Baie-Johan-Beetz

Baie-Johan-Beetz is a village in the Côte-Nord (Northern Shore) Region.

The community is located about sixty five kilometers (40 mi) east of Havre-Saint-Pierre and it has the lowest population of all municipalities in the Northern-Shore Region of Quebec. It has a population of about 80. The first settlers come here in the middle of the XIXe century mostly from the Magdalen Islands. They called the place Piastre Bay, from the Innu expression piashite-pets, meaning "there where the water passes over top", or possibly originating from the word piashtibé, meaning "dry bay" or "where the water rises".

The terms are a direct reference to the local bay that during low tide runs dry. Well, the bay's name was spelled in a variety of ways, including Piashti Bay, Pillage Bay, Baie-de-Pillage, Piastibe, Piashte Bay, and Piestebé.

So the locals changed the village's name to Baie-Johan-Beetz in 1910, after a Cont Johan Beetz (1874-1949), a Belgian naturalist, sculptor and painter, who established in the Bay from 1897 to 1922. The bay itself was renamed in 1914 (however he name of the village came into effect officially in 1966, when the village was incorporated).

Mr Beetz used to breed fur animals, particularly foxes, and built a luxurious manor, known today as Le Château (the castle). In 1996, the historic Highway 138 was extended to Baie-Johan-Beetz, linking it to the municipality of Havre-Saint-Pierre, Natasquan and thereby breaking its isolation.

All the inhabitants speak French as their mother tongue Baie-Johan-Beetz. Today, the village and the surrounding areas are a privileged place for trout and salmon fishing.

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