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Lighting the Way

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Molson Island Lighthouse, 1896 (Williams Family Collection)

 Excerpts of oral history interviews will form an important part of the upcoming book  Memphremagog: An Illustrated History. Here's the opening of a chapter titled Lighting the Way (A short history of lighthouses on Lake Memphremagog by Louise Abbott.) Do you have any stories or pictures of lighthouses on the lake? Please contact us!

 A steel rod and fragments of a concrete foundation are all that remain of a lighthouse that once stood on the southwestern shore of Molson Island. But Edna (Camber) McKelvey can still picture the white wooden tower with its natty red tin roof and the brilliant beam of light that shone through the three windows of the lantern room over the lake after nightfall. 

Edna lived at Fern Hill, an estate established by the Molson family south of Georgeville, from her birth in 1927 until her departure for Montreal in 1949. “My father [Erwin Camber] worked for Ella Molson—he was the foreman,” she recalls. “There were two or three hired men to keep the place going. They were the lightkeepers.

In those days there were no outboard motors, so they would row  across from the Molson boathouse [on the mainland] to the island.”


The barn is born again!

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The barn that Neil Manson dismantled in Knowlton's Landing in 2010 and resurrected on Fisher Road in Austin had its official inauguration on Saturday, September 8. Louise Abbott has been following the progress of this project in video, and she showed eleven minutes of excerpts from her documentary in progress. She hired a colleague, Vito DeFilippo, to videotape the inauguration so that she could enjoy the event. But she still assisted Vito from time to time with the shotgun microphone. Louise took the photo above in the fall of 2010 when Neil Manson was just starting to put up the timber frame.  Niels Jensen took the photos below during the inauguration. The barn will be used as a reception hall for weddings and other special events. Hats off to Neil Manson for this remarkable feat of restoration!






Giving Shelter at Eastern Townships Film Festival

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Giving Shelter: Historic Barns of the Eastern Townships was among the films featured at this year's Eastern Townships Film Festival, which was held in four locations in Knowlton and Sutton. Louise Abbott and Niels Jensen, the co-producers, were on hand at the screening  at 3 p.m. on August 17, 2013, in Knowlton at the local radio station theatre on Main Street.


Out of the Woods

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Niels Jensen designed and built this stunning bedroom set in tiger maple for a client in the Eastern Townships in early July. He is now working on the creation of office furniture for a new dental clinic in the region.


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YouTubes by Louise Abbott

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