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John Allison & Rosalie Raymond

Outstanding Pioneers

Since Louis Jolliet, who came to fish there and built a trading post around 1680, Rivière-aux-Saumons was not occupied until 1860. 

Around 1840, a young sailor in the British merchant navy, John Allison, fell in love with Quebec during a stopover in Tadoussac. He took the opportunity to desert and made a living as a carpenter and mason on the Côte-du-Sud, in the region of Isle-Verte. In 1858, he went to Anticosti Island to help build the Pointe-Ouest lighthouse. He immediately fell in love with Anticosti to such an extent, that he decided to return to Isle-Verte to marry his friend Rosalie Raymond, only to return to settle in Anticosti in 1860, at the mouth of the Salmon River.  

Born on January 22nd 1840, in Yorkshire (England), John Allison was a skilled fisherman, trapper and farmer. His talents as a gardener and horticulturist earned him a reputation that made him famous throughout the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Fishermen came to see him willingly to barter coffee, tea, sugar and other useful foodstuffs for the superb vegetables he grew with success near his home. 

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John Allison and Rosalie Raymond had 10 children; 6 boys and 4 girls. All were born in Rivière-aux-Saumons and John himself assisted Rosalie during the deliveries. His gift of "midwife" made him legendary around the gulf in such a way that he was in great demand to assist women giving birth all over the island, in particular those from Baie-du-Renard, where about twenty families lived around 1873. 

John Allison was a very cultured man. He taught many trades to his children and built himself a schooner* of 20 meters long. It was baptized under the name of "Merri mac" after a steamer* which ran aground near Baie au Goéland in 1899.

Rosalie Raymond, born in Isle-Verte on January 22, 1840, died on June 2, 1891. John installed a still visible tombstone there (restored in 1996). John, now alone with his children, decides to stay until 1896, when he decides to sell his ownership of the Rivière-aux-Saumons to Henri Menier for 200 dollars. Aged 76, however, he decided to stay at Baie-du-Renard until 1901 and then settled in Kégaska, on the North Shore. He died there a few years later and was buried there.  

Many of the children of those remarkable man and woman settled near Quebec and in Mauricie. Many of their descendants still live in these regions today.

Image de Tim Foster
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