The gondolas are not for nothing, of course … In 2000, Venise-en-Québec celebrated its 50th anniversary. It is indeed on January 1, 1950, that Order in Council No. 1350 of the Gazette officielle du Québec records the detachment of a territory of the municipality of Clarenceville which will henceforth bear the name of Venise-en-Québec. This name comes from the name of the former post office called “Venice” located at the current location of the municipality, itself originally known as the “Bay of Venice” known from the mid-19th century. to designate this northern end of Lake Champlain. Why this evocation of the city of Venice in Italy? Simply because, for the first European residents of this place, the rise of spring water in the meanders of the hinterland could make think of the famous canals of the Italian city.
Its first inhabitants “Venice”, to use its former name, was a remote region, with no school or church, on the edge of Saint-Georges-de-Clarenceville and Saint-Sébastien. At its creation, it had about 70 households and as many dwellings occupied year-round. One of the first schools to be attended by young people in the bay was located on Mandigo’s Corner (now at the intersection of Chemin de la Baie and R 227). The first hotel built in 1825, the Wheeler’s Inn, offered travelers from the United States by way of the Boston Highway, lodging and horse-riding. The Wheeler family would probably be the first family to settle in Venice. Part of the former settlement on 23rd Avenue East is still home to a descendant of the Wheeler. According to the story handed down from generation to generation, the Jamieson family of Irish origin arrived at Missisquoi Bay around 1832. A Lecavalier family was already settled on the land but as it had not registered the occupation of these lands, she was supplanted by the Jamieson family who will take care to inscribe the 200 acres of land in her name. Thus will be born the name of Pointe Jamieson. Between 1840 and 1900, Canada massively welcomed Irish hunted out of their country. In 1846, one of these newcomers, Timothy Neville, bought 200 acres of land belonging to the Blood family, lot 192 of the 11th Foucault seigneury, known as Pointe Blood (Pointe Campbell, southwestern limit of Venice), land that will inherit several generations, the last being that of Peter Neville. Towards the beginning of the 20th century, farmers around the bay began to sell plots of land for cottage development.
What about today? The municipality of Venise-en-Québec has now become a resort whose population growth is one of the most remarkable of the Haut-Richelieu. This increase in population is attributable not only to the attractiveness of its geographic location but also to the change that has taken place in recent years and continues, thanks to the initiatives of its citizens to beautify it, highlight all its ecotourism potential and make their living environment as pleasant as possible. Currently Venice has 1660 permanent residents. If you want more information about the history of Venice-in-Quebec, in addition to many photos of time, you can obtain the book published by the municipality to celebrate its 50th anniversary (Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow) and which contains many photos and stories about Venice-in-Quebec. Good reading !