By: Dick Nieuwendyk – mtltimes.ca
The property we know today as 900 Lakeshore Drive in Dorval sits of the site of the mission of Gentilly and Fort La Présentation, built by the Sulpicians about 1666, on land originally owned by Jacques Morin, a farmer who was killed during the Lachine Massacre in 1689.
In the mid 1800s it became property of Benjamin Legault dit Deslauriers, a farmer, who, about 1859, built a stone house on the site. In 1872, Alexis Brunet, a lawyer bought the Benjamin Legault dit Deslauriers’ farm, and in turn, sold it to Henry Esson Murray, a wealthy Montreal merchant, and general manager of the Canada Steamship Company.
Mr. Murray had a large house built on the property, which he named “Beau Rivage”, which means “Beautiful Shores”, appropriate for the location it was built on, overlooking Lake St. Louis. In 1892, Henry Murray became an elected Dorval councillor under the
administration of Mayor Désiré Girouard, and was re-elected in 1893 under the administration of Mayor James B. Allan.
In the late 1920, the building was owned by Frederick Barlow and his family, who made several renovations to the home. In 1949, Donald Partridge bought “Beau Rivage”. He and his wife, both being artists, restored the house and decorated it with their extensive
collection of paintings, antiques and shells.
Old stone foundations of an earlier building have been found in the basement of the house. It is believed that these could have been part of a stone manor, known to have stood within the palisaded Fort de La Présentation, the birthplace of the City of Dorval.
Source: “Lake St. Louis, Old and New” by Désiré Girouard / Dorval Historical Society /
André Duval “Dorval 300 years of history”