Little stories of the roads
James Henry Craig, Governor of Lower Canada, began in 1810 the construction of a road with the objective of encouraging the immigration of English-speaking citizens in the still uninhabited lands of the Eastern Townships. The governor turned to the Garrison of Quebec to realize his project. The work began in August with 180 soldiers and was completed three months later and the result was a 75 mile road between Saint Gilles and Richmond.
Although particularly painful because of rocks, tree fragments,stumps and swamps, Craig road established the first diligence service connecting Quebec and Boston.
In 1829, Craig road was declared unsafe due to several years of abandonment. This urged the government to modify their plan, notably because of steep slopes, numerous bridges between the cantons of Ireland and Leeds and because of the difficulties maintaing the road. It is the governor of Lower Canada, Archibald Acheson, count of Gosford, that finally gave the authorization in 1838 to build a new road. This road would insure the link between the province and the Eastern Townships. The new road by-passed natural obstacles by crossing Saint-Agathe and joining Ireland while continuing towards Sherbrooke. It was finally inaugurated in 1843.
Touristic roads creation
The Craig and Gosford roads Corporation was created in October 2000 to further the development of the circuit. Originally, in September 1999, the circuit was 50 kilometers long and crossed four municipalities (St-Jacques-de-Leeds, Saint-Jean-de-Brébeuf, Ireland and Saint-Julien). Today, it includes 12. The development project of the Craig and Gosford roads consisted of adding new infrastructures (rest areas and a belvedere), historic interpretation panels and in the restoration of certain patrimonial sites.
The project became a reality with financial support from Hydro-Quebec's environmental development development program (PMVI) during the construction the electrial Des-Cantons-Lévis line and the Appalaches sub-station with a $327 000. Since then, the Corporation invited the Érableand Lotbinière municipalities concerned by one of the two roads to adhere to the circuit. The 200 km circuit now crosses two administratives regions (Chaudière-Appalaches and Centre-du-Québec) and covers three MRC (Érable, Appalaches and Lotbinière). Several panels with the emblem of the corporation (stagecoach) mark out the circuit.
Enjoy Craig and Gosford roads !
You've come to find peace by walking the trails on the historic Craig and Gosford roads and also to find out how the colonization of the region occured in the 19th century.
Throughout your ballad on Craig and Gosford roads, you will admire rural landscape and patrimonial sites that characterized these rural regions.
Shelters, rural tables and historic attractions situated throughout the circuits will make you stay unforgettable!
Have a good trip!
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