QAHN's 2024 Heritage Talks presents: "John Buzzell’s Diary: A year in a life in Cherry River, Orford Township, 1916-1917," with Jane Jenson

Cherry River c. 1900. Photo: Matthew Farfan, The Eastern Townships: In town and village, Les éditions GID, 2006
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Numerous descendants of Daniel Taylor Buzzell and Mary Jane Fuller’s large family populated Cherry River in Orford Township from the 1860s on. They participated in and shaped its agro- forestry economy into the 20th century. Their youngest son was John Buzzell (b. 1850), a carpenter and joiner, as well as a farmer throughout his working life. On March 1st 1916, he opened his notebook and began to keep a diary of his daily life; an original document generously offered to the Société d’histoire du Canton d’Orford (SHCO) by his great-grandson Wallace Moffat. This talk locates John Buzzell’s life in the history of Cherry River and Magog as well as discussing the advantages and limitations of using such diaries for research on social life in the past.

Jane Jenson has been on the executive of the Société d’histoire du Canton d’Orford – SHCO ( since its creation in 2019. A professeure émérite of Political Science at the Université de Montréal, in her retirement she turned to research on the social history of Canton d’Orford and the Eastern Townships more generally. Her publications about 19th century Orford and soldiers from the Townships who fought in the American Civil War have appeared in Quebec Heritage News, the Canadian Historical Review, and Histoire sociale / Social History. In 2023, she was awarded a Prix du Québec - the prix Léon-Gérin, for an outstanding career in the social sciences.

To view the complete 2024 Heritage Talks program, click here:

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