A row of poplars borders the field. It is in Montérégie, rang de la Grande-Barbue. “This name [Bearded] designates a fish and not a woman,” said the eighth owner of the “Four Places mill”, smiling, which he himself gave to the special property he had lived in for 36 years.
Special because there are two houses, an old sugar shack, many gardens on this estate and because the main residence houses an old mill and a waterfall.
Farmers in the municipalities of Saint-Césaire, Sainte-Angèle-de-Monnoir, L’Ange-Gardien and “probably Saint-Paul-d’Abbotsford” converged at the water mill in 1829 to grind their wheat grains. The Barbue River current spun a large bucket wheel. The mechanism remained in place in the old factory, creating an unusual sculpture in the entrance hall of the main house (classified as a historic monument in 2009).
The dilapidated factory had no roof when the owner took possession of it, at the same time as the former miller’s house (adjoining). “I’m like a smuggler,” he says, propped up in a white rattan armchair matched with peonies, magnolias, lilies, lupins, Japanese astilbes; a white garden grows between the old building and an arbor.
This artist who works in the field of television had improvised as an entrepreneur in 1976 “because it was very important to preserve the heritage”.
He had started by adding a roof to the factory. “The miller’s house was habitable, but it had to be redone. It was the start of the adventure. ”
He had to create or restore the windows with the help of Tessier et Frère, a local company. “I did not have money. When I was shooting an advertisement, I added a door and a window! ”
After the roof and the openings, the handyman actor set out to put up the towers for the fireplaces – there is one on each floor – and to redo the floors. Pine planks were laid in the large dining room before being fixed to the floor some twelve months later, he says. To give the wood time to “work”. Stones were selected and “transported by barouette” from the Barbue river bed to the house to form certain floors and walls, including that erected near the falls. “We had to isolate the waterfall from the rest of the house.”
Waterfall and gardens
A pipe contains the flow of water upstream of the river and routes it, under the lawn of the backyard, to the old mill wheel: it’s the fall. The protruding gargoyle can be seen through a tile window on the ground floor. The water runs its course under the parking alley to reach the river which surrounds part of the estate.
“The fall freezes in winter, but not completely.”
It is almost a work of art, this property. A “work-in-progress” having required hours of craft work, inside and out.
A well surrounded by perennials is located far from the main house. Closer, there is a vegetable patch. It is surrounded by an old sugar shack (moved here) and a shed. There also rises the discreet sound of Barbue. One would imagine a painter setting up his easel under the foliage of elms that remained standing after the memorable episode of ice.
The land once had a chicken coop. The gardener’s house is on the site of the old chicken coop and it is not left out in terms of landscaping. From the floor of this country house, the gaze embraces a large swimming pool and a summer pavilion housing a kitchen. A cedar hedge flanks this intimate courtyard. Other large trees complete the landscape.
That’s not all. There is a pond somewhere between the two residences.
The rocky ground did not prevent a weeping willow from deploying near the pond. The owner had cut it from a neighbor’s tree a few years after settling here. His contracts have taken him to California for over a year in a row. “I never rented the house,” he says. No doubt he wanted to preserve this corner of paradise heated with wood, electricity … and the affection of the theater people who frequented it.
“I did my field trip,” concludes the beautiful. Well known to the over 40s, he plans to burn the boards on Broadway, but would not want to attract the curious to his field, only serious buyers.
The property in brief
Asking price: $ 1,899,000
Year of construction of the main residence: 1829
Number of rooms: 12 including 4 bedrooms + 2 bathrooms
Year of construction of the other residence (2 bedrooms): 1980
Includes two antique ranges, two-deck stove, two built-in ovens, two dishwashers, two hotplates, two central vacuums, halogen spots, alarm system.