CPR Section House

CPR Section House

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Their First Home

After Dad was rehired by the CPR , my parents spent a short amount of time in Mattawa , waiting to transfer to a location with an available house .

The CPR provided Section Houses along the line for Road Masters , Section foremen and occasionally other married sectionmen .  A  rental fee was taken off their pay once a month .  Dad was hoping that he could get into the Section House in Mattawa ( a duplex that housed the Foreman's family on one side and a senior sectionman's family on the other ) . But , neither would be available for several years . Dad's only opportunity to gain access was to put in his time in a remote location  where a house would be part of the package .  

So , Dad and Mum headed north up the line that crossed the Ottawa River to the Quebec side , into the bush . Well north of Temiscaming , just south of Fabre , they were dropped off at a little siding at Taberette ,PQ . The daily passenger train pulled to a stop directly outside their front door  and deposited them practically onto the front step . An earlier freight train had unloaded their meagre possessions and supplies  at the side of the track .
There was only one house- no close neighbours , no roads , and no stores . It was totally isolated in Canadian Shield Country - lakes ,  rivers , bush and the CPR . It was here that my Mum found herself , a newly married ,  young woman , who had spent her life to that point in small town England with a short stint on a farm . It was my parents 'honeymoon' and the beginning of a new life together ...alone at last . They soon learned to rely on themselves ,  their ability to adapt  , and the CPR .

Prospere Lefebvre was a young man when Noah Timmins ran the general store in Mattawa , which he and his brother had inherited from their father . My greatgrandfather helped Timmins during his 15 yrs prospecting in the area and points north looking for his "lucky strike". Prospere received an annual stipend for the remainder of his days from Timmins' estate although there had been agreement between them for a share . I will explore this family story for you at another time to hopefully clarify this family story . 


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