Musée du Bas-Saint-Laurent

Adventurer and writer

A drawing of several old buildings against mountains and near a waterway.

A Hudson Bay Company trading post. Drawing by R. M. Ballantyne, reproduced in William Hugh Coverdale’s Tadoussac. Then and Now (1942). 

© Musée de Charlevoix. 

Robert Michael Ballantyne (1825‒1894) left his native Scotland at 16 to work for the Hudson Bay Company. He led a life of adventure, working with Aboriginal locals and taking part year-round in canoe and snowshoe expeditions. Back in Europe in 1847, he wrote a book about the Hudson Bay Company. This drawing decorated its cover. Who knew then that Ballantyne would become a prolific children’s book author? 

The collector William Hugh Coverdale borrowed this image for the cover of his Tadoussac. Then and Now (1942). At the time, Coverdale headed Canada Steamship Lines, a company that, in addition to its cruise steamers, owned Manoir Richelieu and Hôtel Tadoussac. The previous year, Coverdale finished overseeing the construction of a new Hôtel Tadoussac, a replica of the former trading post and the restauration of the old chapel. This collector clearly wanted to give a historic flavour to visitors’ experience of Tadoussac.

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