Getting Richer: Dawson Trail Museum & Cemetery

Sometime in April, Andrew and I went to see the Dawson Trail Museum in Richer.

You know, there are a surprising number of these little museums scattered throughout the countryside and I find visiting them quite delightful. I really love seeing how communities come together to care for and find new uses for these buildings.

Most of these museums seem to be churches whose congregations have moved on to meeting in larger numbers in larger centers.

I think a lot of this happened because of the advent of the automobile, and roads. As cars and roads improved, it became easier to travel out of immediate communities to attend church.

I don’t really know the story of this particular church… but it has this neat grotto in front, too.

And the interior has been lovingly restored.

Along the sides of the church are historic and local displays.

I wanted to visit this museum because I was hoping the Dawson Trail Museum would be all about the Dawson Trail.

I didn’t see too much about it… but there was this display:

I also took a picture of this gorgeous antique telephone because I actually wanted to steal it BUT I DIDN’T STEAL IT — it’s still there, don’t worry. I took only a picture. As your kids or grandkids if they know what this is!

I had spied a cemetery in the back so of course we had to visit it as well.

It was a bit of a stormy day and rain was threatening, which is actually our preferred kind of exploring-weather.

Here’s the view from behind the church. You can see the market on the right. I stopped there at Perk Coffee for a cappuccino and it was perfect. There were many fantastic vendors there and the atmosphere was safe and fun.

This stone below is for L’Abbe Jean-Baptiste Thibault and Charlotte Carrier. It is all in French. But from what I gather, Thibault was an emissary of Louis Riel in 1869. (OR… something like that?)
AND Richer had originally been called Thibaultville! It became “Richer” in 1904.

This stone below is for the Sisters of St. Joseph of Saint-Hyacinthe 1936-1933. Again, it’s in French and sadly I do not know French so I’m stumbling in my attempt to read it. Four Sisters are named here: Sister Saint-Camille-de-Lellis (Alma Ledoux), Sister Saint-Jean-d’Avila (Marie-de-Lourdes Marcoux), Sister Saint-Jean-du-Calvaire (Annette Saint-Jean), and Sister Joseph-des-Lys (Therese Emond). I think the stone says they’re buried at Saint-Hyacinthe in Quebec. At the bottom it says “enseignement aux ecoles a Richer”… does that mean they taught at Richer School, maybe?

I liked this stone for Marie Harrison 1863-1938.

I like the fossils in the headstones:

I would like to return and see how green this all is now.

I would also make sure to be there during the market so I could get fresh local veggies, Perk coffee, and ponder a bit more about the Dawson Trail and Thibaultville.