This Activity Page, aimed at Belknap Mill’s younger members, currently tell the story about the Bedard family, who left Saint Perpetué in 1914, to work in the Belknap Mill:
Paul, Angelique and the rest of the Bedard family arrived nearly exhausted in Montreal. It was dinnertime, and they had been riding in the wagon since dawn. They had heard stories from relatives about Montreal, and they were excited to see the big city for the first time, what the city was like. The city was noisy and crowded. Some people were wearing fancy clothes.
Paul and Angelique were the oldest of their six children. They could take only what would fit in their suitcases. They carefully packed their favorite things.
The train station was huge and very beautiful. They walked with all their precious belongings to the Station Master’s window. Father checked for their tickets, the departure track number and time of the next train to Laconia, NH. Mother gathered the six children and settled for the evening in two rows of polished wooden benches near their point of departure - Track Number 6. Mother gave out a dinner of bread and cheese that she had packed earlier in the day. The children savored each bite. They were hungry and tired. Paul and Angelique looked at a train schedule their father had given them. They were disappointed that they would be traveling at night and would be unable to see most of the scenery along the way. They were on their way to America and their new life.
Here is a copy of a train schedule that was given out at the Laconia Passenger Station in 1915. It tells the kind of train, time of departure, the direction traveling and the destination. It even gives Sunday’s special schedule. To use a train schedule, you need to know this information:
You do not want to rush or miss your train.
This story was written by educator, Chris Lewis, with funding from the Institute of Museum & Library Services. It is loosely based on records of the LaPlante family, who moved from Sainte Perpétue to Franklin about 1903. The images are from the Morin Collection, Belknap Mill.