Lake Megantic Route

  1. Location and Background
  2. History
  3. Migrations and Towns
  4. Traveler: Touchette-Pepin Family

  1. Traveler: Touchette-Pepin Family

Marie Elmire Touchette of St. Georges, Québec (blue dress on left) with her husband, John Philbrick, and family at their farm in Rangeley, Maine in the 1930s. She was known as Elmira Cushman Philbrick in Maine, after she had come down the Lake Megantic Trail with her mother, brothers, and sisters about 1885. (Photo courtesey of Allen Philbrick of St. Romuald, Québec and Rangeley, Maine).
The Touchette-Pepin family lived in St. Georges, right on the banks of the Chaudière River, across from St. Martin's. Around 1885, Great-Grandpa Ed Touchette came down to the Greene Farm near Stratton, where got to be an overseer. He walked back up the trail to St. Georges and told the family that he had a place for them to come to. He packed them up and brought all the clothing and what few pieces of furniture they had...probably in a buckboard...and hauled it down alone. About a week later, Great-Grandma Elmira came down with the kids. Five children and their mother. Ed was about 10 years old, Mary 8, Sarah 6, Viola was the youngest girl, and Levi was a baby they carried.

It was just a trail. Along the way, they picked berries...they found apples...and each one of the kids had a basket which they lugged what food they had for those two-and-a-half days in. Grammy said they were pretty skimpy meals...they had to keep enough 'cause there were five of them. There was a little halfway hut where they spent the first night. Another family was there with a woman who was pregant and ready to have a baby. She had the baby that night, and grandmother Mary helped deliver that baby. The next morning the family got up, wrapped that baby in a blanket, and kept on going. They were coming into Maine from Canada, too. The next night our family spent out, right on the trail with blankets.

They changed their name to Cushman when they came here, they had to learn English. They stayed in Stratton, but later moved to the East Kennebago Road.


Captain Al Philbrick, Sillery, Québec,1995
(Photo by Barry Rodrigue).
This story was told by Phyllis Quimby Philbrick of Rangeley, Maine and Al Philbrick of St. Romuald, Québec. It has been edited and had some details added from their family papers by Barry Rodrigue. More of their story may be had from the following oral history, which is on deposit at the Maine Folklife Center at the University of Maine in Orono:

Al Philbrick and Phyllis Quimby Philbrick. Interview, Rangeley, Maine, with Barry Rodrigue, 11 March 1995: NA 2373 (C1422-1423).

Others roads :
The King's Highway - Lake Megantic Route - Coos Road - Canada Road - Aroostook Roads - Airline Road
Grand Trunk Railway - California Tote Road - Canadian Pacific Railway