Shawville, Quebec Canada

The History of Shawville, Quebec

Shawville, a town nestled in the Pontiac Regional County Municipality in the administrative region of Outaouais, western Quebec, Canada, has a rich history dating back to the 1860s. It was during this time that a group of citizens from Clarendon Centre, led by James Shaw (1818-1877), separated the municipality from the township of Clarendon.

Originally, the new entity was to be named "Daggville," after a pioneer family. However, the name "Shawville" was chosen after James Shaw pledged to donate 0.8 ha of land to the new municipality. Shawville was officially established in 1874 and was populated by Irish Protestant immigrants. James Shaw, who had settled in the area in 1843, served as the first mayor from 1856 to 1877.

The municipality is home to a Methodist church built in Shawville in 1835, and the Catholic Parish of Saint-Alexandre-de-Clarendon, which opened its doors in 1840. The church was later renamed Sainte-Mélanie and then Saint-Jacques-le-Majeur in 1917. In recent times, Shawville has been the site of several conflicts between local shopkeepers and the Office québécois de la langue française over the province's language laws.

Shawville, Quebec: Geography and Demographics

Shawville is completely enclosed within the municipality of Clarendon. It is situated approximately 75 kilometres (47 mi) west of Gatineau and 35 kilometres (22 mi) southeast of Fort-Coulonge.

Shawville is an overwhelmingly anglophone community, with 85 percent of its residents listing English as their first language in the Canada 2006 Census. It is also predominantly Protestant, with 75% of the population identifying as such. This is unusual in Quebec, a province that is overwhelmingly French-speaking and Roman Catholic.

The Culture of Shawville, Quebec

Shawville is characterized by its red-brick buildings and is unique in Quebec as it has no Catholic church. The town is home to an elementary school, a high school, a regional hospital, and the SRPC national head office. Its businesses are mostly small and family-run.

The Shawville Fair, held the first weekend in September, is the town's major event. It has run every year since 1856 and includes typical county fair features such as livestock shows, auctions, truck pulls, demolition derbies, art/craft/hobby shows, diverse food stands and a midway. In recent years, it has drawn headline entertainers such as Terri Clark, Stompin' Tom Connors, Paul Brandt, April Wine, Dean Brody and Corb Lund, with total attendance reaching around 50,000. However, for the first time in its history, the fair did not run in 2020 due to COVID-19 concerns.