Come on - it's just gorgeous really
Here's what Wikipedia has to say
Lake Mégantic (French: Lac Mégantic) is a waterbody in Québec, located in theAppalachian Mountains near the U.S. border. It is a source of the Chaudière River which drains into the St Lawrence River at Québec City. The name Mégantic means 'where the fish gather' in the Abénaquis language. The lake has a surface area of 26.4 km2(10.2 sq mi) with several villages and small towns on its shores, including Lac-Mégantic,Frontenac, Marston, and Piopolis. It is part of Le Granit Regional County Municipality, a rural region where forestry and granite extraction are important activities.
That's the lake - but there's a town - the town of Lac Megantic ( Lake Megantic ) that surrounds this lake
AND here's what I have to say about it
It's a small sleepy town...............the kind of town that is fast disappearing from the North American continent - the kind of town we don't think about on a day to day basis actually - but find deep comfort knowing is still around. The kind of town where we pack up a lunch and spend some time driving to get to.
The kind of town - where every time you visit - every single time - you look wistfully around and think to yourself " what a life it must be to live here "
The kind of town - if you're in your 50's reminds you of days spent at the beach as a little girl - not the glorified - plasticified - hygenic - beaches of today - but real beaches - where you came home dirty and full of joy - simple beaches - for simple times - cut out from niches hidden behind tall pine trees whose scent mingled with hot dogs and egg or bologna sandwiches - and Koolaid................
Where the only sounds you heard were children squealing and parents laughing and water splashing - maybe a radio playing in the back ground and flip flops flapping on running small feet............
where homes had wooden fences and tons of flowers and the grass was green -
Where we picked wild flowers and put them in glass coke bottles filled with lake water to bring home to the city and where our Mothers proudly displayed them on formica kitchen tables...............
Simple times -
The region's economy in its early days was propelled by the logging industry due to the vast swaths of old-growth forests. Many related industries operated in the region including lumber (Nantais Mill), the furniture industry and the pulp and paper industry. Lake Mégantic was used for log floating, with a steamboat used to tow the logs to the sawmill. The first steamboat in the region, named the "Lena", was built by George Flint in 1881.
At the time of the industrial revolution, rural and working classes made up the majority of Mégantic's population. In 1907, the daily wage for a labourer was around C$1 to C$1.50. The working class lived in the northern district of the city, while those in liberal professions, as well as store clerks and employees of financial institutions lived in the central part of the city (downtown).
The first bank branch in the town was the People's Bank of Halifax, which opened in December 1893. The first manager of the bank, which was later acquired by Bank of Montreal, was Aitkens Cookshire. The original building, which was built in 1905, following the acquisition of the People's Bank of Halifax still exists today.
A more recent industry is tourism, which attracts people from across Quebec and the Northeastern United States. The most popular activities for tourists are hunting and fishing.
Somehow - despite progress - despite people wanting to travel to more exotic places - Lac Megantic has been able to hold on to it's charm - it's like stepping back in time when you get out of your car and look around.
Until last week - when it oh so sadly stepped into a modern day catastophe....................decimating the core of the town in minutes
The Lac-Mégantic derailment occurred at approximately 01:15 EDT, on July 6, 2013, when an unattended 73-car freight train carrying crude oil ran away and derailed, as a consequence of which multiple tank cars caught fire and exploded. Police have stated that twenty people have been confirmed dead and at least thirty more are missing and presumed dead in Canada's deadliest rail disaster since the St-Hilaire train disaster in 1864. The police have launched a criminal investigation. More than 30 buildings in the town's centre were destroyed.
During the night - while the town's young were at a Cafe / Bar - enjoying the summer night - getting together with friends - listening to music - a typical lazy small town night - where everyone knew everyone - this was about to crash into their world...................and decimate the town - including the night club they were sitting in.
Before last weekend, most Quebecers had never heard of the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway, the company at the centre of the Lac-Mégantic disaster.
In a country with a rich rail history dating back to the 1800s, it’s a relative newcomer on the scene, in existence since only 2003.
And it isn’t actually Canadian.
The company is based in Hermon, Me., and the enterprise with which it’s affiliated, Rail World Inc., is a Chicago-based rail management and investment company.
According to the MMAR website, the company has about two dozen locomotives, 170 employees and 800 kilometres of track, including the ill-fated stretch from Brownville Junction, Me., to Lennoxville, sold by Canadian rail heavyweight Canadian Pacific in the mid-1990s.
In comparison, Canadian National has 35,400 route kilometres of track and 22,000 employees, while CP has 23,600 kilometres of track and 16,100 employees.
MMAR says it has the shortest, most direct traffic link between northern Maine, Saint John, N.B., and Montreal, and also serves customers in Vermont.
Key words here...............
"Before last weekend, most Quebecers had never heard of the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway, the company at the centre of the Lac-Mégantic disaster. "
Well I'm a Quebecer who wishes I still hadn't.......................
My heart is immeasurably broken for my brothers and sister of Quebec.
28 dead - 30 still unaccounted for
Life has been irrevocably changed forever......................
Prayers - donations - clothing - help of any kind is desperately needed.......you can help by clicking HERE
Some of these images were taken without asking for permission - although I did source each one individually - in light of this tragedy I hope everyone understands if I " borrowed " them in hopes of getting the word out about this heartbreaking event. If even one donation comes out of this post, then your image will have been worth a thousand words,
And I thank you for that - from the bottom of my heart.