The exhibition of the Beaulne Museum, located in Coaticook, portrays the history and remarkable achievements of the Norton family.
Philanthropist Arthur-Osmore Norton made his fortune manufacturing railway jacks. He and his children Harry and Mary Helen are remembered and recognized for their good deeds.
Since 1881, Mr. Norton lived on Union Street in Coaticook. His Manor, commonly known as Norton Castle, was built constructed in 1912 and replaced the original house. At that time the Manor became the family’s second residence where Norton conducted his business on occasion.
The architectural style of the building is typical of the Neo-Queen Anne style. The roof and exterior walls are covered with wood shingles characteristic of the Shingle style. Both styles reflect the American eclectic style. The wide balconies, fenestration, fieldstones and gables all contribute to its uniqueness and splendour. Besides, the exceptional decor in the living room, the dining room and the upstairs bedroom are reminiscent of the typical and rich bourgeoisie homes of the early 20th century. The ambiance of a different era is manifested in the woodwork made of oak, coffered ceilings and arched lintels.
In 1942, Harry and Mary Helen bequeathed the Manor to the Anglican Church of Canada. The church moved its boarding school for young girls, Bishop Mountain Hall, from Quebec City to Coaticook. Many girls throughout Quebec boarded there until the Bishop Mountain Hall’s closure in 1968.
The museum was created in 1964, and Denise Beaulne was the first person in charge. The museum was first located in the City Hall and then in the Françoise-Maurice Library building. It moved to the Norton Manor in 1976 after the municipality of Coaticook bought the building.
To find out more about the Beaulne museum visit its Web Site: www.museebeaulne.qc.ca