Historical commentary: Stéphane Tessier. Directing and filming for this video: Nicolas St-Germain.
Standing in front of “la maison du Meunier”, historian and cultural animator Stéphane Tessier (ST), explains the vital role of the miller in feeding the parishioners in Sault-au-Récollet. The camera shows various shots of the building and the vestiges of the mills’ machinery. Stéphane Tessier then talks specifically about Miller Didier Joubert, whose work the Sulpicians seemed very satisfied with. As a token of their appreciation, they gave him land on which he built a cider mill in 1806. The video ends in front of “la maison du Pressoir” (the cider mill house).
ST There were times when the miller’s flour was bad. Sometimes it was not entirely his fault. It could be that the seigneur failed to give him the means and resources necessary to maintain the mill and keep it working properly.
An important thing to note is that people at the time relied on flour for 80% of their diet.
People ate bread. So if the miller’s flour was of poor quality, the whole village was unhappy. If the miller produced high quality flour, there was order and peace in the village.
When you hired a miller, if you didn’t know him, it was always a good idea to hire him for a probation period of three years. To try him out. If you knew him, and he enjoyed a good reputation—which was often a sign of quality, especially if he came from a long line of millers—, then you hired him for a 99-year lease.
An emphyteutic lease was a way of securing a quality miller for many generations.
To reward Miller Didier Joubert, the seigneurs of the Island of Montreal, the Sulpicians, offered him this land.
On it, he built a cider mill in 1806.
We know it today as “La maison du Pressoir.”