Daryl Ness dreamed of settling near a body of water. The young fifty-year-old who has always lived in the Suroît region has made a career as director of schools in the region. For several years he had lived in Elgin on 100 acres of land, in an old stone house built in the early 19th century.
“It was a nice farm with lots of trees. We had three horses, two pigs, two goats, five hens,” he told us as if reciting a nursery rhyme from The Green Mouse.
But the call of the water was felt. With reason. Nearby Lac Saint-François is a natural extension of the St. Lawrence Seaway. It is the largest in the river system. In addition, it offers an interesting navigable area for large boats as well as for kayaks and company.
After having surveyed the shore and explored the villages with evocative names that border the lake on the south side – Hungry Bay, Saint-Stanislas-de-Kostka, Baie-des-Brises, Sainte-Barbe… -, his search led him to Saint-Anicet. His choice fell on a unique property, a few steps from the municipal beach, in the heart of the village.
Recognizable by their symmetry, these houses have windows arranged horizontally and divided into panes. They are often covered with bricks, but others, near bodies of water, are clad in wooden clapboards.
The one that seduced Daryl Ness was built in the 19th century by a merchant and notable of the time, Louis-Napoléon Masson, whose father, Luc-Hyacinthe, was a doctor and one of the patriots who took part in the 1837 rebellion , an important figure in the development of the village.
Of course we know Saint-Anicet!
We often heard about the village of Saint-Anicet without really knowing where to locate it. Thanks to history books first, since the village saw the birth of two characters who distinguished themselves in the last century: Cardinal Paul-Émile Léger and his brother, Jules, former Governor General of Canada.
Then because of weather reports. An Environment Canada station camouflaged in a nearby field provides valuable information on the weather in this part of the country. The small municipality is almost at the southernmost point of the province. This is often where the mercury rises the most. Talk to Ève Christian, ICI Première meteorologist, who regularly quotes the weather there.
All well and good, but would you know how to find the village without the help of your GPS? A hint: after Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, follow the river along Route 132. Fifteen minutes before crossing the US border, you are there.
The small municipality (2,786 permanent residents and probably six or seven times more in the summer due to vacationers) is charming. Several old houses have stood the test of time. So much so that the Saint-Anicet Historical Society has listed them and written a description. The church is particularly impressive. It has works of art that have been carefully preserved. Around, a park on the edge of the lake has just been laid out and receives, in the summer, musicians like Alexandre Da Costa.
The federal wharf attracts lovers of fishing and sunsets. There are typical activities like the Corn Festival, a winter carnival and artisan markets. The region is rich in agricultural land and fields as far as the eye can see. And a local restaurant offers pancakes to roll on the floor.
It was all of this, the lake and the house itself, that convinced Daryl Ness to move to the village.
Obviously, the house has multiplied remodeling over time. Perhaps the most recent is from the previous owners who sold the house to Daryl Ness. “They had renovated and furnished it with high quality period pieces and…they left everything to us. And when we say everything… “The furniture, the lamps, the tables, the paintings on the wall, the dishes, the comforters, everything, everything, everything,” recalls Daryl Ness. The owner, a man about my height, even donated his clothes to me! »
Daryl Ness, for his part, continued the work of his predecessors, just to bring honor to the house. “We added woodwork to every room, we had enough for two trucks full to the brim. We ripped up the carpets and wallpaper, we repainted the kitchen cabinets, we replaced the damaged floors, etc. A lot of work that took several months.
Why sell? Because the family wants to travel. “We want to go with the kids for a few months, maybe a year. It is important for us that they can live elsewhere to learn. And return to the region with a head full of memories.
Asking price: $749,000
Municipal assessment: $236,200
Year of construction: Between 1850 and 1900, according to the Société historique de Saint-Anicet, and in 1940 according to the municipality
Rooms: 14 rooms including 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 1 gas fireplace. Detached garage.
Land area: 6153 sq. ft.
Property tax: $2339
School tax: $197
Broker: Yves Langevin, Vendirect