Description of Historic Place
The Maxime Albert Complex is located on a raised lot in relation to the road, at the corner of Centrale Street and Albert Street in the Village of Saint-Hilaire. Two buildings and a monument are situated on this property. In the foreground is a house built in 1895; in the back, an older house built in 1865. For the 400th anniversary of Acadia, a monument was erected at this site in 2004, to recognize the Acadian pioneers of Saint-Hilaire.
The Maxime Albert Complex is designated a Local Historic Place for its identifying value in the community, its association with the former residents and its architecture.
The Maxime Albert Complex is recognized as an important site for the liquor trade during Prohibition in the 1920s-1930s. A local homemade alcohol called “bagosse” was produced in the house built in 1865. Its vernacular architecture reflects the 'pièce sur pièce' construction method of that time period.
The 1895 house was Maxime Albert’s family residence, and is a good example of the Maritime vernacular architecture of the period. Maxime Albert would have been the head of an important bootlegging network. At that time, he would have even traded with well-known personalities like Al Capone and Sam Bronfman. A very influential businessman, Maxime Albert was very generous to his community. He donated land for the construction of the rectory and would have contributed financially to the construction of the village church.
This house represents the unusual history of the Village of Saint-Hilaire. It is a true symbol of the golden age of its community. In 1979, the municipality of Saint-Hilaire acquired the premises in order to preserve them. Renovations were done in 1985, respecting period construction practices. The Maxime Albert Complex hosted municipal meetings in the 1980's. To make the most of the investment, the buildings have now been made into two rental properties.
The Maxime Albert Complex property was chosen as the location to erect a monument during the 400th year celebration of Acadia in 2004, in memory of the pioneers of Saint-Hilaire.
Source: Madawaska Planning Commission, Register of Historic Places, File: 1.1 – Maxime Albert Complex
The character-defining elements that describe the Maxime Albert Complex include:
- location on raised grounds;
- monument from the 400th anniversary of Acadia, made of grey stone, two metres high;
- tunnel used for bootlegging linking the two buildings.
The character-defining elements that describe the house built in 1865 include:
- one-and-a-half storey rectangular massing;
- 'pièce sur pièce' construction from that period;
- full walls, made of pine, 10 centimetres thick and 20 centimetres wide;
- stone foundations;
- gable roof;
- wood shingle siding with corner boards.
The character-defining elements that describe the house built in 1895 include:
- one-and-a-half storey asymmetrical massing;
- gable roof;
- central gabled dormers with returned eaves;
- symmetry of rectangular windows;
- veranda along entire front façade.