Mills of Isle-aux-Coudres Economuseum
This milling museum is the only site of its kind in Canada. Before 1825, there were no efficient grain mills on the island and the inhabitants had to go to Baie-Saint-Paul or Les Eboulements.
The canoe crossing was dangerous, thus in 1825, the Seminary of Quebec, who had lordly rights over the island, agreed to the building of a water mill. Ten years later, in 1836, a windmill was built on the same site. In 1850, the Seminary sold both mills to private concerns, and a few owners subsequently operated them.
Both mills were in operation until the yearly 1900. Gradually, transportation greatly improved and traditional flour mills became obsolete. The water mill was no longer profitable, so it was transformed into a sawmill around 1920. This sawmill was in operation until 1948.
The mills were designated as historic monuments by the Quebec government in the yearly 1960ies. Later, in 1982, the mills were restored, keeping in mind their original characteristics. Their authentic millstones are used to grind wheat and buckwheat into flour. Visitors may purchase these products on the premises. The can also buy old-time oven-baked fresh bread. Both mills are once again operational as tourist attractions of Charlevoix region.
In 1996, the mills joined the International Economuseum Network Society. Nowadays, as Milling Museums, the mills and the old miller’s residence strive to preserve old-time know-how and crafts.
A Welcome Center houses an art exhibit by islander Alfred Desgagnes, a mid-Lenten mask exhibit as well as a media room that gives insight into the habits of the islanders. Besides, scientific workshops are available.
Address of the Milling Economuseum:
36, Du Moulin road, Isle-aux-Coudres
Phone : 418-438-21-84
Website of the Economuseum : www.lesmoulinsiac.com
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