The Fraser Manor, a must in Rivière-du-Loup!
In each region, you can visit buildings, houses and other heritage sites that bear witness to the region’s history. These places are relevant to the understanding of a city or a community’s dynamics and provide further information about its former residents’ past.
In the case of Rivière-du-Loup, in order to truly immerse yourself in its past and heritage, you must absolutely visit the Fraser Manor. This old seigniorial residence is a historic pillar of the city and offers various activities for an interesting in-depth discovery of Rivière-du-Loup. Here are a few important facts that will convince you, without a doubt, to stop by the Manor this summer:
The Fraser Family and Its Significant Impact on the Development of Rivière-du-Loup
The Fraser Manor has been the home of four Fraser generations for an impressive period of about 150 years! At first, the Frasers were the seigniors of the Rivière-du-Loup seigniory, and afterwards they remained important members of the local bourgeoisie. Some even became mayors of the city formerly known as Fraserville (that kind of influence )! Furthermore, several public and community buildings were built on land bequeathed by Fraser seigniors.
Through a fascinating guided tour, you will learn about the people who inhabited the Manor and the important role played by the Fraser family at that time. Beyond the refined décor and the antique furniture, a visit at the Manor is an invitation to meet the members of an influential family.
If These Walls Could Talk…
It is fascinating how much we can learn about people from a particular period’s traditions by observing the home where they lived. The Fraser Manor is a perfect example!
First of all, it must be noted that the Manor is of high heritage interest considering its architectural value. It was built in 1829, then restored in 1888 in the Queen Anne style (which is identifiable by the asymmetrical composition of the main façade, the corner turret, the half-hip gable above the entrance and the porch balusters). And because the Manor has undergone few substantial changes since 1888, it is considered the most important example of the Queen Anne Revival style in Rivière-du-Loup (yes indeed! ).
The Manor also bears witness to that period’s lifestyle. Among the accessory buildings, you can find a warehouse, an icehouse and the remains of a stable; all elements which document the domestic life of the occupants, and more broadly that of the occupants of 19th century seigniorial manors. For example, the icehouse, particularly large, illustrates how important ice was for food preservation back then.
Moreover, the Manor is renowned for its landscape value. Indeed, its wraparound porch on three façades and its French windows leading directly from the living room to the garden reflect this period’s desire to integrate architecture in its outdoor environment and make the house an element of the landscape (this style, called the picturesque movement, was popular during the 19th century ). With that in mind, you are invited to make yourself at home and enjoy a cup of tea on the Manor’s porch, as there is no better way to put oneself in the shoes of a seignior!
And on the porch, you will find interpretation panels which show the garden’s evolution at different historical moments and identify the various fruit trees on the land as well as the ancient vegetable varieties that still grow there today.
Add to all this the rooms’ layout, the furniture and the Victorian decorative elements that were splendidly reconstituted to provide insight into the everyday life of the Fraser family for a few hours!
Discover Old Rivière-du-Loup and Its Churches
We say that a visit at the Manor is a great opportunity for tourists and local citizens as well to learn more about the city of Rivière-du-Loup, especially because it is the departure point for an interesting guided tour of the Old Town! As one of the richest heritage districts in Eastern Québec, the Old Rivière-du-Loup represents the historical and cultural heart of the region.
Throughout the tour, you will find out how the Fraser seigniors were able to build a well-planned picturesque town. This activity offers a journey through time led by an interpreter guide who will tell you the history of the heritage district and its most iconic buildings. First, you will visit the neighbourhood and the Manor, followed by St. Patrice’s Church and St. Bartholomew’s Anglican Church, built in 1841 under the initiative of Malcom Fraser, William Fraser’s son. St. Bartholomew’s Church is one of the city’s oldest buildings and the most ancient non-Catholic place of worship in Eastern Québec. In short, you do not want to miss on this tour if you are passing through our beautiful region! It has so much to offer about our history!
Meet Ghosts From the Past
Who better to talk about the past than ghosts themselves? For a complete historical experience, you must absolutely meet the ghosts of Rivière-du-Loup! Using an interactive tablet during your visit of the Manor, you might meet Alice’s ghost… She will make occasional appearances to guide you and tell her story, and you will have to answer questions and riddles to set her free. A great activity for the entire family!
You can also enter the world of immortals by embarking on the Ghostly Journey. Using your cellphone, walk around the Old Rivière-du-Loup in the company of historical figures. This year, the activity is called Mystery at the Monastery. You simply have to present yourself at the Manor to receive instructions regarding this challenge. For this activity, registration is mandatory at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org )You will be assigned a time slot. Then, one at a time, the ghosts that have been haunting the neighbourhood for more than two centuries will give you the clues to unravel the plot.
In conclusion, whether you are passionate about history and cultural heritage, or not at all, a visit at the Manor will surely add some joy to your holidays and provide a unique experience. We hope to see you at the Manor this summer! We are as friendly as the ghosts that haunt the old seigniorial home…