Bridges and Landmark Signs
This initiative 's aim is to depict historic place names reflecting our past. The MULGRAVE signs have been installed! Look for these brown landmarks on your way through the municipality. We will be identifying suitable locations in the DERRY sector for future signs. Suggestions are welcomed.
In 1986 I became involved with a group called “The Mulgrave Derry Mayo Logging Road Appeal Fund”. This group was set up to oppose turning the Smallian Road into a permanent logging road which would also affect Highway 315 for many years to come. Following a court case, we had some money left over and it remained in a bank account for approximately fifteen years.
Eventually Dave French and I decided that we would divide the money among several local associations. We decided to give the larger amount ($1,010) to the Historical Society, with one condition. The money was to be used to buy and install signs at locations in Mulgrave that had acquired a name over time. The names became reference points of locations on the roads. Most of the names had historical significance, such as the “Farm Lane”, but these names were being forgotten or changed over time. Each sign was to have a written description to identify the reason why it was so named. The Historical Society began installing signs in 2013 and the process continues today.
I volunteered to write these descriptions as I remembered many stories that my dad and other people had told me. I attempted to relate some information on or around these locations and why they were so named. If I included some personal family information, I referred the documents to the existing family members to ensure that my information was correct and that they were OK with what I had written. For several of the documents, I asked people to provide additional information, which I sometimes rewrote being careful not to change the actual information.
Most of what is written is from stories, conversations or experiences I have had with people and I have tried to be as accurate as possible. If there are errors, please contact me and I will discuss and correct any inaccurate information.
I must give special credit to Alice Biehler Burich, my second cousin and the author of several books about the history of Mulgrave and many of the original families that emigrated from Europe and settled here in the 1800s. Many people in Mulgrave use her books as a reference source for the history of their family and other significant historical events. I also referenced her books for specific dates and sometimes to confirm my data and occasionally to supplement my knowledge.
Pictures of and around the site were provided by myself and Sheila and Ashley Achtell. Ashley also manages the Mulgrave & Derry Historical Society’s social media account(s). Translation from English to French was done by Suzanne Daoust.
I hope you enjoy a look into the past. Remember that our Society exists to preserve the history of Mulgrave-et-Derry and we welcome any comments, observations and information that will add to our collection.
Donald Smallian, Past President of the Mulgrave & Derry Historical Society