Mauvide-Genest Manor National Historic Site of Canada
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Mauvide-Genest Manor National Historic Site of Canada is located on the south coast of l’Île d’Orléans at 1451 chemin Royal in the municipality of Saint-Jean. Its site is sub-divided by the chemin Royal which circumnavigates the island. This road separates the smaller southern portion near the St. Lawrence River from the main northern portion between the road and a small wooded hill, on which a substantial 18th-century stone manor house is located. There are several later outbuildings on both segments of the property. Official recognition refers to the house and its legal lot.
Mauvide-Genest Manor was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1994 because:
- it is a particularly distinguished example of a mid 18th-century seigneurial manor in a rural setting; and,
- closely associated with the nationally significant "les anciennes seigneuries de l'Île d'Orléans", it is witness to the importance of the seigneurial system under the French Regime.
The heritage value of Mauvide-Genest Manor lies in the substantial 18th-century rural form, materials and setting of its residence, and in its illustration of land subdivisions of the French Regime seigneurial system. Although a later owner was likely responsible, both the land and the manor house appear have been gentrified during the 18th century. Through its size, proximity to the St. Lawrence River and a clear running stream, as well as its access to an established woodlot, the property displays all the characteristics of a rural seigneury along the St. Lawrence.
Originally part of the seigneurie of l’Île d’Orléans, the Mauvide-Genest Manor property was created from an estate owned by Charles Genest. His grandson Jean Mauvide acquired part of the property in 1734, adding the southwest portion of the present property in 1752. When the residence was constructed, its façade was oriented towards the south where it overlooked a garden and the river. The gentrification of the property and the manor in the 18th-century, however, seems to have been completed by a subsequent owner.
Although the manor complex lacks the substantial barn that typically separated such houses from an established road, the Mauvide-Genest Manor is a substantial residence that makes an important contribution to the historic ambience of l’Île d’Orléans.
Sources: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, July 1994, June 1995.
Key elements contributing to the heritage value of the site include:
- its location on l’Île d’Orleans near the St. Lawrence River;
- the siting of the house on a rise;
- the estate consisting of the main house and outbuildings set within a rural landscape;
- the substantial two-storey rectangular massing of the manor’s main block under a steeply hipped roof broken by small dormer windows and two large chimneys;
- the extension of the main block with a one-and-a-half-storey rear kitchen and a single-storey side chapel;
- the nine-bay façade with regularly spaced wooden casement windows and two entry doors;
- the stone and timber vernacular construction;
- the surviving original finishes and craftsmanship;
- the presence of surviving 18th-century interior furnishings and fittings;
- evidence of the original interior layout “en enfilade”;
- evidence of archaeological remains of earlier buildings;
- the presence of a clear stream running through the property;
- the presence of a sheltering wooded hill behind the manor proper;
- the alignment of long narrow fields running back from the river;
- the viewscapes from the site to the St. Lawrence River.
Government of Canada
Historic Sites and Monuments Act
National Historic Site of Canada
1752/01/01 to 1752/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Extraction and Production
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
Function - Category and Type
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Québec.
Cross-Reference to Collection