Chiasson Farm

Joseph Chiasson’s house was built about 1890. It was built shortly after the birth of Joseph’s first daughter, Célestine. This vernacular one-and-a-half storey house presents itself, with its gabled dormer-windows on the front side and its summer kitchen, the reflection of the classic cottage influence on residential construction at the end of the 19th century in the rural New Brunswick landscape.


Contrary to 19th century Acadian houses, the indoor walls of the Chiasson house are finished in painted paneling. In the kitchen, an indoor water pump may be observed, this feature being more and more common in Acadian homes in the years 1890-1930.



As for the furniture, it has greatly evolved since the last century. From the late 19th century and especially from the early 20th century, Acadians are able to purchase industry-made furniture from outside New Brunswick. In addition, Acadians, being devout Catholics, hang pious images and place statues of the Virgin Mary and of the Sacred Heart of Jesus as decorations for their homes and to show their attachment to religion.

Dwelling on the life of Joseph Chiasson, we find it to be quite eventful. Joseph, born in Lamèque in 1866, is the son of Abbé Chiasson. The latter leaves Lamèque Island along with many inhabitants of the island with father Louis Gagnon in order to establish the colony of Saint-Isidore. Joseph, being young at the time, comes along with his father et the rest of the family. In 1888 he marries Clothilde Parisé, who unfortunately dies in 1902 and a year later, Joseph takes as his second wife Odile Mallais of Saint-Isidore. All together, Joseph had 18 children.

Joseph was a farmer; he tilled his land in the summer and worked in logging camps in the winter. He could also be employed in the sawmills, notably for David Haché. Before his death in 1920, Joseph owned cows, an ox, a dozen sheep, chickens and pigs. Like most farmers, he grew potatoes, turnips, carrots, beets, oats, buckwheat and flax.
 

On April 21, 1920, in Saint-Isidore, Joseph died of the Spanish flu. He left all his possessions to his wife Odile. Odile, now a widow, sent six of her children to live with her brother Barney Mallais. Abbé, 30 years old and still a bachelor due to a lame leg, stayed home with his mother and his brother Albert, who was 14. 

However, Odile left for Montreal later in 1920 probably to hire out as a maid. She comes back to Saint-Isidore in 1924 when Albert tries his best to support himself and his brother by working in logging camps in the winter and tilling the soil in the summer. Upon Odile’s return from Montreal, some of her children come back to live with their mother. In 1925, Odile remarries with Joseph McGraw, but no children were born from this marriage.


Odile died in 1933 at 50 years of age. In her will, she leaves her husband Charles McGraw two acres of land in Saint-Isidore and to her son Richard Chiasson the house, the barns and other outbuildings. She also asks Richard to care after his stepfather Charles McGraw until he remarries or becomes unpleasant.

Specifics:

  • Open frame with vertical posts;
  • Twin body construction, the main body and the summer kitchen;
  • The double slope roof;
  • The two dormer windows in front;
  • The symmetry in the placing of doors and windows;
  • The two entrances on the front wall;
  • The obliquely placed window on the main body between the main roof and the roof of the summer kitchen;
  • The integrity of the interior with its partitions.

Théodore Lanteigne barn
Specifics:

  • Symmetry on the front openings

André V. Landry henhouse
Specifics:

  • Numorous windows on front wall
  • Entrance door on lateral wall
  • Small slope of roof