Hampden

Hampden Township is located in the Upper St-Francis County of the Eastern townships, just by the Mount Megantic. One part of the Megantic Park, the Sugar Loaf and Franceville mountains, are part of the territory of Hampden. Hampden's population is around 200 inhabitants.

The territory of the township is of about 110 square km and is shaped around the town of Scotstown in a horseshoe-like design. The community is located halfway between the city of Sherbrooke and the town of Lac-Mégantic about 45-50 km. in each direction.

The surrounding villages are Scotstown, Lingwick, Milan, Val-Racine, Notre-Dame-des-Bois, La Patrie, Newport and Bury. The name of Hampden for the territory appears on maps in the last decade of the 1700's even though the territory had not yet been surveyed.

The Scots, from the «Highland Clearances» come here around 1845. In the beginning, settlement was primarily occupied by squatters as there were no official records of land concessions. The first colons were for the most part from the town of Stornoway, located on the north part of the Isle of Lewis in the Hebridean Islands.

They used debris, planks and nails, from the abandoned houses of the village of Victoria (established on the shores of the Salmon River, near Scotstown, the small village was inundated each time the river was swelling, nothing is left of that village today). In 1860, the territory of the township was surveyed and built and Hampden became a town municipality in 1874. The beginnings of colonization had been more difficult than expected for the first settlers who believed in the generosity of the agents of colonisation.

he land was not as arable as had been suggested. Part of the township land was discovered to contain granite rock which made the land very difficult to plough.  The same applied to the swampy area (BOG) on the Franceville road that was found to be an ideal location for waterfowl and for the nesting grounds of rare birds in addition to being the natural habitat of aquatic species. This has even been kept as a wildlife preservation area. However the Township's territory is well suited for logging and has been exploited for the wood by the Glasgow Canadian Company.

In 1891, there were even fifty sawmills in the township, employing more than 500 people at that time. That development has been possible because of the various rivers of the district and their natural waterfalls.

The residents of Hampden, vacationers and visitors enjoy an exceptional panorama with the Mégantic mountains and the Salmon River that roughly follows the 257 road.

The municipality is also just around the corner from the Samuel-Brisson Ecological Reserve (in Val-Racine municipality territory) where many species of birds, wild animals and an Appalachian flora can be observed and enjoyed.

For more details see cantonhampden.com Web Site.

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