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Stanbridge East: A Bustling Village in a Bucolic Setting

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medium_stanbridge.east_.1.jpgIn 1797, several years after the American Revolution, Loyalists Nathan Andrews and Caleb Tree arrived in Canada, and built a grain mill next to the Rivière des Brochets (Pike River). The little village of Stanbridge East was thus born, in the heart of a calm and quiet landscape. Harmoniously blended within are cultivated fields, edged in groves and hedges and flanked by evergreens and leafy trees. The river cuts across the landscape, weaving along the hollows and through the heart of the village.

After strolling along the roads, which offer eye-catching vantage points, cyclists and walkers arrive at the village centre, surrounded by nineteenth-century ancestral homes built in the American style using brick and painted wood. Next to Pike River is the Missisquoi Museum, housed in the Cornell Mill, which was built on the edge of the barrage. To the east are Hodge’s General Store and Bill’s Barn.

As in its neighbouring villages, here, too, religions reside peacefully side by side. Saint James Anglican Church and its presbytery (1860), built in the neo-gothic style, stand in a shaded area alongside the small verdant cemetery. The United Church (1884) sits on the opposite side of the park, displaying a more Victorian style. Rather ironically, the Sainte-Jeanne-d’Arc Catholic Church is housed in a former 1861 bank.

Starting in the nineteenth century, this peaceful setting saw the expansion of small industries, such as a wool-refining mill, a manufacturer of wooden tops, and a leather tannery. Soon after, railroads and stores were built. Agriculture also began developing at this time, and quickly became the village mainstay after most of the workshops closed down. Today, in addition to standard farming, farms produce a variety of lesser-grown fruits.

Horticulture remains an important activity, and Stanbridge East is home to many greenhouses and tree nurseries, in addition to an aquatic garden where visitors can wander through blossoming fields. Nature lovers will be tempted to explore the bike paths, canoe down the river, or simply walk along the roads and attractions in the area. Festivals and expositions are held back-to-back all year round. The variety of events will appeal to all, from horse shows, country music festivals, perennial markets, the flower expo, the Apple Pie festival, and much more.