Start off with a visit to Manoir Le Boutillier, built in 1840, where you will learn about the life of John Le Boutillier, a major cod merchant. Born on the island of Jersey, Le Boutillier pursued two careers throughout his life, as a politician and businessman. A prominent figure in 19th-century Gaspésie, he was at the forefront of the dry salted cod trade (the famous Gaspé cure), an industry that is inseparable from the history of Gaspésie.
Next, head to Gaspé, where navigator Jacques Cartier planted a cross in the name of the King of France in summer 1534, claiming a territory that would become New France 75 years later. To learn more about the fascinating history of this area, from its earliest origins to today, be sure to visit the Musée de la Gaspésie.
At the Bourg de Pabos interpretation centre, discover 250 years of history. Dive into the world of an 18th-century fishing community reconstructed by archaeologist Pierre Nadon, who led a series of digs here from 1981 to 1987. Curious and inventive, Nadon influenced a whole generation of Québec archaeologists.
Keep driving west to the Paspébiac National Historic Site, where you will meet businessman Charles Robin. Born on the island of Jersey, Robin founded Robin, Pipon & Co. in 1765 (later, Charles Robin & Co.). The company’s facilities became the centre of the cod fishing industry, putting Paspébiac on the map. You can visit 11 period buildings at this site and learn all about fishing in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Finally, visit Bonaventure, where you will be moved by the epic story of the Acadian Woman, who represents the strength and resilience of a people who overcame great obstacles to settle throughout Québec after deportation. The Musée Acadien du Québec presents the history of these people and their still vibrant culture. A million Québec residents are of Acadian origin and three million have at least one Acadian ancestor.