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The Dumulon Family and the General Store

Black-and-white photograph of a log cabin with a sign that reads, Jos Dumulon General Merchant. In front, you can see a young boy with two dogs.

Jos Dumulon’s general store and post office.

In its early days, Rouyn city was mostly inhabited by single men and a few childless couples. The Dumulon was the first family to settle in the village. In the early 1920s, Jos Dumulon, then director of a phone company in Témiscamingue, heard a rumour about the discovery of precious ores in the Rouyn township which pushed him to begin building a general store. He intended to take advantage of the economic boom provided by the mining development of the area. So he built two log cabins on the south shores of Osisko Lake: one general store and a house. Jos Dumulon also established a waterway for the transportation of goods, which connected Ville-Marie to the Rouyn township. He built a stable and a post office as well. The Dumulon General Store, operating from the summer of 1924 to 1926, was basically the first company to supply various products to the pioneers.

Black-and-white photograph of four people before a log front and a sign that reads, Jos Dumulon General Merchant.

Jos and Agnès Dumulon with their two daughters, Cécile and Blanche, shortly after their arrival in Rouyn in 1925.

Unfortunately, the first few years were challenging for Jos Dumulon and his spouse: The long-awaited mining rush was unhurried, most prospectors already had their own equipment, and companies already had their own supply system.

I got here in July 1924. My father had a general store and a shipping company since there was no other way than waterways to communicate with the outside world in 1924.

Ms. Blanche Dumulon, 1976

An interview with Léon Dumulon about Rouyn’s beginnings and the Dumulon General Store:

Black-and-white photograph of a timber building, in front of which there is a boardwalk to the entrance. In the front, we can see a man in a suit and a gas pump.

The General Store Dumulon in 1925.

Listen to the interview (in French only) and view the transcript.

In 1925, the new mining area had a strong economic growth, which still did not help the Dumulon family to get back on its feet. The family’s financial situation deteriorated when they sustained heavy losses as a result of mining speculation and of a shipping accident where the goods capsized. The couple had no choice but to close up shop after the general store went bankrupt in 1926.

Colour photograph of three shelves filled with products from the 1920s.

Some shelves of the Dumulon General Store.

For more details :

Benoît-Beaudry Gourd, Le Klondike de Rouyn et les Dumulon. L’histoire du développement minier de la région de Rouyn-Noranda et d’une famille de pionnier, Rouyn-Noranda, Collège de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue, 1982, p. 90 to 114.

Perreault, Lucille and Yves Hébert. Le site historique de la Maison Dumulon. Québec, Les Éditions Gid, 2009, p. 20 to 35.