One site, three centuries of history...

Sainte-Anne Seignorial Domain has gone through different eras of Québec's history. The site's name comes from the fact that it housed the local landlords - called seigneurs - for two centuries, before becoming a grand country home.

The first seigneur of Sainte-Anne, Michel Gamelain, only bore that title for a short period because he sold his land to Edmond de Suève and Thomas Lanouguère, both military officers in the Carignan-Salières Regiment. The two men divided the land in two distinct seigneuries: Sainte-Marie to the west and Sainte-Anne to the east. At the beginning of the 1700s, Lanouguère's widow left the titles of Sainte-Anne to their son Pierre-Thomas and his wife, Madeleine de Verchères. Under their reign, the seigneurie will go through one of its most turbulent periods...

At Pierre-Thomas Tarieu's death in 1757, his son Charles-François inherited the land. Quite obviously preoccupied by a brilliant military career, he displayed very little interest in his seigniorial obligations. Of course, New France is at that time victim of the repercussions of the Seven Year War opposing France to England. When the conflict ended with the Conquest in 1760, Charles-François Tarieu fled to France, where he remained for three years.    

Upon his return to New France, he chose to remain in Quebec City and to pass on the seigneurie to his son Charles-Louis. The seigniorial manor and domain are in ruins, having been devastated by the English troops soon after the Conquest. Many years passed before they were rebuilt. Charles-Louis finally had a new stone manor built around 1772. The ruins of that manor are still visible today. Like his father, Charles-Louis seldom stayed in Sainte-Anne, choosing to dedicate his time to his military and politic endeavors, collaborating closely with the colony's new English leaders. He was detested by the village's inhabitants and his rare visits to Sainte-Anne were marked by memorable quarrels with them.   

Upon his death in 1811, the seigneurie was passed on to his daughter Marie-Anne, his only heir. She sold the land in 1819, ending the Tarieu de Lanaudière family reign in Sainte-Anne, a reign which lasted for 150 years... minus two days.

The Sainte-Anne seigneurie was then bought by the Hale family. Each spring, politician John Hale would escape the capital with his aristocratic wife Elizabeth and their children, to stay in the countryside for a few months. Their time was not all spent in leisure, far from it: the Hales always maintained a vivid interest in the domain's and the seigneurie's development. They are the ones who added a tower and annex to the manor at the beginning of the 1820s. The Hale family will be the last seigneurs of Sainte-Anne, as the seigniorial regime was abolished in the middle of the 19th century.  Georges-Carleton Hale, son of John and Elizabeth, took care of the until 1865, at which point the old seigneurie was...

The seignorial domain, including the manor and all adjoining buildings, as well as 300 arpents of farmland, was sold off to Vital-Jules Alexandre Méthot, a Quebec city merchant. After he died and his wife remarried, the property was passed on to their daughter. Marie-Anne Méthot and her husband Nelson Ritchie repeatedly mortgaged the property, probably in order to finance the building of a cheese making factory. Their high level of debt caused them to go bankrupt and their biens to be sold off at auction in 1890.

The magnificent property was then bought by Québec's Prime Minister Honoré Mercier, as a secondary residence. The domain so entered its grandest era: in a short time, it hosted many important political meetings and lavish receptions. However, Mercier's financial and political ruin caused him to let go all of his possessions in 1892. Once again, the domain - manor, stable, barns, beurrerie, fromagerie, livestock and furniture - is sold off at auction...  

In a short period, the Tourouvre Domain, as it was then called, went through a rapid succession of owners. From 1904 on, the Sainte-Anne seigniorial Domain went from the village's main focal point to a simple farm like any other in rural Québec.

During the winter of 1927, a raging fire destroyed the main part of the house. Only the tower and annex were saved from the flames, leaving the oldest portion of the manor, the portion that was built by the Lanaudière family in the second half of the 18th century, in ruins. The remaining part of the building housed different families for a few more years, but the old manor was gradually abandoned.   

Today, the Sainte-Anne seignorial Domain lives again through its permanent exhibition : «Tell me a story, a history ».