Our History & Heritage
Our History & Heritage
Wherever you are in Brome Lake, the past is never far away. The region’s history is closely tied to that of the Loyalist colonists and Americans who settled the area in the late 1700s. Their presence and that of the British, who arrived in larger numbers starting in 1815, left an indelible mark on the township. It’s still visible in Brome Lake’s urban and rural scenery and gives the town its distinctive character.
A rich built heritage
The town of Brome Lake was created in 1971, when seven villages and hamlets were merged: Bondville, East Hill, Foster, Fulford, Iron Hill, West Brome and Knowlton, which remains its historic centre. Numerous well-preserved mansions, businesses and public buildings testify to its extraordinary architectural heritage. This century-old built heritage is certainly one of the reasons why Brome Lake (Knowlton) is one of the most beautiful villages in Québec!
A long farming tradition
In the early 1830s, approximately 1,300 people lived in the region, including some 600 around Brome Lake, at the foot of the mountains. At that time, the township had a church and five schools, two flour mills, a distillery and three taverns. Wheat, barley, peas and corn were the main agricultural products back then, and maple syrup was produced as well. Many farmers still continue that agricultural tradition today, rooted in the soil of the Brome region.
Brome Lake, a favourite country getaway for nearly 200 years!
Since the mid-1800s, vacationers have been drawn to the region by its hilly Appalachian landscape, its breathtaking views and the sheer beauty of the lake in its mountainous setting. In 1849, Blinn’s Inn, the ancestor of Auberge Knowlton, welcomed its first guests. Their numbers grew when two railway lines reached the region, the first in 1875 and the second in 1888, and grew still more with the road network’s expansion over the following decades. More recently, residential developments designed to attract city dwellers in search of nature and tranquility have again increased the number of Brome Lake vacationers. In fact, ever since the Canadian Handbook Tourist Guide first praised the region’s attractions back in 1867, visitors have never ceased falling under Brome Lake’s charms.