By Marjorie Mikasen and Mark Griep, 2001
James Snowdon Sr. purchased 60 acres on the island of Montreal in 1824 from Pierre Jerome Hurtebrie and his wife Michel Anchange Bonthellier. Initially, it was planted speculatively as an apple orchard. Three of Snowdon's sons; James Snowdon Jr., William Comrie Snowdon, and John James Snowdon, further developed this land. In 1897, John Snowdon donated part of his family's original purchase to the Montreal Park and Island Railway streetcar line to serve as Snowdon Junction. In later years, the surrounding area became known as Montreal's Snowdon District.
James Snowdon Sr. was born in 1791 in Kennet, Clackmannanshire, Scotland. Like his father and grandfather before him, he became the Superintendent of Lord Elgin¹s coalmines. In 1819, he brought his mother Janet, son Joseph Snowdon, and three of his siblings to Petite Brulee, just north of St. Eustache. There, he and his brother William Snowdon operated a general store.
In 1833, James Snowdon Sr. married Jane Wellsteed (1803 - 1865), daughter of John Wellsteed and Mary White of Dorchester, England. They had four children: John James Snowdon (1834 - c1905); William Comrie Snowdon (1834 - 1919); James John Snowdon (1837 - 1910); Jane Gould Snowdon (1840 - 1917).
One of the major battles of the 1837 Rebellion was fought in St. Eustache. While James Snowdon Sr. and his son Joseph Snowdon fought, the family fled to Montreal. After the Rebellion, the family lived on a farm on what is today Snowdon Avenue in the Cote St. Luc parish.
Comrie Snowdon and James Snowdon Jr.
were coal and wood merchants, operating the Snowdon
& Brother business located at 156 Mountain Street in Montreal.
Proficient horsemen and tall in stature, these two brothers were the two
troops of cavalry that escorted H. R. H. The Prince
of Wales in the ceremonies opening the Victoria
Bridge in 1860.
*Researching James Snowdon Sr. ........ Marjorie Mikasen (ggggranddaughter)