MERN- History

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History of the Mining Industry


Architectural stone



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Exploitation of architectural stone in Québec goes back to the beginning of colonization, mainly in the Ville de Québec, Trois-Rivières and Montréal.

According to Maurice (1955, p. 3-4), only a few years after the foundation of the Ville de Québec, constructions had already been set up with limestone quarried on the Québec promontory. These are, among others:

  • the Récollets’ Congregation monastery, along the rivière Saint-Charles (1619)
  • Fort Saint-Louis (1636)
  • the Hôtel-Dieu (1638)
  • the Ursulines’ convent (1642)
  • Ville de Québec Cathedral (1647)

In Montréal, building stone was also found in large quantity. The first quarried site was located on the island known as L’île à la Pierre. In 1666, this stone was used to build Saint-Joseph hospital.

Real beginning of the industry

However, we had to wait until the end of the first half of the XIX century to assist to the real beginning of the building stone and ornamental stone industry. During this period called the Modern age, the exploitation of limestone and sandstone in accordance with the more rigorous exigencies of the new architecture began. Marbles, slates, steatites, gneisses and granites appeared later on the market.

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