Museum unveils loot from fruitful dig
Published Friday, November 1, 2013 9:46PM EDT
MONTREAL - A local museum is celebrating the discovery of nearly 50,000 artifacts unearthed during archaeological excavations at the scene of the first Parliament of United Canada in Old Montreal.
The highlight, according to staff at the Pointe-à-Callière museum, is a collection of 35 charred books.
The books were destroyed in fires set during a riot on April 25, 1849 where Place D'Youville sits, just east of McGill St.
The literary artifacts have been sent to the Canadian Conservation Institute, which is currently assessing the possibility of restoring the books.
Other findings include numerous bottles of alcohol, place settings, coins, shoe polish, animal bones and many oyster shells.
It’s believed that such historical figures as Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine, John Alexander Macdonald and Georges-Étienne Cartier might have used the items.
Montreal’s outgoing interim mayor attended the unveiling Friday and said he was deeply touched at the scene where Canada's founding fathers - English and French - dined together.
“They worked together and decided the two communities would be able to work together and this is what makes it so interesting,” said Blanchard.
“It’s a gift for me. Since I'm passionate about history, to have my last event at here goes right to my heart,” he said.
-With a file from The Canadian Press