Maison Le Ber-Le Moyne at the time Marguerite Chorel moved in
Marguerite Chorel

Marguerite Chorel de Saint-Romain was the daughter of Sieur François Chorel de Saint-Romain dit Dorvilliers and Marie-Anne Aubuchon. Neither the place nor the exact date of her birth is known, but records show that she was 25 years old in 1695, when she married a French officer named Guillaume de Lorimier. Guillaume fathered four children with her, thus becoming the ancestor of all de Lorimiers in North America.


For her dowry, Marguerite’s parents provided a stone house with surrounding land at Lachine. The house had been built as a trading post, and François Guillemot dit Lalande had briefly run an inn there. But it had stood empty since the Lachine massacre, in 1689.

Needless to say, the building offered few amenities: an earthen floor, a ladder in place of stairs, and dirt everywhere. Before moving in, Marguerite had a solid floor installed, little knowing that archaeologists would pry it up three centuries later and find what, to their eyes, were all sorts of treasures.

Her life was not always easy – only two of her children reached adulthood and Guillaume died in 1709 – but the most interesting part began when she was widowed. Due to the frequent absences of her soldier husband, she had learned to run the farm, and, until her death in 1736, she grew the business and made it prosper to ensure the future of her children and grandchildren. The house stayed in the de Lorimier family until the early years of the British regime.

Then it passed into other hands as Lachine saw steady change: the canal dug nearby, the advent of steamboats, the railway, the early industries, the first summer homes. The old stone house adapted … and survived. The successive owners – the Irish innkeeper Hugh Heney, the Scottish Grant brothers, McDonald the apothecary, retired Colonel Wilgress, the Currie family – remodeled the house to suit their tastes and needs, but they all no doubt appreciated it as much as Marguerite Chorel did.