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New Carlisle Heritage Walking Tour

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CASA / Municipality of New Carlisle

New Carlisle from the Air (Photo - Courtesy of Carlisle was settled by the United Empire Loyalists in 1784. Fleeing the United States after the War of Independence, these early settlers preferred the hardships of forging a new home in a new land rather than separation from British rule.

Many of today’s residents are direct descendants of these early refugees and discharged British soldiers. Because of the great influx of population, New Carlisle was soon named the official seat of government and Nicholas Cox, Lieutenant-Governor of the district of Gaspé set up his official residence here.In 1877, New Carlisle officially became a town separate from the Municipality of the Township of Cox, and at that time it also became the legislative seat for the County of Bonaventure.
Statue of Premier Levesque. (Photo - Matthew Farfan)

The building of the railway in 1898 was a great boost to the town's economy and until the 1980's, New Carlisle was the centre of railroading for the Gaspé Coast and the hub of economic activity. Over the years, New Carlisle boasted many firsts including the first court house, first radio station and first high school on the coast. New Carlisle is also the birthplace of former Quebec Premier René Levesque.

Now a quieter town, New Carlisle’s beautiful tree-lined streets frame a fascinating journey through the past and present day. Historic buildings and churches are numerous, the newest addition being Kempffer House, renovated in 2008 as an interpretation site and cultural centre. Complete the Municipality of New Carlisle tour by following the Green Colonial Style signs located throughout the town and visit the following sites.Maps are available at
Editor's note
: The tour has changed slightly since the publication of this article. It now includes several sites in addition to the ones named here.

T.J. Caldwell Store
Thomas James Caldwell had this store built in 1876, where he sold dried goods. In 1920, he gave the store to his son Lee Caldwell. In 1993 the building was transformed into a restaurant.

Hamilton House
This house was built in 1852 to replace the first villa which had been destroyed by fire. The house was turned into a museum opened to the public.

Hamilton House. (Photo - Matthew Farfan)Caldwell House
Andrew Caldwell built this house at the end of the 18th century. It was moved from it's original site on Oriental street during the summer of 1992 to insure it's safety, near the property of the Hamilton house.

Thompson House
Former home of Judge John Gawler Thompson, it was built around the year 1838. The new owners have renovated the house, keeping its original style and transforming it into a bed & breakfast.

Lévesque House
Built in 1905, this house was owned by Dominique Lévesque (René's father). René was raised here until the age of 17. The house has had some changes made to the outside; however the inside still has its same aspect.

Thompson House. (Photo - Matthew Farfan)Presbyterian Church
This church was built following the union between Presbyterian, Methodist and Congregational Churches in 1925. Many members wanted to keep their Presbyterian faith and after strenuous efforts of the congregation, built this second churchUnited Church
Built in 1820, this was the Presbyterian Church until June 10, 1925 when it became the Zion United church. The oldest tombstone in the cemetery is that of Sarah Caldwell, dating 1823.

Tremblay House
Judge Menalque Tremblay built his house around 1870 and lived in it until his death in 1911. In 1914, the house was sold to the National Bank. In 1925, it was purchased by John Gedeon Dallain and it remains in the Dallain family.

Maguire House
Around 1890, Gordian Francis Maguire, Notary built this house. Pierre-Émile Côté became the new owner in 1920. In 1952, the house was sold to the LeMaistre family.

Knox Presbyterian Church. (Photo - Matthew Farfan)School Residence
This was built in 1923 by the missionary women of the Presbyterian Church. Young girls of the region attending the academy stayed there. The same building still stands on its original site and is now the offices of the MRC of Bonaventure.

Anglican Church
Most of the loyalists who came to New Carlisle in 1784 were Anglicans. Around 1820, the Anglican faith was officially recognized. In 1894 a new church was built and consecrated in 1897.

Sheppard House
William Sheppard, a Lawyer, built this house in the early 1800's on a rock. In the late 1940, the house was sold to the present owner, a lawyer.

Kelly House
John Hall Kelly born the first September of 1879, admitted to the Quebec bar in 1903. He was elected as the Member of the Québec legislative assembly for the county of Bonaventure the next year. The house where he was raised was built by his father between 1858 and 1864.

Catholic Church
In 1878, a first church was erected for the Catholics, but it was destroyed by fire. The second church being completed in 1890 consisted of a steeple containing eleven bells weighing 1496 pounds. The present church was built in 1953.