Community-built and preserved material culture: Square-log cabins in the village of Mont-Tremblant, Quebec
Square-log cabins, which were historically built by groups of settlers in the Laurentides of Quebec, are now being preserved and adapted for new uses by their contemporary communities. Despite the changes, the overall historical character of the cabins is still evident, the old coexisting with the new. Preservation of these log cabins is important not only because of their technological aspects, but also because of the collective memory and its powerful connections with the environment that is expressed through the cabins’ material culture (Mackie 1997). The Laurentides are a mountain range in southern Quebec, Canada, north of Montreal and the St. Lawrence River, running from the Mille Îles River to the north of MontLaurier, from east to west, the territory between Terrebone and Argenteuil (Laurin 1989). The Laurentides are shaped by gneiss and granite, incredibly hard bedrock that are almost as old as the Earth, spanning across an area of 2.2 million hectares (Potvin 2003). The region is one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world, shaped by the glaciers, full of rivers and lakes-close to ten thousand-and covered by dense forest (Lesieur et al. 2004). The Laurentides consists of two distinct subareas, the Basses Laurentides and the Hautes Laurentides. Raoul Blanchard (1877-1965) described the region as a vast labyrinth of hills and valleys (Blanchard 1953). The Euro-Canadian settlements, in contrast to the Montagnais First Nations tribe, were built near the waterways during the nineteenth century. In the twentieth century, the area also became a popular tourist destination with a cottage and lake culture in the summer and downhill and cross-country skiing in the winter, most significantly near Mont-Tremblant in the 1930s (Tremblant through the Years 2015).
Esponda Cascajares, M. (2016). Community-built and preserved material culture: Square-log cabins in the village of Mont-Tremblant, Quebec. In Community-Built: Art, Construction, Preservation, and Place (pp. 102–120). doi:10.4324/9781315545066