Monday, August 22, 2011

Jenkins Family Road Trip Day 13, July 13

This was a very full day for us. It was a family history day, lots was seen, and hundreds of pictures were taken. Dave's family roots on his mom's dad's side (try to stay with me here) are from Quebec, going back to the first settlement of Quebec. In fact Dave, our children and his family are direct descendants of Louis Hebert and Marie Rollet, Louis is considered the first Canadian Apothecary and first European to farm in Canada. Marie is famous in her own right, she taught a number of Native American children to read and write and was well loved by them. Dave and his family are also connected with numerous other names in the list of the founding families of New France (Quebec). But I will try and not bore you to much.

It was a gorgeous day and we were able to see the stunning view from our room in daylight.

The majority of family research we would be doing today would be in Levis, across the river from Quebec City. The quickest and most efficient way to get there is by ferry. And it also gave the kids something to do as well instead of just sitting in the van AGAIN.

One of the first things we found was this plaque, in honor of the Samson family. Another important name in the history of Levis and Quebec City, and Dave is a direct descendant of this family line, my mother in law's maiden name is Samson.

The plaque is on the property of this house, we are not sure of the connection, possibly the land of one of the early Samson families during colonial times?

Throughout Levis are various streets named after Dave's ancestors. We managed to find a few of them.

And this is the family homestead, Dave's great grandparents lived here until they moved to Mt. Clemens, just outside of Detroit in the early 1900's.

Every time any one of Dave's family is in Levis and Quebec City we have to take a picture in front of the homestead. I am sure the people living in the area are starting to wonder why these crazy English speaking people want their picture taken in front of a regular house, across the street from a hamburger stand. LOL

Our next stop was to the cemetery where the family plot is. A distant relative by the name of Colonel Robataille, had the remains of a number of ancestors transferred to his plot since they were moving a number of graves from another cemetery, to a mass grave in this cemetery. We aren't sure who exactly he had buried here. I love the marker Colonel Robataille chose, different than any other grave marker in the cemetery; which also made it very easy for us to find.

Here is the statue marking where the mass grave is. The number of bodies moved is astounding, 15,000 were exhumed. That must have been a huge undertaking.

Our final stop in Levis was the old A.C. Davie shipyard, where Dave's great great grandfather was a carpenter. It is now in ruins but they are working on restoring the site to what it once was and there is a museum across the street in one of the old outbuildings and the house where the Davie family lived. The Davie shipyard was an important piece of the history of Levis and maritime history of the St. Lawrence River.

These pictures show what is left of the shipyard where they would repair and build hundreds of wooden ships every year.

Once inside the museum we were fortunate to see a scale model of how the shipyard would have looked like when in use. The patent slip was a unique technology invented by the Davie family to help in the process of ship repairs. It use to be that to repair ships they would have to wait for low tide, do the repairs quickly before the tide came back in, and then would have to wait until low tide again to finish what they started, which would sometimes take weeks to complete. With this unique patent slip they would bring the ship up to the underwater rail system and lay a cradle underneath the ship when the water was high enough, and when the low tide started they would place special wooden bolsters underneath, once the tide was low enough the ship would be resting on the cradle and bolsters and using a crane would be hauled up to one of several areas to be worked on. This allowed the shipyard to work on numerous ships at any one time during anytime of the tide cycle.

Tools of the carpenter.

Afterwards Daniel had to put on the diving mask replica they have. And of course Laura had to make faces behind him. Joys of siblings. LOL

After the museum we explored the Davie family home. There were various artifacts from the Davie family throughout the home and upstairs they were still renovating. I loved being able to see the different layers of linoleum, a time capsule of flooring styles through the years.

Afterwards we went back to Quebec City had dinner at the hotel and decided to wander around Quebec City before heading to the waterfront to watch the the 3d presentation "The Image Mill"

I loved the old European feel of the streets, I could have spent days wandering the streets of old Quebec City.

Unfortunately a rain storm came in and we made a mad rush for the Notre Dame Basilica to take shelter from the rain, along with a number of other tourists. The details of the architecture were stunning. At one point Dave had to take Daniel back to the hotel to go washroom, and there were no public washrooms in the Basilica. Amanda decided to go with them and we would meet up at the waterfront later when the weather cleared. So it was just Laura and I left.

We sat for a bit and just enjoyed the peace and quiet that came over the building as people started to leave. I started to wander around, looking at the shrine to Bishop Laval etc. At the back was a small display about the history of the Basilica back to the days of Champlain. Near the end of the display they talked about a crypt under the church with hundreds of Quebec's founding members remains. Which made me wonder if there might be some of Dave's ancestors underneath the Basilica. At this point they were announcing that the Basilica was closing, so I walked up to a couple of young men who appeared to be working at the Basilica and started to ask questions about the crypt. One of the young men was originally from Maine so he was my designated guide for the discussion of what is under the basilica. Turns out he was a direct descendant of one the Champlain's ship engineers but we determined it was a ship that came after Dave's ancestors Louis and Marie. Too make a long story short, he told me to come back the next day and we could have a tour of the crypt and access to the register listing the names of all the people down there. So basically Dave leaves me unattended for a period of time, I start to talk to strangers and end up with a tour in the bowels of the Notre Dame Basilica in old Quebec City. Not a bad start to our evening I believe. LOL

After being released from the Basilica, we were literally locked in, Laura and I wandered to the waterfront and met up with Dave and crew along the way. We were given our free 3D glasses and found a good spot where all of us would be able to see the show.

The show is a presentation of Quebec's history in 3d images projected on the silos. It started with prehistoric times and ended with today, and was about an hour long. Well worth it and best of all it was free.

Playing scrabble on my iPhone waiting for the show to begin.

We wandered back to our hotel room for the next day would get our tour of the crypt beneath the Notre Dame Basilica.

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