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Ethan Allen House

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By Dick Nieuwendyk – mtltimes.ca

 

Ethan Allen house at its original location on Notre Dame East - 1950s
Ethan Allen house at its original location on Notre Dame East – 1950s

Ethan Allen was a farmer, businessman, land speculator, American Revolutionary War patriot, hero, and politician, best known as one of the founders of the U.S. State of Vermont, and for the capture of Fort Ticonderoga early in the American Revolutionary War along with Benedict Arnold.

On Sept. 4, 1775, an American army under Brig.General Richard Montgomery crossed the border south of Montreal. Its aim: to recruit Canadians into the revolt against British rule that was breaking out in the Thirteen Colonies.

Ethan Allen house in 2015, currently a daycare centre at 201 avenue Mercier (Photo: Dick Nieuwendyk)
Ethan Allen house in 2015, currently a daycare centre at 201 avenue Mercier
(Photo: Dick Nieuwendyk)

Montgomery, hoping to capture an important fort at St. Jean and from there take Montreal, sent Colonel Ethan Allen and Major John Brown ahead with separate detachments to recruit and meet Canadian volunteers and plan an attack on Montreal. Quebec had been British for little more than a decade. Allen and Brown did manage to recruit some Canadians and on September 24, during the night, Ethan Allen, with 110 men, crossed the St. Lawrence River from Longueuil. Failing to meet up with Major Brown, who was to cross from La Prairie, Allen was left to fend for himself. Unable to cross the river back to Longueuil, Allen took up a defensive position in Longue-Pointe, a few miles from the town.

 

Colonel Ethan Allen
Colonel Ethan Allen

Most of the Canadian recruits and some Indians fled when the first British shots were fired, but Allen led his ever-diminishing army on a fighting retreat for over a mile. In the end, reduced to 31 men, Allen surrendered to the British, who took him and his men prisoner and chained them up in a small house, where Allen was forced to sign his Montreal defeat.

This house was built around 1740 by Jacques Picard located at 230 Notre Dame East. In the late 60s the house was owned by the Canadian General Transport Company/CGTX, who donated the building to the City of Montreal, with a condition that it be dismantled and moved elsewhere before the end of 1969, or it would be demolished.

 

In 1970 the house was transported a few miles east to Honoré-Mercier Park and rebuilt at 201 Avenue Mercier, where it is now home to the “Centre de la petite enfance Becassine”, a daycare centre for 40 children from 18 months to 5 years old.

 

Source: Ethan Allen Homestead.org /  Coolopolis / Wikipedia

 

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