Teens’ Corner

Marguerite Bourgeoys working at the stable-school during a visit by Paul de Chomedey de Maisonneuve and Bénigne Basset, Ville-Marie (Montreal), New France (Quebec), 1658. Illustration: Francis Back. Archives Congrégation de Notre-Dame – Montréal.

Governor Paul de Chomedey de Maisonneuve ceded to Marguerite Bourgeoys an abandoned stable to build the first school in Ville-Marie for the dozen or so school-aged children in the colony. Notary Bénigne Basset oversaw the transaction. The building required serious renovations, for example, the construction of a chimney. The class room was on the ground floor and the rooms where Marguerite Bourgeoys and her companions lived were in the former dove-cote. They entered and exited the building with a ladder which was brought in at night to avoid Iroquois attacks.