Municipality of Barnston-Ouest

From Barnston Township to Barnston-Ouest

We cannot recall the critical stages of the colonization of our territory without referring to the Abenakis’ migration area, the establishment of the border between Quebec at that time and the United States, and the various surveys in the Township of Barnston. Please bear in mind, that we refer here to the Township of Barnston, part of what the British authorities identified as "Eastern Townships" after the Treaty of Paris of 1763.

We now recognize that Abenakis used our rivers for their seasonal migrations to Lake Saint-Pierre. But the Niger River was certainly not the preferred route because the route via the Coaticook River, the Connecticut River and Lake Memphremagog give more direct access to the Saint-François River. However, some had to use the Niger River to travel from what is now Vermont and New Hampshire to Lake Massawippi (Moosewapaick).

In 1771 and 1772 the first survey of the boundary between the British colony of Vermont and the British province of Quebec was undertaken. The surveyor fixed the border at 45 degrees north latitude. This first survey was unclear and was unable to subdivide the area between Lake Memphremagog and the Connecticut River to the East to locate four townships of equal size. At the request of the British Government, several surveyors attempted to specify the boundaries of the counties of Stanstead, Barnston, Barford and Hereford.

In 1792, the Townships settlement unfolded. Dealers Lester and Morrogh requisitioned the Barnston territory and asked surveyor Jesse Pennoyer to prepare the subdivision of the Township. In 1801, the letters patent for the Township of Barnston were officially issued. Despite the vagaries of land speculation and the auction of many lots, colonization continued.

The first settlers came from New England, notably from Massachusetts and Connecticut. The Bellows, Buckland, Heath, Norton and Wheeler families settled in Barnston in the early nineteenth century.

(Photo : Wheeler Family)

Immigrants coming from the British Isles came later. Francophones began to establish themselves in the second half of the nineteenth century. In 1816 while the first road network was underway, the hamlets of Morrogh’s Mills, Bickford Corner, Mosher’s Corner, Drew’s Mills, South Boston, Libbytown, Way’s Mills and Kingscroft were created. In the nineteenth century, Barnston Corner was the main town in the Township and its administrative and commercial centre.

Way’s Mills acquired electricity in 1927. The parish of Saint-Wilfrid-de-Barnston (later Kingscroft) was created in 1904. Thus, in the years 1930 and 1940, the community prospered and had all the services implanted. The Municipality of Barnston-Ouest was established on January 1, 1946, and its first mayor was Henri Roy.

The mayors of Barnston-Ouest over time

1946-1947       Henri Roy
1948-1949       B. Corey
1950-1951       Josephat Veilleux
1951-1952       B. Corey
1953-1956       Henri Roy
1957-1958       Aimé Provencher
1959-1960       Harry T. Emo
1961                  Théodule Audet
1961-1962       Hector Fauteux
1963-1964       Bernard Holmes
1965-1975       Onès Cloutier
1975-1988       Léo Roy
1989-2005       Michel Belzil
2005-2013       Ghislaine Leblond
2014 - …         Johnny Piszar