Jour de Noël

Jour de Noël. Dehors une fine neige tombe. Elle est enfin arrivée. On l’espérait. Un Noël sans neige, ce n’est pas vraiment un Noël. Peu à peu, elle couvre le sol de sa blancheur. Dans un coin de la pièce, le sapin, qui vient d’être cueilli, semble trop grand pour la pièce. Et il est…

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The Day I Met Christine Ferber, the “Jam Fairy”

One Word: Memorable. If you haven’t heard of Christine Ferber, just google her name and you’ll quickly realize that she is a queen… the “French queen of jam making” or the “Jam Fairy” as her friends call her! She was even featured by the New York Times in this fascinating article “From Alsace, Sweet Love…

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Road Trip to the Origins of Camembert

A misty morning in Normandy. Green pastures and Normandy black and white cows grazing. To my surprise, the GPS is taking me on a country road which is so narrow that I am not sure what happens if a car comes in the other direction! The landscape is simply magical and my only regret is…

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One Ocean, Two Continents, 1,000 Connections

Brittany and French America: the two things I am passionate about. Born and raised in France, a proud “Brittany girl” and have lived in Quebec and North-East USA which used to be part of New France, I started to get very interested in the early colonial history of this region a few years ago. This…

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Newfoundland – “Terre aux Bretons”

I have to come to France to learn more about 15th century expeditions to North-America than I have while living in Canada or the US. I knew that Bretons and Basques (respectively people from Brittany, France and from the region between France and Spain) had been fishing and exploring the seawaters of Newfoundland and the…

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Brittany Wooden Shoes

I love playing history detective. It always takes you to places you could not expect! This time it starts with the story of an ordinary pair of painted Brittany wooden shoes seen at the Vermont Antique Show last week, and ends with Paul Gauguin’s carved wooden shoes which sold this week for nothing less than…

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Engraved Powder Horns – Part 4

The enlarged images can be viewed in a slideshow by clicking the first image and then clicking the “next” button. See the biography of the watercolorist Rufus Alexander Grider after the images. A few months ago an old article on powder horns alerted me to the work of the watercolorist Rufus Alexander Grider. He must…

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Lake Champlain… French?

Are you surprised by the question? Well, actually Lake Champlain was part of New France for more than 150 years, from 1609 to 1759. But that part of its history tends to be forgotten. And it makes sense why. “Losers” are often forgotten in history, and definitely the presence of French people in this region…

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Lake Champlain’s Old Maps

I have a particular interest for old maps from the Lake Champlain Region, as I research the part of its history when it was part of New France. That explains that I am often on line searching for additional maps of the region. In my quest I recently discovered this map in a Wikipedia article….

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