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The Larabie Family
By: Michel D'Amours B.A., M.A.

The early years

The following story is about a French Canadian family, the Larabies, seen over a fifty years period (1900-1950), through which the reader will understand the strenuous work of men and women who gave form to a certain rural way of life.

Ludger Larabie and his immediate family are, in many respects, typical of a majority of Quebecers at the turn of the century.

Ludger Larabie, son of Philibert Larabie and Elmira Leblanc, the third child of thirteen siblings was born on January 29, 1907. Philibert Larabie had married the daughter of Moïse Leblanc and Eléonore Patry of Perkins Mills on October 8, 1904.

The Larabies were country-people in Perkins Mills. The father had not “ much schooling nor trade (1)” and must pursue different means of living and migrating more than once in order to support his family.

Ludger’s mother Elmira was unable to attend school on account of the father’s handicap. “A t the age of 18 years (in 1875), he went to a lumber camp and worked as a ‘scorer’ – that is someone who walks on a fallen tree trunk and cuts the branches; two men were doing this job together at the same time. His companion accidentally hit grandfather’s heel, cutting the Achilles tendon. Afterwards, all life long, he suffered from continuous abscesses that led his foot and later his leg being amputated. So the mother had to do the father’s job at the farm, [busy with the work in the] stable, making hay, [tending] the sugar-refiner and the cheese-dairy …(2)”

In 1901, Philibert owned fifty acres of land in Templeton township. He also laboured as a carpenter that brought an income of $ 250. 00 that year (3). But the Larabie-Leblanc couple did not stay long on their lot in concession 8, “ leaving immediately after marriage for Tupper Lake in New York State and a job [as a watchman in a sawmill] (4) . In September 1905, Philibert inherited the old man’s farm, which was located in concession 9. He then returned to Perkins Mills.

A call to Cobalt

In 1910, Larabie decided to move to Cobalt where his brothers Francis, Jean-Baptiste and Josias lived, as there was little prospect in his acquisition. It was of little agricultural value. Ludger was then three years old.

The family lived in a log house built on one of his wooded lots. The wood supplied the firewood business. “ Papa had the lumbermen chop down trees on his lots, cut timber for woodstoves and sold to the townspeople by the cord (5)”. The undertaking numbered brothers Francis and Josias among a handful of seasonal employees. His “mystic red-hair horse nicknamed George (6)” skidded logs to the family mill and then hauled the firewood to the city.

The family ended up at the city’s doorsteps a few years later – three successive moves followed just within Cobalt itself.

Although the children were now able to attend school, the family responsibilities continued to have the upper hand when Larabie bought a bankrupt general store located at Lang street “ in the northern part of the town…which was considered the ‘foreign quarter’ or ‘Frenchtown’… [an] area economically underprivileged ”.

As a matter of fact, “ the father must absent himself to attend at the store because he does not have the means to hire a clerk. This was so that he could oversee his firewoods dealings. [He took the 12 years old twin sisters Alice and Elmire], one month at a time respectively, [to run the store] (7)” Fortunately, the younger brother, Ludger, was able to start and finish his school years out of the store’s income.

However, Larabie did not have the education nor the necessary financial support to succeed with his store. He was also very unfortunate. There was a succession of miners’ strikes, mine closures and a dwindling population, dropping from 5, 638 individuals in 1911 to 4, 449 within ten years. This proved to be a hard blow to his business. In less than two years, the venture became destitute and Larabie was obliged to abandon the store, and returned to his birthplace to practice a familiar occupation, in mica mining.

The Outaouais era

Larabie moved back to the Outaouais region in the summer of 1918, with the firm intention of operating an open pit mine in Wakefield Township along with son Ludger, then aged 11 years old, and a man named Dagenais he had met in Cobalt. The latter lodged with the Larabies. “ The rest of the family [left Cobalt] in November 1918 [and moved into] a log house on our country lot…and we changed house three times (8)”. The lot was located on a hillside with a rocky sub-soil having just enough room for a house, a few farm buildings and a small number of farm animals.

The father, his son Ludger and his family friend Dagenais worked in the open-pit while the twins Alice and Elmira fed wood to the steam-boiler that supplied the drill. The girls also drove the horse that pulled up the bucket and hoisted a derrick, and graded the mica sold to Hull.

The family business sometimes barely produce enough to live on. The children would renounce their salary instantly if asked to do so by the father.

This great need was not an obstacle, because once the ore body was exhausted, my father “ went prospecting for mica in the Laurentians [mountains] in search of mica. We laboured in these places eight [to] nine years. We kept finding less, the family was growing and the price of mica was falling these years on account of discoveries[ in Madagascar and India] (9)” said Ludger.

Later on, our source of livelihood changed to the bush. For one year, “ we went logging on a lot in Wakefield Township for a local sawmill (10)”. My father, Omer and myself also went cutting at Maniwaki, at Baskatong Lake and, during the summer of 1927, in the lumber camp of the Mclauglin Company at Kipawa Lake before heading to Kapuskasing.

In the backwoods of Kapuskasing

Life was not easy but “ the family had worked together (11)”.

Since my arrival, it had been two and a half years of hard work without respite, with unbounded courage (12)”.

Philibert left the Kipawa camp “ one month ahead of time ” in September of 1927 in “ search of a lot (13)” in the neighbourhood of Kapuskasing. His sons Ludger and Omer followed on October 8. Philibert settled on the heavily wooded lot 2 of concession 9 in Owens Township, owned until then by E. Nadeau.

In the Spring of 1928, Ludger obtained lot 3 (Jos Nadeau had been the previous owner) and younger brother Omer took hold of lot 4, formerly the property of A. Jacques, who like E. and Jos Nadeau had purchased the land from the Crown on December 24, 1926 (14).

Father and sons readied a shack (16 x 20 feet) for winter. In May of 1928, the newly arrived family moved into a more spacious one-storey building. Both kitchen and bedrooms were at ground level. It became a two-storied construction around 1930, with “ six upstairs bedroom wall made of cloth, a dividing wall separating the boys from the girls (15)”. All the other log structures – the stable, the piggery, the hen-house and barn – were built one year after another.

The Larabie’s had a lot on their proverbial plate, but all family members devoted their energies to clearing and bringing land into cultivation. “ We worked corporately (16)” Ludger told me in September of 1980. Philibert and his two eldest sons transformed their lots without anything but their own bare hands and with their horses – son Omer gave his best efforts in developing his father’s lot.

The acreage of developed land was not spectacular at first. This was easily understandable considering that these were heavily wooded lots – Philibert had chosen his property because of the standing timber. It was not simply a matter of working the land. It was also necessary to reclaim it by cutting down the trees and the brushes, clearing the stumps, and preparing the soil for planting. It was back-breaking work. The fact remained that after six years (in 1933) the family was unable to bridge the gap, despite a sustained clearing of the land.

In addition to the miseries of land clearing, the worse was being isolated in the wild forest. “ There were no roads for the first three years (17)”. The only way into town was by going through the forest or traveling on the river by means of a canoe. When there was a road, finally, none of the children went to school – to cover a distance of four miles was considered too much by the parents. The older kids taught the younger ones.

It was all the poor people who came up here. Anyone with money didn’t come here (18)”, recounts former settler Ernest Léonard (1905-1997).

The Larabie family was of no exception. Brothers Ludger and Omer lived in the parents’ homestead, unable to build or manage farming or take a wife for that matter. “ I am not rich [wrote Ludger]…that is why I came up here in order to give myself a better future, make some money and bring you here later on (19)”. (you = Ida Gauthier, his future wife living in the Outaouais with her adoptive family).

Apart from isolation and hard earned money, the timbered lots, rich land and steady employment made Ludger write in April of 1929: “ I sought economic opportunity…I found…not a fortune but an economic advance (20)”. What he found was stability, a land that brought in good returns, full-time work close by, and reaping the benefits of being connected with a booming environment. Gone were the forced moves on the outskirts of the Outaouais, Laurentides and Témiscamingue regions. “ It was not a normal life during those days, more than often far from home, away from you, oftentimes bored (21)”.

… “ A place of Progress (22)”.

This is a place of progress when we notice growth and improvements on a daily basis (23)”. As a matter of fact, from 1926 onwards, the Spruce Falls Company built dozens of houses, a hospital, and a community center and developed a park area along the Bay (24).

We can see part of the small town of Kapuskasing on the photo. On the post card, you will find the church and the Catholic school at its right, a hospital and many stores. All around the Bay area, there are winding paths and triangular shaped flower beds. At nightfall, charming couples walk hand in hand, seemingly dreaming of their good fortune,accompanied by the rippling sound of water and the town’s noise (25)”.

A fragile agricultural economy

The pioneer days (26)

Between 1927 and 1938, the Larabie settlement showed significant signs of clearing, but the land under cultivation remained somewhat modest. Even if the situation had changed drastically around 1935 with the advent of mechanization and the farmer’s sons – they are five boys at the age of reclaiming the land for cultivation – the ground was partially sown.

The farm required an infusion of animal feed at least well in the late 1940s: bran-mash for the pigs, scratch feed for the fowls and, occasionally oats for the horses.

In 1933, the space sown with hay as the main crop was so limited that the sustenance of a dozen livestock was not totally assured. That year, Ludger Larabie bought $12 worth of “ hay for the cows ” – hay was sold for $24 per ton in Kapuskasing in March of 1934. In February, he further purchased four bales ($5,95 ), another 465 pounds in March ($5,58 ), four more bales ($5,36 ) and 511 pounds ($5,61 ) in April of the same year.

Production of oats was not any better. In August 1932, Ludger bought two 100-pound bags of grain, another one in August 1933, then a third and fourth bag in February and April 1934 respectively.

The barley harvest – a feed for hogs -- is revealed to have been marginal according to the bookkeeping of Ludger. In 1936, he sowed one acre only of Bonanza barley. The meagre profile of this delicate crop was linked to climatic conditions common to this area, which may include an early frost or an abundance of rain. Either can prevent the ripening process. “ The reason we cannot produce more hogs here is because our grain crop was not assured. [Due to adverse weather ] (27 ) ” wrote agronomist Pomerleau in his Annual Report of the Agicultural Representative for the District of Cochrane for the year 1942-1943 . Two years earlier, this same Pomerleau asserted: “ I did not think this district will ever be a grain producer. The season is sometimes too short and fall weather is never sure (28)”.

The potato crop was used for domestic consumption. The private papers of Ludger Larabie, dated as far back as August 1932 showed that he bought three 100-pound bags of seed potatoes in May 1933, but the production of potatoes as the principal dietary source went back to the earlier days of the Larabie settlement in Kapuskasing.

1938 represented the year when the pioneer economy switched to agricultural production. That year Ludger sowed eight acres of Timothy hay and seven acres of oats. Hay and oats crops were stored in the barn for winter and allocated as cattle and horse feed. The construction of a barn in 1936 was the forerunner of the state of economy. Its building “ already pointed out a degree of ease (29)” writes Louise Dechêne in her book entitled Habitants et Marchands de Montréal au XVIIe siècle .

The livestock

Philibert and Ludger Larabie each owned a team of horses to help them do the work: cultivate the ground, carry out bush labour and for transportation purposes. Omer also made use of his father’s horses for his own requirements.

Philibert Larabie also kept a small herd of milking cows to produce butter for domestic necessities and for the neighbourhood. His son Ludger, however, was satisfied with only one cow. “ We raised cows for the family needs, [as for myself] I was too isolated from the town to start, [in any case], the roads remained unfit for a long time (30 ) ”. Ludger bought butter from his parents despite having his own cream separator since February 1934.

Philibert reared a few hogs that took advantage of the skim milk wastes. In the summer or autumn of each year, son Ludger purchased one or two piglets. However, during the lumbering days (1943, 1944, 1945), he would buy some four or five. Even then, the low level of domestic production forced Larabie to raise stock at the parents’ homestead or in the town.

Special attention was given to poultry flocks on the Philibert Larabie farm – one hen house enclosed four hundred fowls and another enclosed one hundred. Every Friday, summer or winter alike, Larabie rode into town to distribute the weekly egg production to general stores, private individuals and boarding-houses on Mundy and Riverside streets.

Grateful for the land clearing carried out during the forties, Larabie’s son Ludger extended the production in the fifties with the help of tractors at a cost of $56 per acre. From then on the forage produced in the pasture could sustain a bovine herd (Shorthorn cattle).

Mechanization of agriculture

Up until 1933, land clearing was rather rudimentary: it had to be done with manpower and horses – there were no oxen on the farm. The scythe was largely in use until 1934 and horses were always present until the end of forties. A Fordson tractor was used on the farm as early as the summer of 1933. This was followed by the arrival of three other tractors. Two were caterpillars models (crawlor tractors) and one was a Massey Harris equipped with wheels.

With more land under cultivation, the Larabie’s had fitted themselves with farm implements: binder, disk harrow, harvester, rake, seeder and thresher.

As far as transportation was concerned, Omer owned a truck in 1937 . Ludger had an automobile in 1943. The father moved around with his horse or with the tractor.

Fishing, hunting and trapping

The great resources of the wilderness – fish from lakes and rivers, fur and flesh from the animals of the forests -- added to the sustenance of life on the farm. From winter of 1929 onward, Philibert made trapping his specialty.

In early January 1930, Ludger accompanied his father Philibert “ some seventy miles up the Kapuskasing River [to Pine Lake]. I hope, he says to his future bride, to make as much as I could [working in the bush], because at Christmas time, father brought back some quality furs, including beaver, mink, marten and others too (31)”.

Besides trapping and fishing on the Kapuskasing River, hunting wildlife played a vital role in the family diet. Even the youths, both boys and girls, tapped actively into this process of sustenance as well as making it a pastime too: “On Sundays in October when both weather and roads were unfavorable for going to mass, well for diversion, I go hunting ”(32).

The World of Forestry

The Pulp and Paper Industry

We heard that there were lots for sale [in this Northern frontier with] , some people settling on the land. [We were also interested] in logging,[this would] give work to us all and [help us] come out [of Wakefield, a place where] we had no future; [these were the reasons why my father had fixed us up here] (33)”.

In Kapuskasing as in the Abitibi region “ working in the woods secured the livelihood [of a pioneer] before he could become an actual farmer. That took some ten years to happen (34)”. Thus, Ludger wrote in 1927: “ My father came a month ahead of us brothers in search of a lot. Omer and myself arrived on October 8, [and since then]…I work alongside with my father and my brother [Omer] cutting pulp timber…on our lot; after we’ve cut logs for other settlers during the winter (35)”.

The product of this logging on private land went to the Spruce Falls mill. “ We got started cutting pulpwood since July [1928]…We logged and transported between July 5,1928 and March 20,1929. All of 625 cords of pulpwood from our lots,brought in three thousand one hundred and fifty dollars. There are still around 1,200 cords of pulpwood left to be cut (36)”.

During the Depression years of the 1930s, there was a significant drop of demand and prices. In 1928 for instance, the Spruce Falls Company paid $6 per cord of pulpwood and only $4.25 in 1933. “ At $4.25 per cord…that wasn’t much of an income, barely enough if we could make $1 per day, [but] $1 per day was good…considering that we were able to live on that (37).

The decline in prices accompanied an equivalent fall in the size of contracts. In the winter of 1931-1932, Ludger sold only 133.5 cords of pulpwood to Spruce Falls, 132.7 cords the following year, 143.7 in 1933-1934, 118 in 1934-1935 and 95.6 cords in 1935-1936.

Firewood and saw logs

Our lots contain a great deal of firewood we can sell in town (38)… I also sold saw logs of poplar to Spruce Falls at $17 per one thousand board feet (39)”.

The steady exploitation of the timber domain continued until at least winter of 1944-1945 when “ Omer harvested pulpwood for Spruce Falls and saw logs for the family sawmill on Ludger’s lot (40)”.

In 1936, Larabie senior bought a gas operated sawmill from a local man named George Haulage. However, the output proved unsatisfactory, forcing Ludger to modify and install a steam-driven engine with the help of the family members. In the same year, the senior Larabie built a board house for himself. Ludger’s house followed in 1937 and finally Omer raised his own house in the year of his marriage with Agathe Poirier, in 1938 The boarded barn followed suit.

Rooftops were made of shingle boards “ like the first barn (30 X 30) whose cover came from my shingle mill (41)”.

The lumberman Ludger Larabie

Papermakers allocated large quantities of pulpwood to jobbers who in return subcontracted them away to lumbermen. During the logging season of 1943-1944, Spruce Falls assigned 16,263 cords of pulpwood to seven jobbers. François Gallant took on 8,970 of them. Of this number, 1,500 cords were granted to Ludger Larabie, who then was responsible for felling and hauling the timber to the Kapuskasing River. To this end, Larabie hired Lumbermen and equipped himself with two tractors(42) to facilitate matters.

Omer Larabie, a leader (43)

World War II gave Omer Larabie the opportunity to advance himself.

Unable to engage the growing appetite for newsprint with the current set-up, the Spruce Falls Company extended its logging operations into summertime. In the process, it opened camp 3, in 1942, along the Kapuskasing River. The company entrusted management of the camp and recruitment of the labour force to Larabie.

Larabie immediately surrounded himself with relatives and acquaintances from the neighbouring countryside of Moonbeam. Among the employees, were in-laws Joseph and Rose-Délima Poirier in the cookery, Gérard Poirier, Joseph Credger, relatives Henri Forget (father), Armand (son) and Paul-Émile (son). Local lumbermen Jean-Baptiste D’Amours and Marcelin Néron added to the figures – about forty in all.

Camp 3b was also guided by Omer Larabie during winter operations in 1942-1943. In-laws Poirier (husband Gérard and wife Albertine), plus a substantial group of lumberjacks were recruited from New Brunswick. As a matter of fact, the war created shortages of manpower, compelling the company to canvass for workers in different Canadian provinces. For the production year 1944-1945, it attracted up 624 men in this manner (44).

In this camp of some one hundred employees, horse power teamed up with tractors and activity expanded to the summer season . The Annual Report for the Year ending April 1945 showed that 10,945 cords of wood came out of camp 3b that year (45).

Omer Larabie thereafter specialized himself in road building, loading and transporting pulpwood to the mill. In the 1960s and 1970s (1977), Spruce Falls allocated pulpwood contracts to Larabie along the Groundhog River (Fauquier). He had to equip and to manage his camp and bush operations.

The Larabie clan

My father [Philibert] wanted his sons to possess land,that his daughters marry and dwell on the farm. He had always aspired to unite the family as a clan. He desired to be its patriarch. He wished to have the family remain together and, [grow and] work together. This was related to me by mother (46)”.

Philibert Larabie found an agricultural community in Kapuskasing. There was plenty of standing timber along with hunting and trapping ground which was a bonus. All of these were elements capable of providing his family with money and passing on better prospects to his sons.

The episodes of the early Perkins days and the much longer Cobalt and Wakefield days, represented painful stages of a journey that proved formative in the end, for this independent man who “ never worked under the [servitude of] others [and who] always did his own business alone (47)”.

The backwoods of Kapuskasing ended a twenty-three year search of financial security. This was a rich reward for a man who stubbornly refused to collapse under his own personal limitations: minimal schooling and lack of money, among others. This man courageously persevered till he established a homestead -- qualities that bore many consolations.

Of course, the children played a central role in their father’s successes, especially the four older ones who actively engaged in work at a very young age with the idea of “ working together ”.The twins Alice and Elmire became adults at the age of twelve, brothers Ludger at eleven and Omer at thirteen years old.

However, the daughters generally left the paternal home at marriage (as a general rule, the father refused to have his daughters work outside the family house) and did so at an early age – Alice was an exception. She married Isidore Ouellette (a settler living in the nearby village of Moonbeam) in 1934 at age twenty-nine. For her part, twin sister Elmire took the vows at age twenty-two (1927). With respect to the other sisters, Sylvia married Léon Paquin (1931) at age eighteen; Béatrice also became bride at eighteen, in 1931, marrying Adélard Doyon; Rose was twenty-three at the time of marriage (1944), Claudette twenty (1945 ) and Cécile twenty-two (1947).

The sons had lived longer at the farmhouse and married at a latter age. Ludger became a husband in 1931 at age twenty-four; Omer married at twenty-seven (1938), Luc at twenty-eight (1947), Armand at twenty-four in 1947 (he had left Kapuskasing for Hamilton in 1940); Roger at thirty-four (1950); and lastly Rolland at twenty-six (1955).

The children’s contribution, and needless to say, that of mother Elmira, remained essential for the farm’s good results due to a lack of a family network. Contrary to the usual approach where family circles enlarge with relatives and friends, the Philibert and Elmira family had managed alone. In January 1928, Ludger had noted this fact: “ I am ignorant of the people [here] (48)”. After two and a half years, he wrote: “ There are a great number of French Canadians settling in the country. It is no longer boring (49)”.

Ida’s fears

You are telling me that we would be alone in this little log house of yours. Yes, perhaps by ourselves but [we would be] near your parents’ place and I fear that you will easily heed to your father’s advice; you know, sometimes when parents get involved in a newlywed couple’s business, there’s often, [as a result of it], unpleasant things happening. I’d like to live with you, just the two of us, for love’s sake, happy all by ourselves. The one thing I dread and would not go well with me is your father’s meddling [in our marriage]. Apart from that, may God keep us in his good fortune. Ludger, do not be offended when I mind about your father’s fashion.You should try to understand that more often there are always troubles in a marriage when parents live close by (50)”.

This kin fellowship did not sit well with Ida Gauthier, Ludger’s sweetheart, who left no stone unturned in order to extract her prince from the family’s grip, that of the father especially. Nothing is more troubling for this orphan girl living in an uneasy situation, than to have her friend consolidate his savings with the family’s finances. In March of 1929, she even dared to ask a question regarding the management of his finances. “ Now, that you live in Kapuskasing, could you tell me if the savings will go to the family or you are scraping money for your own household ? (51)”

The response was immediate. In it, the young Larabie made it evident that “blood is thicker” and that the family was priority over matters of love. “ Now, you are questioning me, whether I labor for myself or for my family? My father, my brother and I toil as one man. My earnings belong to the three of us. Unity is our strength. Our combined income is bigger when we labor each on our own account (52)”.

Ida afterwards tried to move Ludger to town, away from the family’s influences. One instance happened in 1928. “ Is it your intention to reside in the town of Kapuskasing later on or will we remain on the farm? As for me, I find that town nice (53)”.

But Larabie “ enjoys country life for the serenity and the freedom it had offered (54)”, the virtues of rural life, family and faith govern his inmost thoughts. “ There is nothing more appealing than to settle on the land. To have a nicely and neatly kept little house, a pretty-looking wife without a bad temper (that is one who cease to annoy me on these matters),near to my parents, not far from town, to attend mass or to go to the theatre by vehicle or by boat (55)”.

Ida returned to her proposal in February 1929 to move out “ to Hull or in the outskirts (56)”. Ten months later, she reiterated her petition. Friend Ludger answered back saying: “ Thousands of men have no work [over there]…Can you not see it in the vicinity of your home in Hull? Mothers have to work and do without even [the necessities of life] in order to meet the sustenance needed by the children. The husband without job gets discouraged of this situation (57)”.

Inasmuch as he enjoyed community life for its usefulness and pleasures, he also had more fears. Larabie was convinced that jobs were tossed off capriciously, that it is difficult to meet the necessities of life, and that it was not reliable to sustain a young couple, a view shared more than once. “ Having stayed [ in Wakefield or turned back ] that way, working for farmers or on construction or even in Hull, I could not see how we could get on with life (58)”. 

Ida suffered another refusal as she had induced her beloved to the countryside of Wakefield, “ on [her adoptive] mother’s land…a nice and prosperous lot [for sale] now that Édouard had married [and] wanted to move to the States (59)”. But Larabie chose to stay in the “ vast wilderness [of Northern Ontario], where in a few years, the place will be developed into farmland (60)”.

Larabie did not want the ‘ mother’s lot ’ that only reminded him of his father’s lot in Wakefield “ where I saw no chance of success (61)”. Like his father Philibert’s former land , “mother’s( the adoptive mother Gauthier) lot was located a long way off the cities, which makes it hard to sell the produce. The road itself is often unfit for motor traffic ”. And to drive in the nail even more, Larabie concluded by saying: “ Had Édouard really done well, he wouldn’t talk of leaving (62)”.

After the fears, the oncoming marriage

Next to the father, the responsibilities of the clan was rested upon the eldest son and, for that reason, Ludger Larabie feared that his marriage would brake its cohesiveness and the economic association of the family. This was more likely the reason why he acknowledged his relationship with Ida thirty- four days prior to marriage . “ I admitted, he wrote, of my love to my father. I feared some reproaches. As you know, he [first] appeared to be severe but instead of being angry, he was very please with my intentions. He congratulated me for the choice that I have made. He is eager to meet you; it makes my heart joyous because he loves you also and wishes us many years of happiness. My father and also the whole family are so glad and wish you good fortune. You will be received with open arms and will be loved by them (63)”.

Philibert Larabie knew his authority to be absolute, at times domineering. However, the father and the whole family for that matter understood that kinship was everyone’s best interest and, for reasons of financial advancement, they had to live and work as a network. Father and sons found in Kapuskasing what they yearned for... “[a place to rest] by the fireside…to ask nothing else but live and die [there] (64) .


  1. Elmire Larabie, Sister of Wisdom, Laval-des-Rapides, tape recordings, 1986-1987.
  2. Letter from Elmire Larabie to Pauline Stehr, 1986.
  3. Index to the 1901 Census of Canada, Automated Genealogy,
  4. Pauline Stehr and Jens-Holger Stehr, Nos Ancêtres: Larabie et Poirier , 1981, 81.
  5. Sister Elmire, tape recordings.
  6. Sister Elmire, tape recordings.
  7. Sister Elmire, tape recordings.
  8. Letter from Alice Albert to Pauline Stehr, 1984; letter from Béatrice Doyon to Pauline Stehr, January 1985.
  9. Ludger Larabie, interviewed in September, 1980.
  10. Larabie, interviewed.
  11. Larabie, interviewed.
  12. Letter from Ludger Larabie to Ida Gauthier, January 1, 1931.
  13. Larabie, interviewed.
  14. Crown Lands Records of the Department of Lands and Forests, Kapuskasing, Ron Morel Museum.
  15. Armand Larabie, interviewed in March, 2007.
  16. Larabie, interviewed.
  17. Larabie, interviewed.
  18. Ernest Léonard, interviewed in summer 1980.
  19. Ludger Larabie to Ida Gauthier, May 27, 1928.
  20. Ludger Larabie to Ida Gauthier, April 18, 1929.
  21. Larabie, interviewed.
  22. Ludger Larabie to Ida Gauthier, December 28, 1929.
  23. Ibid. ,
  24. Kapuskasing ,1921-1996 , 1996, 29; Margaret Paterson, Kapuskasing, une ville issue de la forêt, 79-80.
  25. Ludger Larabie to Ida Gauthier, October 8, 1928 .
  26. According to the private papers of Ludger Larabie.
  27. M. Pomerleau, Annual Report of the Agricultural Representative for the District of Cochrane, for the Years 1942-1943 .
  28. Pomerleau, Annual Report, 1940-1941.
  29. Louise Dechêne, Habitants et Marchands de Montréal au XVIIe siècle, 1974, 322.
  30. Larabie, interviewed.
  31. Ludger Larabie to Ida Gauthier, December 25, 1929.
  32. Ludger Larabie to Ida Gauthier, October 7, 1928.
  33. Larabie interviewed.
  34. Odette Vincent, Histoire de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue, 1995, 220.
  35. Larabie interviewed ; Ludger Larabie to Ida Gauthier, October 12, 1927.
  36. Ludger Larabie to Ida Gauthier, April 18, 1929.
  37. Larabie, interviewed.
  38. Ludger Larabie to Ida Gauthier, April 18, 1929.
  39. Larabie, interviewed.
  40. Agathe Larabie, interviewed, winter 2007.
  41. Larabie, interviewed.
  42. Annual Report of the Manager for the Years ended April 30, 1943-1944, Spruce Falls Company , 26; Wood Contract, season 1942-1943.
  43. Agathe Larabie, interviewed.
  44. Annual Report, 1942-1943, 15.
  45. Annual Report, 1944-1945, 31.
  46. Sister Elmire, tape recordings.
  47. Sister Elmire, tape recordings.
  48. Ludger Larabie to Ida Gauthier, January 15, 1928.
  49. Ludger Larabie to Ida Gauthier, August 20, 1929.
  50. Ida Gauthier to Ludger Larabie, July 1930.
  51. Ida Gauthier to Ludger Larabie, March 29, 1929.
  52. Ludger Larabie to Ida Gauthier, April 18 1929.
  53. Ida Gauthier to Ludger Larabie, December 3, 1928
  54. Ludger Larabie to Ida Gauthier, August 20, 1929.
  55. Ludger Larabie to Ida Gauthier, December 28 1928.
  56. Ida Gauthier to Ludger Larabie, March 29, 1929.
  57. Ludger Larabie to Ida Gauthier, January 1, 1931.
  58. Ludger Larabie to Ida Gauthier, May 27, 1928.
  59. Ida Gauthier to Ludger Larabie, March 29, 1929.
  60. Ludger Larabie to Ida Gauthier, August 20, 1929.
  61. Ludger Larabie to Ida Gauthier, May 27, 1928.
  62. Ludger Larabie to Ida Gauthier, April 18, 1929.
  63. Ludger Larabie to Ida Gauthier, May 18, 1931.
  64. Fernand Ouellet, Histoire économique et sociale du Québec, 1760-1850 , 481.

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