The parish of Sainte-Famille was founded in 1661 and the first church built in 1669 (see RELIGIOUS BUILDING). Jean de LAUSON, governor of New France, fell victim to Iroquois in 1666. The island became the property of Monseigneur de LAVAL, first bishop of Québec, in 1668 (it had 471 inhabitants, as many as Québec). It was ceded as a fiefdom to François Berthelot in 1675, under the name of Île de Saint-Laurent. The parishes of Saint-Pierre, Saint-François and Saint-Jean were founded in 1679. Saint-Paul parish became Saint-Laurent parish in 1698, and a precise map of the island was made in 1689 by Robert de Villeneuve.
By 1725, again under the name of Île d'Orléans, prosperity had returned. In 1759 it was used as a base for British operations against Québec City and was ransacked by the troops of James WOLFE and Guy CARLETON. In 1824 and 1825 a short-lived naval yard at the upstream end of the island built the ships Columbus and Baron Renfrew. A seaport developed at this site and became the Sainte-Pétronille parish in 1870.
Ile d'Orléans has been immortalized in a Félix LECLERC song, "Le Tour de l'Île," which describes the panoramic road around the island. Agriculture still thrives, and the island's beauty, historical buildings, handicraft and horticultural products draw many tourists.
Author SERGE OCCHIETTI
Shawnadithit grew anxious waiting for her uncle, Longnon, to return to camp at the junction of Badger Brook and the Exploits River, deep in the wilds of Newfoundland...