Let’s continue our guided walk in the village… In the last issue, we were standing in front of my own house, on chemin Saint-Armand, near chemin des Érables…
The Guthrie homestead is on the left. This still imposing structure was once the hotel, where horse drawn carriages would bring weary travelers. Alice Guthrie who has lived on the hill for many decades has even been called the “Mayor of Pigeon Hill”. Alice ran the old country store before it closed in 1976 when the grain mill on its west side burned down due to electrical fluctuations.
Standing there at the crossroads, looking down chemin des Érables at the Shufelt fields of all kinds of things, you will even see grapes growing and a vineyard in the making. Manon and Kevin Shufelt opened the new enterprise in 2012. If you walk down just a bit you will see the garage which was the tinkering place for Charlie Wilson in his later years. Des Érables is a great “walking road” with little traffic, a “by way dirt road” to historic Eccles Hill, a kilometer east, a cozy B&B\Christmas tree farm, and ending several kilometers south at a closed border crossing (much used during prohibition). On this road you will also find the Pigeon Hill cemetery with slate markers dating back to the 1700’s, and the final resting place for members of many local families.
Back on chemin Saint-Armand, turning east down the hill past the Guthrie’s and then the Rychard’s homesteads, another member of the Wightman-Guthrie family, Sandra offers painting courses in her renovated barn. Hundreds have learned how to decorate wood, tin, you name it. Every member of my family has a piece of folk art I made with Sandra’s wonderful instruction and support. In 1998, Sandra’s husband Michel\“Farmer”’s construction skills saved the Old Store (along with the kids from the village and Michel from the pottery). In early January, together they rebuilt the west foundation wall which had started to fall in after the ice storm because of course, after all the ice, there was a big thaw.
Across the road, the Cook’s have added colorful gardens beside their beautifully cared for “old Baker house” and barn, once the village blacksmith. Going a little farther east down the hill, you come to Andrée Dubé’s reflexologie massage’s services.
Pigeon Hill has wonderful and interesting services as well as its amazing old homes, preserved barns and wonderful views of the Vermont mountains to the south, and Mont Pinacle (part of the Appalachian mountain range) to the east, the last mountain with preserved green space in Southern Quebec. To those who live here in the summer or year round, Pigeon Hill is a little bit of paradise.