Discover Péribonka, Quebec: A Blend of History and Natural Beauty
Péribonka is a charming municipality nestled in the Canadian province of Quebec. It is part of the Maria-Chapdelaine Regional County Municipality and is beautifully situated at the mouth of the Peribonka River, forming a bay on the north shore of Lac Saint-Jean.
The Literary Connection of Péribonka, Quebec
The town of Péribonka holds a special place in the world of literature. In 1912, French writer Louis Hémon (1880-1913) spent several months in Péribonka, during which he prepared the notes for his famous novel, Maria Chapdelaine. The town's rich history and natural beauty served as a backdrop for this renowned work of fiction.
The Origin of the Name Péribonka, Quebec
The name Péribonka is derived from the Innu word 'Periwanga' or possibly 'Pelipaukau', which translates to "river digging in/removing the sand". This name is a combination of the roots 'per' or 'pen', meaning "to remove", and 'anga', meaning "sand".
The Historical Journey of Péribonka, Quebec
The history of Péribonka dates back to 1673 when Jesuits François de Crespieul and Charles Albanel visited the place. However, it wasn't until 1888 that a village was formed with the arrival of the families of Édouard Niquet (or Niquette) and Édouard Milot. Niquet was sent there by Antoine Labelle, the then Deputy Minister of Colonization of Quebec.
The Colonization and Repatriation Society of Quebec and Lac Saint-Jean, founded in 1897, played a significant role in encouraging the establishment of settlers and the repatriation of French-Canadian families exiled in the United States. The Peribonka Post Office was established in 1898, and the Peribonka Pulp Company was founded by Amédée Robitaille, leading to the creation of the municipality of Saint-Amédée in 1902.
The Parish of Saint-Édouard-de-Peribonka was formed in 1903, named after Édouard Niquet and the adjacent river, which was first named in 1679. The Municipality of Péribonka was founded in 1909 by separating a portion of Saint-Amédée's territory. However, by 1926, Saint-Amédée was completely annexed by Péribonka.
Demographics of Péribonka, Quebec
The population of Péribonka has seen a slight decline over the years. As of 2021, the population stands at 489, a 5% decrease from 2016. The population in 2016 was 515, which was a slight increase from 464 in 2011. The population in 2006 was 541, slightly higher than the 538 in 2001. The population in 1996 was 588, which was a decrease from 635 in 1991.
The town has 234 private dwellings occupied by usual residents out of a total of 304 dwellings. The mother tongue of the majority of the population is French, with 99% of the residents speaking it as their first language. English is the first language for 1% of the population, while no residents reported speaking both English and French or any other language as their first language.
Péribonka, Quebec, with its rich history, literary connection, and serene natural beauty, is a hidden gem in the Canadian province of Quebec.