Old saw from the mill©Copyright: Edgar Pommainville
Gagnon, located in Prescott and Russell Counties, began as a small milling settlement in 1889. The two sawmills, conveniently located near the railway line, were an instant hit. By the early 1890s, the village contained a hotel and school. By the early 1900s, Gagnon had added a store, post office and butcher shop.
Lumbering began to decline in the Gagnon area, following a devastating fire in 1897, that destroyed much of the surrounding woodlands, and also the nearby community of Grant. By around 1920, both mills and the hotel had closed.
Gagnon was able to reinvent itself as a farming centre for a number of years. A cheese factory, established in 1922, experienced a number of financial ups and downs. Eventually it became prosperous and remained in operation until 1948.
Gagnon slowly trickled away piece by piece. Over the years a number of newer homes have been built in the area. In 2002, former residents erected an historic site on the location of the former general store. An annual picnic is also held on the site on the second Sunday of every June.