Restoration of Sir John Johnson Family Vault
Summer 2007 Update
Following the acquisition by CIME (Centre d’Interpretation du Milieu Ecologique du Haut Richelieu) from Marie Deschenes of the property upon which the Johnson Family Vault is located, a meeting was arranged with the new proprietors at the site on November 13, 2006. The meeting was held in CIME’s offices in the former Deschenes residence. CIME, owner of the top portion of Mont Saint-Grégoire since 1994, is receptive to plans to protect, preserve and restore the Vault. The Société de restauration du Patrimoine Johnson was asked to prepare a brochure on the importance of the Johnson Family and the occupancy of the seigniorial manor house, windmill and vault on the site. It is clearly recognized that common values are shared by the two organizations. CIME has maintained, and exploits for visitors, a network of interpretive trails that closely mirrors the pattern used by the Johnson family.
While the details of a formal agreement have yet to be concluded, there is a general agreement that the entry to the site will be at 16 Chemin du Sous-Bois in Saint Grégoire, Quebec, the road that leads to the main parking lot where the point of departure for access to the vault will be located. A plan with various alternatives is now under consideration. When settled, it will be presented to CIME for further discussion.
The Société de restauration du patrimoine Johnson hopes to secure the appropriate rights and the financial support to permit the Sir John Johnson Burial Vault to be protected, restored and subsequently preserved. Likewise, the Société will endeavour to obtain the approvals necessary to reintegrate and return the Johnson Family remains to their rightful resting place. Once these objectives are achieved, a rededication ceremony can be anticipated.
To date, the restoration project has received $17,327.49. $14,140.00 has been spent leaving a reserve of $3,187.49
Sir John Johnson Centennial Branch Restoration Funds received donations from Dominion UELAC, Heritage Branch UELAC, Sir John Johnson Centennial Branch, Glengary Historical Society, and individual donations from Ardice Buchanan, Murray Barkley, Stanley Emrick, Blanche Howard, Cecil Moore, David Smith, Arthur Smith, Vivian Walker, and Robert and Maura Wilkins.
La Société d’histoire du Haut-Richelieu received donations from the Quebec Minister of Culture and Communications; Provincial deputy, M. Le Hir; La Société d’histoire du Haut-Richelieu; individual donations from Marjorie Curtis; Tim Dunn; Warren Hill; Peter Kilburn; W. B. Tower; and Gavin Watt, KRRNY.
Both the Sir John Johnson Centennial Branch of the UELAC and la Société d’histoire du Haut-Richelieu are prepared to receive donations to assist in the restoration. Tax receipts will be available. For donations to SJJCB, please make the cheque out to UELAC and indicate that it is for the Sir John Johnson Burial Vault restoration.
-- Adelaide Lanktree, Treasurer
22 July 2007