The chicken coop at the Farmhouse, another original project
Photo: Maison Saint-Gabriel
Always on the look-out for new projects that will pique the curiosity of the public and stimulate their interest in history, Maison Saint-Gabriel, museum and historic site, is making the most of the 375th anniversary of the founding of Montréal to launch a new initiative: urban agriculture. In order to revive a tradition from the time of the farm, in spring 2017, the museum will be setting up a chicken coop that will house a small flock of five Chantecler chicks.
This is an intriguing and very pertinent undertaking for the museum. In 1918, Soeur Brault was responsible for starting up chicken farming at the farm in the Point. Every year up to 1956, the purchase of 1,000 chicks was mentioned in the records. Reviving this past, on its original site, in keeping with the history transmitted by the heritage interpreters during the guided tours, represents an undeniable added value for this mediation activity for visitors.
The choice of the Chantecler chicken, which has been a “heritage species of Québec” since 1999 is all the more pertinent since it represents an additional opportunity to pursue our mission to educate people about history, particularly in the rural areas, up to the 19th century.
A former farm, Maison Saint-Gabriel respects a historical logic by adding workshops on urban agriculture that will cover chickens and caring for them to its interpretation activities. These workshops will also cover the characteristics of the Chantecler chicken, its origins and why it is considered a “heritage species of Québec”.