Gilliandr's Blog

Random Historical, Social and Cultural Moments



A historian and traveller.

24th of May, Montreal, 1877

Montreal Gazette, 23 May 1877, page 3


The Queen, God Bless Her- What to do, where to go, and how to celebrate on Her Birthday – in the city and out of the city

With the sweep of time the Queen’s Birthday comes again and will be, as it has always been, welcomed right loyally throughout the Dominion, but in no place with more spontaneity than in our own city.  The Mayor has issued the proclamation for a general holiday, and the question now on the tongue of everyone is, “where to go on the 24th?” Below we give a few of the principal events.


Grand Lacrosse Match at 3pm, between the Montreal Club and Indians, at which the Band of the Victoria Rifles will attend.

Academy of Musicat 2:30, and evening performance at 8.

St George’s Concert at the Rink at 8pm.

Sig Hazazer’s Assembly.  Closing party of the season.

Volunteer Review in the forenoon at Fletcher’s Field, on the Mountain slope.,

The Island Park ferry boat will ply all day, leaving Island Wharf every half hour.


On the Grand Trunk Railway to St Hilaire, leaving Bonaventure Station at 8am, and returning at a seasonable hour in the evening. Passes will be issued on the Grand Trunk Railway on the 24th good for the next day at one fare, and good until the 28th at one fare and a third.

On the South Eastern, tickets good for the 23rd, 24th and 25th inclusive, will be sold at one fare to Memphremagog, and a steam yacht conveys parties from Newport to any point on the Lake.

The steamer Prince of Wales leaves Lachine for Carillon and intermediate landings on the arrival of the 7 am train which leaves Bonaventure Depot, returning in time for the evening train.

Excursion of the Natural History Society to Oka.

Grand excursion to St Jerome,leaving Hochelaga at 8:50am; returning, leave St Jerome at 6pm.

Trotting races at Laprairie, the steamer making three trips during the day.

Excursion to Cornwall on the Grand Trunk Railway; tickets good for two days $1, the band of the Sixth Fusiliers to be present.

Grand excursion to Caughnawaga as per advertisement.


Walter Scott Centenary, Montreal, 1871

Globe, 16 August 1871, page 4


Montreal, Aug 15

A private banquet was given to-night on temperance principals, as the Carlton Club, in commemoration of the Scott Centenary.  Between sixty and seventy person were present.  Addresses were delivered, but the affair was quiet, as it was resolved a month since to let the day pass, all the principal citizens being out of the city.  The Scott scholarship subscription progresses rapidly, and of the requisite $1500, $1000 is already raised.

[Oh Lord this sounds desperately dull!]

Situating Sarsfield – part of a larger picture, 2018

Chateau from hotel website – 1169 is on the left of the screen.

When I visit Montreal, which is quite frequently, I like to take advantage of the overnight to visit places of familial significance.  This includes old family homes, businesses, or cemeteries. The streets are marked by the presence of the various lines of my family, although most are silent to the public at large.  One of the benefits of being a historian is the fact that I have been able to research and pinpoint these places, and understand their larger significance to family and place.

One of the places I do like to visit is the Chateau Versailles Hotel on Sherbrooke Street.  It all depends of course on if there is a good deal available.  The hotel is a series of four elegant townhouses, and is a bit fancy.  Part of this block, 1669 was also the home of my great-great uncle Sarsfield Cuddy.

Sarsfield Ludger Emmett Cuddy

I have been lucky enough to be able to stay in the “Cuddy” part of the hotel twice now, and when I have found out that my room was in 1669 have expressed my joy to a rather perplexed staff.  You see to them this is the Berthier part of the building.

The hotel does, to a limited extent, commemorate its history.  In the main floor corridor of 1669 the hotel has placed some photographs of the Berthier sisters with a bit of text speaking to their 25 year residence in the building from 1942, when they purchased the home from the original owners – the Cuddys.  Along with the photograph and small history of the Berthier sisters’ haute couture dressmaking business run from this location, there is also an old sewing machine.  A formal photograph of Narcisse Perodeau also graces the same area.  He was a successful politician, notary and businessman.  He was Quebec Lieutenant Governor from 1924 to 1928.  He lived in 1659.

Commemoration of the buildings’ past is rather selective, and in this case, a shame, as all four buildings were homes to very interesting families over the course of a hundred years. I am sure that in reading this you are thinking that I am only saying this because they left Sarsfield and his family out of the narrative.  And you would be partially correct – yeah, it ticks me off a bit that he is not considered interesting enough to merit inclusion in the history of a home he lived in for over thirty years, and whose direction  as original owner dictated a great many of the exterior details which still distinguish the building from its neighbours. But here is the thing, these four buildings are more than just about Sarsfield Cuddy.

These four houses, constructed during the height of the ‘Great Square Mile’, when Sherbrooke Street was lined with large and luxurious housing.  These houses were built to impress, and provide its residents with a great style of living. The houses were built by architect and developer James Seath-Smith starting in 1911.  He lived in 1657 until 1935, and also owned 1671. 1659 was purchased by Narcisse Peradeau, whose daughter Yvonne was married to Sarsfield’s brother-in-law Frank McKenna.  A history of the hotel, written in 1979, goes into great detail about how so many of the buildings’ residents were interconnected, living and working in close proximity.


La Presse, 18 juillet 1902 p7

It is also interesting to note that when some of the people moved to smaller premises they did not move that far away.  Peradeau sold his house in 1928 to Lady Hermine LeBlanc (his son’s mother-in-law) and moved to the Chateau Apartments at 1321 Sherbrooke Street.  Sarsfield’s widow Estelle McKenna sold their home in 1942 and moved to the same building with her daughter Lorraine.  Sarsfield’s two sisters Teresa and Honora only lived a block away in the Linton Apartments at 1509 Sherbrooke Street.

It is from the late 1930s that the neighbourhood started to change from this elegant single family living to that of a more business oriented residence – with the buildings being used as both home and business.  The Berthier sisters lived above their fancy dressmaking business, from 1942; and Perodeau’s home and its immediate neighbour became a hotel and the house on the other side of the Cuddy house became a gentleman’s club.  And now the whole block is a hotel offering a taste of the elegance and luxury enjoyed by the original owners.

Please read my biography of Sarsfield here.


Hotel Chateau Versailles: a history, Betty Guernsey, Hotel Chateau Versailles, 1979

Montreal’s Sherbrooke Street: the spine of the city, Mackay L Smith, Infinite Books, 2006

Dictionary of Family Biography – Sarsfield Ludger Emmett Cuddy (Jan 2016)

The Benefits of Cricket, Montreal, 1822

Montreal Herald, 29 May 1822, page 2

To the Editor of the Montreal Herald


On reading the Paragraph upon Cricket in your supplement of last Wednesday, it gave rise to the following reflections:

That I perfectly agree with the Author, that the game of Cricket is conductive to health, and peculiarly adapted to youth, especially those leading a sedentary life; as it expands the chest, opens a free passage of breathing, promotes perspiration without endangering the system, and puts the whole muscular frame in motion, unattended with the least violence.

It has also much to that manly vigour and firm step as remarkable in an Englishman.

As a further illustration, look to our Mother Country there is scarcely a noble man who has not been trained to Cricket in his youth – can there even be a stronger proof in favour of the game, when every Boarding school establishment considers it a necessary appendage to have a play ground for the youth to be exercised at Cricket.

It is a pity town cannot offer a better spot than at the Wind-mills which is so much exposed; but as the gentlemen forming the Club take infinite pains in rotting it &c it is hoped our good citizens will assist by directing their servants not to ride or drive over the Play ground.

I hope to see next year, amongst the general importations, Bats and Balls introduced.

I am sir,

Your Obedient

A Byestander

St Andrew’s Dinner – politics – Montreal, 1835

Montreal Gazette, 19 December 1835, page 2


The Editor of the Vindicator, though now in Quebec, pretends to have a perfect knowledge of what is going on in Montreal, but the errors into which he falls, are sometimes ridiculous in the extreme.  At telling a falsehood, he does not stickle much, if we are to judge by the numerous assertion he makes about the persons present at the late St Andrew’s Dinner. He sometime ago said that Mr Murrogh the protonotary, was present – he was not.  Yesterday, he asserts that the Deputy Sheriff the Solicitor General and Mr Buchanon King’s Counsel, attended.  We give to this statement a plump denial.


He would insinuate that the Rifle Corps has been organized through the instrumentality of the Constitutional Association – this we also deny; there is no connection between them.


He would also insinuate that the national societies in this city are political associations.  This is another error.  They have been formed from charitable motives – politics are never discussed at the meetings, and a difference of opinion is no bar to admission.  That a great majority may be of one political party, cannot be a matter of surprise, when it is considered that they hail a common origin, have been educated in the same principles, and are equally proscribed by the faction that seeks to dominate over this province.  When met at the social board, they cannot be expected to drown all their preconceived opinions, and when a routine toast is proposed, they may receive or reject it, just as their conscience and judgement may direct.  Their annual reports which detail the expenditure of their funds will prove that “to relieve the distressed” is their benevolent and honourable object.

Yvette McKenna – presented at court, 1927

Montreal Daily Star, 18 June 1927, page 2


Presented at Court.

Mrs Frank McKenna, daughter of Hon Narcisse Perodeau, Lieutenant Governor of this Province and daughter, Miss Yvette McKenna, wearing the gowns in which they were presented to their Majesties’ Court May 23.  They have just returned from spending some time abroad and [illegible] returning to Spencer Wood, Quebec for the summer.

Galt Caledonian Games, 1882

Alloa Advertiser 2 Sep 1882 p3

Caledonian Games at Galt, Ont

The fourth annual games of the Galt Caledonian Society came off on the 10th August, and were very successful, although the weather was rather unsettled.  The competitions were far above the average and created great interest.  Donald Dinnie, of course, carried everything before him in the heavy weight contests, but the other athletes made good records, as the following abstract of the prize list shows: –

Putting heavy stone, 21 lbs – 1. Donald Dinnie, 37 ft 6 in; 2 Archibald Scott, Brussells, 35 ft 8 in; 3 M Macdonald, Toronto, 32 ft.

Running High Jump 1 A Scott, 5 ft, 5 in; 2 A Watson, Ratho, 5 ft 3 in; 3 M Macdonald 5 ft

Strathspeys and Reels – 1 H Henderson, Alliston; 2 John Monroe Buffalo, 3 Donald Dinnie

Putting light stone -1 Donald Dinnie 45 ft 2 in; 2 A Scott, 41 ft; 3 M Macdonald 40ft 6 in

Throwing heavy hammer – 1 Donald Dinnie 100 ft 3 in; 3 M Macdonald 89 ft 5 in; 3 A Scott 102 ft 3 in

Tossing caber – 1 Donald Dinnie 38 ft 5 in; M Macdonald 36 ft 10 in; 3 T Shields 34 ft 10 in

Reel of Tulloch – 1 John Munroe; 2 H Henderson; 3 Donald Dinnie

Best dressed Highlander – Dr M Michael, Buffalo.

Sword dance 1 H Henderson; 2 John Munroe

Best Piper, march and quicksteps – Smith and Munroe, equal.

Highland Fling – 1 H Henderson; 2 Donald Dinnie

Best pibroch player – G Smith

Thom of Inverury – poet, Calcutta, 1845

Perthshire Advertiser, 9 Jan 1845, p2


The Poet Thom – An Indian paper, just received, has the following: – An appeal to the generosity of the Calcutta community was made not long since by the Calcutta Star, and warmly supported by the Huckarn in favour of the Scottish poet, Thom, of Inverury, Aberdeenshire, who has undergone much distress owing to want of employment in his occupation of weaver.  Scotland celebrates the memory of Burns with fetes and processions, leaving the living poet to starve in a garret.  We are happy to say that a considerable sum has been subscribed for Mr Thom – in fact, upwards of £100.

100 Years Ago Today – Death of Victor Paulin

Telegram sent in 1918 to the Pauline family, announcing the death of their son Victor. c. Kathleen Paulin

On this day in 1918 2nd Lt Victor Reginald Paulin, RAF died.  His plane crashed near St Omer, France.  He was buried in the cemetery there.

His loss was a great blow to his family, who mourned his loss.

The family had the following placed on his tombstone:


And so a hundred years later I honour his short life, and remember the cost of war.

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: