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Lemieux

Introduction

Town site photo

The Lemieux Cemetery

©Copyright: Jeri Danyleyko

Lemieux was a small milling and farming village, located in eastern Ontario near Ottawa. It was first settled around 1850. A post office was eventually opened in 1875. It was quickly followed by saw, flour and later planing mills.

At its height Lemieux boasted a population of around 75. It contained a hotel, blacksmith shop, carpenter, school, and of course a Roman Catholic church with a large cemetery. The church was the focal point of the community.

Life in Lemieux carried on pretty normally until 1989 when the South Nation Conservation Authority (SNRCA) made the shocking discovery that Lemieux was built on a rare subsurface called "Champlain Sea Clays" or "Leda Clay." During periods of heavy rain, the soil could turn to mush if fully saturated. Eighteen years earlier, 31 people lost their lives in the province of Quebec due to a mudslide that occurred under similar conditions. Authorities were determined to prevent a repeat of that tragedy.

Lemieux was officially abandoned in 1991 and none too soon. In 1993 the town's former main street suddenly slipped away, leaving a crater 680 metres long and 320 metres wide. Since then the SNRCA has taken measures to stabilize the soil and prevent further erosion.

Although all of Lemieux's buildings were either relocated or demolished, the cemetery has been preserved and remains open to visitors.