The Center. Shawville, Quebec.

Population: 1,587 (2016)

History? The earliest history remains obscured in the mists of time.


But, the town is still tied to its agricultural heritage, with farming being the reason for the town. Local lore says that Thomas Hodgins, John Dale, and his wife Elizabeth has set out in 1821 to search for new land to settle… They paddled up the river landing at a small bay some forty miles up river.

They fought through thick bush, insects and swamp until they reached a clearing where a beautiful spring bubbled out of the ground. This is where the new farms would begin.

Known originally as ‘The Center’, the municipality of Shawville was actually the small town of Clarendon which THRIVED thanks to the farming community.


By the 1870s, the Center had grown enough to become a municipality, which on January 12, 1873 it was proclaimed Shawville, after one of the most prosperous families: Shaws.

This guy:

James Shaw, from


Also, he donated some land to the municipality, so that helps. Fun fact: Shawville was almost named “Daggville” after the name of a pioneer family.

So began Shawville. What’s happened since then?

  • James Hodgins built a grist and sawmill in 1858 at Mill Dam Park (now a tourist spot), which served the town until 1896 when it burned to the ground. Ruins of the dam can still be seen.
  •  In winter 1886, completion of the Pontiac and Pacific Junction Railway sparked the largest party in the village’s history.
  • In 1995, Shawville opened its’ Historical Walking Tour, which takes tourists around the village to see the historic sites.

Of course, we cannot NOT mention the longstanding Shawville Fair, the largest event in Pontiac that is held each year over the Labour Day weekend. Fun fact: Farmers first met on the original land donated by James Shaw in 1856 to form the Agricultural Society… There was no building, no media or show ring, just a large pine stump. Now,  the fair can draw upwards of 30,0000 people over the weekend. Country stars like Meghan Patrick, Hunter Brothers, Brett Kissell and more!


Oh, and those springs we talked about earlier that were discovered in early settlement? They still supply the town of Shawville with it’s drinking water to this day.

Shawville, we look forward to seeing more of you in the future!


Filed under: #ThisIsMyTown, Shawville, This Is My Town