreau was the owner and Mrs. Madeleine Bissonnette ran the business. It was open in 1979, 1980 and 1981 on the grounds where the sports club was located at that time. Today you will see that the town hall and the St. Hermenegilde Community Center were built on the grounds of the Sports Club.
The second cantine in the village: a mobile cantine.
Owner/manager: Mrs. Linda B. Crete. It was called the Cantine du coin and it operated from 1985 to 1990. It was located at the four corners of route 251 and St. Jacques Road. They were also available when auctions were held and for the St. Jean festivities. They served fries, hamburgers, hot dogs and soft drinks, etc.
The third cantine in the village of St. Hermenegilde.
The Cantine du coin changed ownership sometime during the years 1990 to 1995. Francois Crete became the owner and Mrs. Elisabeth Guay became the manager. I think it was a schoolbus renovated into a place of business.
The fourth village cantine.
This cantine was located at the same place and the owner and manager was Mrs. Dustine Mayhew. The cantine was known as La grandee Dusty and Mrs. Mayhew operated the cantine from 1996 to 2010.
Thank you to Mrs. Linda Crete for her notes on the subject.

Cantine La Place: located at 22 St. Jacques St. South, Coaticook
The following persons furnished me with the information about this cantine: Mrs. Jacqueline Maurais, Mrs. Marie-Reine Lanciaux and Mrs. Mariette Roy.
The origins of La Place began when Gaston Jean-Marie had a cantine on Route 147 near the Dixville turn off going down into the village. Mr. Jean-Marie ran the cantine with his sons and he later sold the business to Roger Maurais. This cantine was then moved to Coaticook. It was placed on the corner of a property bought from Mr. De La Bruiere. The cantine was located closer to the road than what you see today. This cantine was open in 1967 and 1968. It was open from the end of April until September from 8:30 in the morning until 11 p.m., and according to the number of customers.
Mrs. Mariette Roy, Mrs. Diane Riendeau, Mrs. Simone Lessard, Mrs. Lise Houle Lessard, Mrs. Simone Larochell, Roger Pelletier, Mrs. Marie-Reine Lanciaux and Maurice Lanciaux (cook) were the employees. They had 2 cooks and 2 waitresses. Mr. Lanciaux and his wife generally worked the evening shift. The potatoes were bought from Marcel Begin, peeled using a mechanical potato peeler and cooked in vegetable fat. The food was served through a sliding glass window. The consensus of the public was that this was a good place to eat and the reputation of the cantine made with their mouth-watering meals. In those days there was no need to ask if this food was part of a healthy diet. The food was good and that was the only thing that mattered. It was necessary to have a permit from the town in order to operate the business. Later Mr. Maurais bought some property and and built a bigger restaurant, a little further back on the grounds and the days of the cantine were over. The restaurant became known as La Place.

Cantine La Noire, East Hereford
Real Riendreau owns the property today where a cantine was located mid-way between the intersection of Rte. 253 and the Des Cotes Road.
There was a cantine here in 1972. Mrs. Longmore, nicknamed La Noire because of her black hair, saw to the daily operations and made sure the provisions were always up to date. She sold fries, hot dogs, hamburgers, sandwiches and of course with ketchup, mustard, relish and mayonnaise. It is mouthwatering just thinking about these foods. There were many people working at Mr. Lauzon's sawmill and, at noon, they came to have their lunch at the Cantine La Noire. The cantine was sold to a Mr. Gelinas in 1979. We do not know at what time the cantine opened or closed.
One day the cantine burnt in a fire and was not rebuilt. The cantine was in operation during the summer (the beginning of May) and closed at the end of September.

Cantine Chez Bert, and later, Terrasse Wood, Compton
The earliest days of the cantine that I was was able to find out about were told to me by Mrs. Nadeau, Bert's mother.
Bertrand was taking business courses and he was without a job. He was talking with his parents and told them that he was interested in building a cantine. The parents were agreeable to this project and Bertrand, 18 years of age, built the cantine on property owned by his father. It was in 1982 that the cantine was transported by a tractor to the neighboring property of Mr. Savary who rented him the property located at 6805 route Louis St. Laurent. His friend and his sister helped. They installed a fryer and a cooking grill. They made their fries from fresh potatoes bought from a Compton farmer. The heat became sweltering inside when both the fryer and the grill were being used. The cantine was open from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. The food was served through a sliding window. In 1993, Mrs. France Cotnoir bought the cantine due to the fact that Bertrand was suffering from illness and could no longer continue operations. This cantine would continue to be in business until the year 2000.
In 1994, an enlargement of the cantine took place keeping one of the original walls as directed by the government. A patio was built and food served through the sliding glass window. France put several chairs and tables on the patio and built a play area. At the same time there were also some tables inside. Mrs. France Cotnoir was the first person to put sucre a la creme (maple cream) on ice cream and sundaes. A man from the United States stopped at the cantine one day and later telephoned to have the permission to use her special recipe on the ice cream cones in his restaurant. Government health inspectors often came to verify the hygiene of the premises. Mrs. Cotnoir told me that the inspectors always found the cantine to be in perfect order. It was a place to hear all the latest news. She sold the business in May 2000 to Luc and Lucie McClish. Mrs. Sylvia Blouin has operated the business since 2008.
Thank you to all the people who helped me to write this report.

The Cantine: Le relais du voyageur
This cantine is located on Rte. 141 going towards Barnston beside the provincial park known as La Source. Marcel Favreau was the owner of this cantine. It was Nicole McClish and her mother, Pauline Favreau McClish, who managed the cantine. The cantine opened in 1965 and closed in 1972, the year Nicole had an accident. The cantine had the reputation of having the best fries in town. They used Planter's Oil. The young people said that pick up snacks were served through a sliding glass window and inside were tables and chairs where you could sit down for a meal. They sold fries, guedilles, westerns, hamburgers, and ice cream. The younger members of the family, Luc and Lucie, peeled the potatoes. The cantine was open on a daily basis and closed on Labor Day. The restaurant made their reputation by cooking fresh fries, never the frozen type. The rest area maintained by the provincial park was an interesting asset to this cantine.

Cantine Dixville
An anglophone cantine was opened in Dixville and was located in the old garage belonging to Adori Laliberte. The post office used to be found in this same building. Mr. Buzzel had it for a period of time and then Dusty Mayhew ran it another 4 or 5 years. Mrs. Mayhew only served food inside.
Some information is lacking on this particular cantine but my thanks are expressed to Leandre Gaudreau and Mrs. Marthe Lessard for their assistance.
Urbain Levesque's mobile cantine
Mr. Levesque ran a mobile cantine for 14 years. He began his day around 9:15 a.m. by making the rounds to the factories, garages and local construction sites. He sold hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, gum, chocolate bars, many pastries and a good assortment of beverages. Mr. Levesque made his deliveries to the shops at lunch time. You would also find the cantine on site where Mr. Vanasse held his auctions. If there was a truck breakdown, he would make the rounds using his own vehicule.
Source: M. Levesque
The Potato Machine or Ti-Gars fryer
That is what we used to call it. The owner was Ti-Gars Lionel Fecteau. The cantine was located in front of the Armoury. He also had his cantine on Child St. neighboring the Child Hotel. He also sold hot dogs, hamburgers with or without onions. Mr. Fecteau opened during the week at 2 p.m. until closing time at 4 a.m. and 11 a.m on the Friday. Saturdays and Sundays he would start a little later and finish late in the night. I remember customers buying themselves some fries than going to sit in their cars to watch the people pass by. Since the stores were open in the evening at that time, the cantine would take advantage of this fact with increased sales taking place once the stores closed for the night. Mr. Denis Fecteau, the son of the owner, does not remember what the prices were in 1942, ''I am not old enough to remember'' ''not expensive, not expensive'' I was told. In 1967 we sold a large fry for 50 cents. The potatoes were peeled at home by his wife and himself. At the time wen the children reached 10 or 12 years of age they began helping out with the peeling. A little later he bought a potato peeler and all they had left to do with this job was to remove the eyes and the bad spots on the potatoes.
One day he sold his cantine to Conrad Chaloux who later sold the business to Eugene Lemerise who had it for about 1 1/2 years. Ti-Gars then took over the cantine and ran it until 1960. Sometime later he bought a farm which he put much work into and sold the cantine to Fernand and Raymond Isabelle.

The mobile cantine belonging to Luc McClish and Renaud Sage
In 1980, Luc McClish and Renaud Sage bought Rosaire Fontaine's mobile cantine. A year later, Daniel Inkel bought out the part owned by Renaud Sage as Mr. Sage wanted to do something else. Luc and Daniel continued to operate the cantine. In 1982, the recession forced them to close the business. The cantine went from place to place. It went several times a day to different garages and at designated hours to construction sites. They sold sandwiches, soup, hamburgers, hot dogs and desserts. Customers were allowed to charge their purchases and pay up on pay day.
They also went to Renaud Vanasse's auctions and to ball tournaments.

The corner cantine, Child and Main
The corner cantine at Child and Main as well as the garage belonged to Jean-Louis, Real and Conrad Jacques.

Cantine St-Herménégilde

Cantine St-Herménégilde




Le Courant

Le Courant est publié par la Société une fois par année. Membres de la société, historiens professionnels et amateurs partagent avec les lecteurs le fruit de leurs recherches. Les textes sont disponibles en français et en anglais. La publication de cette revue est rendue possible grâce au soutien de commanditaires locaux que nous remercions avec toute notre gratitude.

Société d'histoire de Coaticook

34, rue Main Est
Coaticook, Québec
819 849-1023

Heures d'ouverture

Mardi au jeudi
9.30h à 15.00 h

Droits d'entrée : Aucun

Bases de données

Vous pouvez désormais effectuer une recherche de photos sur nos bases de données en ligne.

Vous pouvez maintenant également faire des recherches dans nos fonds et collections d'archives par le Portail des archives des Cantons-de-l'Est.


Journaux et photos du Progrès de Coaticook depuis 1950 • Collection du Coaticook Observer des années 1928 à 1938. • Collection de l'Etoile de l'Est de 1928 à 1938.

Services de recherche

Fonds d'archives • Conservation • Bibliothèque • Recherches en archives • Informations généalogiques

Merci à nos partenaires pour leur soutien financier