The Morgan Family of Montreal

Henry Morgan was born 14 Nov. 1819, in Saline, Fifeshire, Scotland. His parents worked at a farm called Gray Craig. Saline, the town's name, is Gaelic and means Great Hill. After finishing school he started at a wholesale dry goods firm in the city of Glasgow. With the idea to emigrate to North America he arrived in Montreal in May of 1844, after having traveled for 47 days on a sailing ship named "Favourite". He met David Smith, another expatriate from Scotland who had already arrived a few years earlier. In January 1845 they opened together the Smith & Morgan store selling draperies, curtains, fabrics, household linens and a variety of woolen goods.

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Smith & Morgan store at 204 Notre Dame in Montreal, 1845 to 1853, source: 2020 exhibition by Liz Morgan
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The Henry Morgan & Co. store at the corner of Victoria Square and Great St. James Street (now St-Jacques) in Montreal. This is the first department store in North America. Illustration: Canadian Illustrated News, Dec. 25, 1880.
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Henry Morgan in 1867, Photo: the McCord Museum collection I-27143.1


The business was going well but had overextended and when sales were slowing down for a few years they were unable to pay some of their overseas suppliers. David Smith lost confidence in the business. Henry Morgan asked his brother James to come to Montreal and Smith sold his share in the business at the beginning of 1851 to James Morgan. James emigrated with his wife and children in early 1852 to Canada. The family business, now called Henry Morgan & Company, had begun. In 1853, Henry Morgan & Company moved to larger premises at 100/102 McGill Street (now 478 McGill Street). In 1866, the company opened the first department store in North America at the corner of Victoria Square and St. James (now St-Jacques).

James Morgan's son James joined the business in 1863. The business grows further and a new store is built on St Catherine street. The Morgan's family business lasted for over 100 years until it was acquired in 1960 by the Hudson's Bay Company.

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Dry goods, H. Morgan & Co, page 325 of the Montreal directory new edition, published 1854, source: hathitrust.org
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James Morgan buys property for the new store on St Catherine street, The Gazette, Nov. 22, 1889
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Henry Morgan taken by death, Asiatic flu/influenza pandemic (wikipedia), source: The Gazette, Dec. 13, 1893, click to read
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Henry Morgan & Co. Store (then better known as "Colonial House"), St Catherine West, Montreal, about 1900, architect John Pierce Hill (1849-1921), store opened April 1891, source: http://collections.banq.qc.ca/ ark:/52327/2550558
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La Baie/The Bay, 585 St Catherine West, Mtl, built with Scottish red sandstone often used as balast in ships, source: Diego Delso CC BY-SA http:// delso.photo, Aug. 2017.
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Henry Morgan & Co. Store on St Catherine, winter 1901, source: 2020 exhibition by Liz Morgan, note: also available as McCord VIEW-3449
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Henry Morgan & Co. Store, St Catherine St West, Montreal, 1955. View from Phillips Square, source: http://numerique.banq.qc.ca/ patrimoine/details/52327/3232823
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La Baie/The Bay, 585 St Catherine St West, Montreal H3B3Y5, source: google street-view July 2016. View from Phillips Square.
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Corner stone laid for new extension, The Gazette Apr. 26, 1923, click to read
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Christmas decoration at the Morgan's store, Dec. 1946, source: http://numerique.banq.qc.ca/ patrimoine/details/52327/2830849
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Postcard of the Henry Morgan's store, about 1940, the 8 story extension (on the left) was built in 1923, source: http://collections.banq.qc.ca/ ark:/52327/2549734
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La Baie/The Bay, 585 St Catherine St West, Montreal, source: google street-view Oct. 2014
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Henry Morgan and Co., the storied province of quebec, click to read


It is James Morgan's son James Morgan (1846-1932, the second James Morgan in Canada aka James Morgan II ) that is of interest for the history of Baie-D'Urfé. He bought in 1909 farm lot #319 from Charles St-Denis in Baie-D'Urfé, then known as Cote Ste-Anne Sud. James Morgan II was president of Henry Morgan & Company, the Morgan Trust Company and the Colonial Real Estate Company (later Morgan Realties).

The Morgan Family Tree

Family tree of the Canadian Morgans up to Elizabeth (Liz) Morgan James Morgan (1743-1783) m. Jean Walls | ---------------------------------------- | | Colin (1766-1844) James (1762-1843) m. Mary Kidd (1799-1866) m. Helen Cousin at Saline, Fifeshire, Scotland | --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- | | | | | | | James I (1807-1893) Christina William (1811-1875) Colin Jean Henry (1819-1893) Mary m. Catherine Matthew (b. 1809) m. Jane Brown (b. 1813) (b. 1816) emigrated to Canada in 1844 (b. 1825) emigrated to Canada in 1852 at West Linton, Scotland founder of H.M. & Co. | | | ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- | | | | | | | | | | Jane Colin (1846-1931) Mary William Henry James Marian Christina | (b. 1844) emigrated to Canada in 1869 (b. 1848) (b. 1851) (b. 1853) (b. 1853) (b. 1858) (b. 1861) | | | A second Canadian Morgan tree continues here | | --------------------------------------------------------------------- | | | | Catherine (b.?) Mary (b.?) James II (1846-1932) Thomas (b.1848) m. Kenneth Campbell m. Anna Lyman (1844-1928) m. Nora ?? | | | | ------------------ ------------------------------------------------------- | | | | | | Kenneth Catherine Flora J. Douglas (1880-1973) F. Cleveland (1881-1962) Harold (1882-1940) m. Esther Judson m. Elizabeth Shaw m. Yolande de Tour | | | | ------------------------------------------ ------------------------ | | | | | Ian C. (1906-1981) Lorraine (1909-1991) J. Bartlett (1911-1988) Lynette Judson m. Beryl Osler m. Don Patterson m. Mireille "Mimi" Zabler (1918-2005) (b. 1912) (b.1914) | m. Henry Markey | | | | Peter | --------------------- Cleveland | | H. James (1949-1982) Elizabth "Liz" (b. 1951) m. Judy Chrastina m. Charles Dean Childers (1939-2017) | | James (b. 1993)


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James Morgan II. Photo: the McCord Museum collection II-96566.1
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James Morgan II in 1891, source: 2020 exhibition by Liz Morgan
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James Morgon on the Islands of Bermuda, source: 2020 exhibition by Liz Morgan
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James Morgan II (1848-1932). The photo has no date but he looked like this around the time of incoperation in Baie-D'Urfé.
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James Morgan 1928, painting, source: the McCord Museum collection M993.61.3
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James Morgan II in 1931, source: 2020 exhibition by Liz Morgan
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Wife and children of James Morgan. From left to right: Douglas, wife Anna (Lyman), Harold, Cleveland, source: 2020 exhibition by Liz Morgan
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James Morgan (II) passes away, front page article, The Gazette May 20, 1932, click to read

Morgan Arboretum

The Morgan family donated forest lots in April 1945 to the McGill University in order to create the Morgan Arboretum.

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Commemorative plaque at the Morgan Arboretum, photo: March 2020
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Commemorative plaque: The Morgan Arboretum, Created in memory of Mr. & Mrs. James Morgan and of their son Harold M. Morgan who preserved these woods for future generations, 1945, photo: May 2020
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Commemorative plaque at the Morgan Arboretum, photo: Sep. 2020
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Morgan Arboretum, photo: Sep. 2020
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Morgan Arboretum, photo: Sep. 2020
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Morgan Arboretum, american red squirrel, photo: Sep. 2020
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Morgan Arboretum, photo: Sep. 2020
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Morgan Arboretum, photo: Oct. 2020
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Bart and Jamie memorial stone, Morgan Arboretum Dale Field section, photo: Oct. 2020


The Morgan Arboretum is special forest on the island of Montreal. Aerial photos show that it is the only large forest area that had never been converted into farmland.

Graystanes, the James Morgan house in Senneville

James Morgan II had a water-front country retreat, known as "Graystanes", in the northern part of Senneville, then known as Cote Ste-Anne Nord. The family owned the country house and gardens, the area of today's Morgan Arboretum as well as other large farm lots in the area.

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James Morgan house in Senneville, Graystanes, built 1893, photo: about 1910, source: the McCord Museum MP-0000.912.6, not yet digitized as of 03/2020
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The former James Morgan house in Senneville, Graystanes, 246 Ch. Senneville, photo: Feb. 2020
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Little waterfront tower behind Graystanes. This tower is a well known landmark and frequently mistaken for Fort Senneville. Today it does not belong to Graystanes but it was built by James Morgan as a playhouse for his children, photo: Feb. 2020
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Sunset at the little water-front tower behind Graystanes, photo: Sep. 2020
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Little water-front tower, photo: July 2021
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Sale of Graystanes by a subsequent owner, advertisement in the Gazette, May 22, 1945, click to read
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The former James Morgan house in Senneville, Graystanes, 246 Ch. Senneville, photo: May 2, 2020
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The former James Morgan house in Senneville, Graystanes, 246 Ch. Senneville, photo: June 5, 2020
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The former James Morgan house in Senneville, Graystanes, 246 Ch. Senneville, photo: Sep. 2020
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The former James Morgan house in Senneville, Graystanes, 246 Ch. Senneville, photo: Oct. 2020
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Graystanes as seen from the Lake of Two Mountains, photo: Feb. 2021
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Waterfront tower near Graystanes with the Graystanes main house in the back, photo: Feb. 2021
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Waterfront tower with the Graystanes in the back, photo: July 2021
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A local "grey stone", brown/yellow on the outside, grey when newly broken, photo: March 2021


"Graystanes", the name of the "James Morgan II" country house, is Scottish for "grey stones". We don't know what the color of the house was at the time of construction. The stone color is, however, today more brown than grey. It could be that the stones had actually a light grey color when the house was built. I have seen that boulders found in my own garden are grey when newly-broken but become first yellowish and then brown as they weather.

Next to the waterfront tower is a separate building known as "The Birchfield" or Harry Abbott house (Henry Abbott, "Harry", 1857-1898). The area where it stands is known as Wanklyn Point. Frederic Lumb Wanklyn (1860-1930) was manager and chief engineer of the Montreal Street Railway as well the Grand Trunk Railway and the Pacific Railway. His first wife was Edith Margaret Wanklyn, born Edith Margaret Angus (1858-1907). She was the eldest daughter of Richard B. Angus (1831-1922). The Angus are also a well known Senneville family. The Wanklyns had their summer cottage closer to the road, at 238 Ch. Senneville. "The Birchfield" is 240 Ch. Senneville. The house is today (2021) owned by the same family as the "Graystanes".

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Waterfront tower with The Birchfield to the right, photo: Feb. 2021
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Advertisement for The Birchfield, source: The Gazette, Oct. 28, 2000
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Birchfield at Wanklyn Point, built in 1892 by architect Robert Findlay for Harry Abbott, photo: Feb. 2021
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Birchfield at Wanklyn Point, photo: July 2021

Le Sabot, the F. Cleveland Morgan house in Senneville

Frederick Cleveland Morgan, son of James Morgan (II) and Anna Lyman, joins in 1904 the family business Henry Morgan & Co. Cleveland Morgan builds in 1911 a large beautiful country home known as "Le Sabot" east of "Graystanes". The land belonged already to the family and was part of the "Graystanes" garden. "Le Sabot" is French for a wooden shoe.

James Morgan sells "Graystanes" in 1912 after the completion of "Le Sabot". A year later he buys an eighteenth-century house in Bermuda and names it "Southlands". The advertisement for the sale of "Graystanes" in 1945 is from a subsequent owner.

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F. Cleveland Morgan in 1910, source: non free wikipedia image: https://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/File:Frederick_Cleveland_Morgan.jpg
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F. Cleveland Morgan, source: 2020 exhibition by Liz Morgan
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Construction of Le Sabot, 1911-1912, source: 2020 exhibition by Liz Morgan
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Construction of Le Sabot, 1911-1912, source: 2020 exhibition by Liz Morgan
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Cleveland Morgan reading a book at "le sabot" in the west-tower, ground floor, Aug. 1961, source: 2020 exhibition by Liz Morgan
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Cleveland Morgan dies, The Gazette Oct. 4, 1962, click to read
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Le Sabot, 264 Ch. Senneville, probably summer 2014, source: 2020 exhibition by Liz Morgan
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Le Sabot, 264 Ch. Senneville, summer 2016, source: documentation by Bruce Russell
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A manor on the lake, the Gazette, Sat. Oct. 27, 2012, click to read (opens PDF file with article of Gazette pages F1 and F2)
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Fire at Le Sabot, Sat, Dec. 6 2014, photo: Association des pompiers de Montreal
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View of Le Sabot from the Lake of Two Mountains, photo: Feb. 2021
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View of Le Sabot from the Lake of Two Mountains, it seems the backyard pool has been removed to do some work around the foundations, photo: Feb. 2021
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View of Le Sabot from the Lake of Two Mountains, photo: July 2021
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Le Sabot garden shed with pointed gable characteristic for Edward Maxwell designs. The shed has its own house number and was probably built as a graden shed for Graystanes, photo: Feb. 2020
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Le Sabot garden shed with Edward Maxwell style gable, photo: Sep. 2020
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Edward Maxwell garden shed, view from the water side, photo: Feb. 2021
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On the grounds of Le Sabot near the water is a small summer cottage and next to it is a small island, photo: July 2021
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View from Le Sabot to the Lake of Two Mountains, photo: July 2021


"Graystanes" was designed by architect Edward Maxwell (1867-1923). "Le Sabot" was designed by David Shennan (1880-1968), a Montreal architect who had emigrated from Scotland. These houses were designed as the Morgan's country homes. They had as well large homes on Peel Street in Montreal.

The Morgans owned "Le Sabot" until April 2017. The new owner has started to renovate the building while still keeping its original architecture and style.

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Le Sabot gate, 264 Ch. Senneville, Feb. 2020
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Le Sabot, 264 Ch. Senneville, Feb. 2020
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Le Sabot, 264 Ch. Senneville, May 2, 2020

The Braeside Golf Club

James Morgan was also one of the founding members of the Senneville Golf Links and the Braeside Golf Club. The club was officially incorporated in the summer of 1902 and is located between Graystanes and the Morgan Arboretum. The land was purchased from Nicolas Claude, a local farmer. It was a joint purchase by the founding members. The golf course is visible in the aerial pictures further down in the lower right corner of those pictures. The club has a web site at http://braesidegolf.ca. It is the oldest golf course in Canada still in the exact same location.

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Braeside Golf Club, Senneville, Oct. 2020
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Braeside Golf Club, Clubhouse, Oct. 2020


Aerial pictures of Senneville-North show how little the area changed in almost a century. Elsewhere forests and fields were replaced with skyscrapers and roads. Here only a few additional houses were built.

Both Morgan family houses are marked in orange for better visibility. The one on the left is Graystanes and Le Sabot is on the right. It seems Graystanes had right next to the house (to the south-east) some fields, possibly a large vegetable garden. This is especially visible in the 1958 picture but these fields existed also in 1928. Senneville Road runs diagonal across the pictures from the bottom left to the upper right side and it is mostly hidden between trees.

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Senneville North, Oct. 1928, the orange circle on the left marks Graystanes, Le Sabot is to the right, photo: The National Air Photo Library - Natural Resources Canada
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Senneville North, Aug. 1958, photo: The National Air Photo Library - Natural Resources Canada
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Senneville North, Aug. 2016, photo: google earth

Historic estates of Senneville, plaques

The area of Senneville North is a national historic site and since October 2020 there are two plaques providing a bit of background information. You can click on the photos and zoom-in to read the text.

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Senneville national historic site, plaques, photo: Oct. 2020
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Senneville national historic site, left plaque, photo: Oct. 2020, click to read
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Senneville national historic site, right plaque, photo: Oct. 2020, click to read

References

  1. http://www.hbcheritage.ca/history/acquisitions/morgans-of-montreal, HBC heritage, the morgans of montreal.
  2. http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/morgan_henry_12E.html, biography of Henry Morgan
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_Cleveland_Morgan, wikipedia Frederick Cleveland Morgan
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_Sabot, wikipedia for Le Sabot

  5. [Le Sabot youtube.com]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXn6UzThkzE, Le Sabot, documentary by Bruce Hugh Russell; Mr Russell was born in Vancouver in 1952, studied at the Vancouver School of Art (now Emily Carr University) and at Concordia University in Montreal. For many years Mr Russell has been carrying out extensive research into the contents of Le Sabot, as an art historian studying Frederick Cleveland Morgan. He has spent many years going through the house and barns uncovering a treasure trove of information. His research has led to several articles and, through his efforts, the contents and valuable information has led to the dispersal of art, letters and works of art to the world at large and of course to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the National Gallery in Ottawa.
  6. https://www.flickr.com/photos/lesabot/, Flickr photos, Liz Morgan
  7. http://morganstudio.tripod.com/clevelandmorgan/members/, F. Cleveland Morgan Biography
  8. http://morganstudio.tripod.com/clevelandmorgan/members/chronology.html, Cleveland Morgan Chronology
  9. https://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/montreal-diary-the-story-behind-the-hudsons-bay-building, Montreal Diary: The story behind Montreal's Hudson's Bay building
  10. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Henry_Morgan_Building, more pictures of Montreal's Hudson's Bay building

Notes

Graystanes: Many words with an "o" in English (pronounced "oh") have an "a" in Scottish. The Scottish word "Stanes" becomes "Stones" in English. The "a" in Stanes is pronounced "ai". Thus "Graystanes" would be pronounced like "Gray-stains" in English.

Senneville: The name of the Town of Senneville consists of the two words "Senne" and "Ville" run together. In French, you would not pronounce the "e" at the end of a word (unless it has an accent). Thus Senneville is pronounced like "Senn-vill", or "Senn-will" in English. The "e" is always pronounced as in "echo". The town is named after "Jacques Le Ber de Saint-Paul de Senneville".



This page contains some material copyrighted by third parties but all other content is free and available under the creative commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0).

Guido Socher,

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