The Kempffer Cultural Interpretation Centre is situated in a magnificent Victorian-era house in the Gaspesian village of New Carlisle. The Kempffer House was built in 1868 by New Carlisle businessman Robert Henry Kempffer (1822-1901), on property that was given to his wife, Sarah Jane Langler (1832-1907).
The architectural style of the Kempffer House is often referred to as the "Mansard style," in reference to the building's distinctive mansard roof. The house is built of wood, with cedar siding. The red exterior colour was chosen to imitate the red bricks that were so popular during the Victorian period. The house is distinguished by seven dormer windows, four in the front and three in the rear. In addition, a tower extends above the second floor on the front facade, accentuating the upper storey of the building.
Over the years, the house changed hands a number of times and was eventually transformed into apartments. In 2002, due to its deteriorating condition, and in the absence of tenants, the Kempffer House was faced with demolition by its owner and replacement by a modern building.
With the aid of different levels of government, however, Heritage New Carlisle was created so that local people could act together to save this heritage building from destruction and to give local residents a focus for their history. Eventually, the house was moved from its former location to its present one and, in 2004, fully restored.
In 2008, the Kempffer House became the Kempffer Cultural Interpretation Centre and was officially opened. In August 2009, a permanent exhibition was put in place.
Today, the ground floor of the Centre houses a reception area for tourists and temporary exhibition space, along with a kitchen and administrative office. The second floor includes a permanent exhibit.
The collections of the Kempffer Cultural Interpretation Centre have been developed thanks to the donation of artifacts by citizens of New Carlisle. These collections include photographs and objects of local cultural and historical significance that have been either carefully preserved in storage or included in the permanent exhibition.
Notable areas within the collections include archival material, agricultural tools from the 19th century, objects related to the establishment of the railway in New Carlisle at the end of the 19th century, consumer products from the early 20th century, clothing and textiles, and military artifacts from the First and Second World Wars.
In addition to its permanent exhibition, the Kempffer Centre holds temporary exhibitions, manages a collection of artifacts, and organizes cultural activities. Heritage New Carlisle also hosts local art shows, conferences on local history, and workshops, rents out quadicycles and offers outdoor heritage tours ,among other things, at the Kempffer Centre.
From June 25 to September 3: Every day, Monday to Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Visits are still possible after this date, but by appointment only.
Adults (18-64): $ 8
Seniors (65+): $ 6
Children (6-17) and students: $ 5
Children (0 to 5): Free
Members get unlimited free access to the permanent exhibit.
Donations insure the long-term viability of the Centre. Official tax receipts are available.
"Partner" -- $100.00
"Privilege" -- $200.00
"Distinction" -- $300.00
125 Gerard D. Levesque, C.P. 444
New Carlisle, QC