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History of The Cauchon Forge in Charlevoix

Forge CauchonSummed up in a few points, here are the important events which marked the history of the Cauchon Forge and Woodworking shop.

 

1856 – Birth of Joseph Cauchon, son of Zacharie, Master Tanner.

Circa 1872 Joseph learns the blacksmithing trade as an apprentice for Ferdinand Caron, a local smith.

1880-1881 – Joseph leaves to work as a blacksmith in the Ottawa region. He earns a reputation for making bellows.

1882 – Joseph purchases lot number 332 from a local farmer. It is located between the Malbaie River and chemin de la Vallée. He builds his forge.

1884 – Joseph weds Éliza Dufour. They will raise two girls and four boys.

1894 – Second marriage. Joseph weds Adéline Gauthier-Larouche who will give birth to ten children, nine of which will survive. Henri Cauchon who will later succeed his father in the forge was born from this union. Four of the nine boys stemming from both of Joseph's marriages will become blacksmiths, and two others iron workers.

From 1900 to 1920, the area where the forge is built slowly becomes a small industrial complex.

1900 – Birth of Henri Cauchon.

1910 – Alfred, one of Joseph Cauchon's sons becomes owner of a planing mill located opposite the forge. By 1916, the Cauchon family owns all the mills.

1920 – During the twenties, Henri puts the finishing touches to the Woodworking shop.

1933 – Jean-Marie Gauvreau and Paul Gouin publish an article in the Revue Moderne
praising the work of the Cauchon smiths.

1935 – Birth of Toussaint Cauchon, present owner of the forge.

1942 – Death of Joseph Cauchon. His son Henri inherits the forge.

1963 – Death of Henri Cauchon. His son Toussaint closes down the forge.

1976 – Ethnologists from the Ministry of Cultural Affairs notice the forge while drawing up the inventory of traditional artisans of Québec. They make a floor plan of the forge and take a preinventory of its tool collection.

1981 – A more detailed historic and ethnographical study is completed.

1983 – On June 8th of this year, the building is classified as an Historical Monument. Part of the tool collection is classified historic as well.

1988 – An important earthquake causes Mr Cauchon to worry about the solidity of the building.

1992 – Forge rescue operation. The building is moved a few metres away from the street. The structure is strengthened. The work lasts two years.

1993 – Open to the public.

2009 – Restoration of the woodworking shop is complete.

 

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© Corporation de la Vieille Forge Cauchon inc. Last update: august 2009

Forge Cauchon