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Butte à Pétard

540 Centrale Street, Memramcook, New Brunswick, E4K, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2006/11/20

Butte à Pétard as seen from Centrale Street with the Municipal Building to the far left and the former Little Sisters Convent to the right, where the Saint-Thomas seminary was located in 1854.; Gérard LeBlanc
Photo of Butte à Pétard
Aerial view of a portion of Butte à Pétard: Municipal Building to the left (south side); former Littles Sisters Convent, site of the first collège built in Memramcook.; Memramcook Valley Historical Society
Aerial photo of Butte à Pétard
Butte à Pétard - Montage illustrating some of the elements of Butte à Pétard today; Memramcook Valley Historical Society
Contemporary elements of Butte à Pétard

Other Name(s)

Butte à Pétard
Les Grandes Buttes
La butte du collège

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/03/01

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Butte à Pétard is the old name of a hill located in the area of the former village of Saint-Joseph, on Centrale Street in Memramcook.

Heritage Value

Butte à Pétard is designated a Local Historic Place in highlighting the settlement of Acadians in Memramcook before the Deportation and their subsequent return to the same region. The site is also associated with the founding of the first college in Memramcook.

Around 1730, a few Acadian families, including Pierre Cyr’s, moved into the Grandes Buttes area on the west side of the Memramcook River. Following some dissension, one of the Cyr sons was given the nickname Pétard [Troublemaker], and the region soon became known as Butte à Pétard. In 1770, after the Deportation and during the resettlement of Memramcook, a group of Acadian families settled near Butte à Pétard. The village later took the name Village-des-Piau, after the nickname given to the family of Pierre Belliveau, but the name of the hill was never forgotten and became part of history.

The heritage value of Butte à Pétard is enhanced by the fact that the Saint-Thomas seminary, the first college in Memramcook, which was established in 1854 by Father Lafrance, was built on Butte à Pétard and that the municipal building of today’s village of Memramcook is located right on the side of Butte à Pétard.

Butte à Pétard is also recognized for its interpretative values. Several commemorative monuments, plaques and interpretative panels acknowledge the historical significance of the site. These include a plaque recognizing the former Village-des-Piau, a commemorative panel with respect to the first Acadian National Convention held at Collège Saint-Joseph in 1881, a commemorative panel dedicated to the Butte à Pétard itself, as well as a monument and interpretative panel concerning Mother Marie-Léonie. Mother Marie-Léonie was the founder of the Little Sisters of the Holy Family at Collège Saint-Joseph in 1874, one of the first Acadian religious community organizations. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1984 in Montreal, which involved the first beatification ceremony performed on North American soil.

Source: Village of Memramcook, Butte à Pétard Site File

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements that describe Butte à Pétard include:
- central location in the former village of Saint-Joseph;
- location of the Village of Memramcook Municipal Building;
- commemorative monument and descriptive panel concerning Mother Marie-Léonie, founder of Little Sisters of the Holy Family;
- Village-des-Piau commemorative plaque;
- commemorative panel of the Memramcook heritage ecomuseum highlighting the Acadian National Convention of 1881;
- commemorative panel of the Memramcook heritage ecomuseum highlighting Butte à Pétard.



New Brunswick

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (NB)

Recognition Statute

Local Historic Places Program

Recognition Type

Municipal Register of Local Historic Places

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1770/01/01 to 1770/01/01
1854/01/01 to 1854/01/01
1874/01/01 to 1874/01/01
1881/01/01 to 1881/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Building Social and Community Life
Religious Institutions
Building Social and Community Life
Community Organizations
Peopling the Land
Building Social and Community Life
Education and Social Well-Being

Function - Category and Type


Historic or Interpretive Site
Town or City Hall



Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Village of Memramcook Municipal Building

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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