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History of Zenon Park

History Book

The Zenon Park History Books have arrived. If you have pre-ordered your history book, please stop by the Village Office to pick it up. There are a limited number of history books still for sale. The price is $80 each and they are available at the Village Office.

Incorporation

In 1910, the first settlers of French descent immigrated to Zenon Park. With the help of financial incentives from the Federal Government and a vast propaganda from Father Bérubé, describing the land as fertile and where wild game was plentiful, the immigrants began to move westward. They came from the North Central United States and Québec.

The settlers cleared the land and began building homesteads. At this time, the economy was dependent on two main resources. The settlers were involved in agriculture during the summer months and the lumber industry during the winter months.

Zenon Park was officially named in 1913 and incorporated in 1941.

As this tiny village grew, a wide range of services came into operation:

  • the first school was established in 1910,
  • the first church was erected in 1913,
  • the first rural telephone was installed in 1925,
  • the first railroad track was constructed in 1929, and
  • the first rural electrification reached Zenon Park in 1935.

Commercially, Zenon Park has done well since its beginnings. Among the enterprises that have been located in Zenon Park:

  • there was a sawmill in 1912,
  • the first general store in 1913,
  • a blacksmith in 1920,
  • the first honey farm in 1922,
  • the opening of the Credit Union in 1942,
  • the establishment of the first alfalfa dehydration plant in 1961,
  • a clothing manufacturer (jeans and down-filled jackets) in 1972,
  • a subscription television service in 1983,
  • a sawmill in 1992,
  • and a pallet manufacturer in 1998

In addition to these, there have been numerous small businesses developed over the past 80 years.

Municipal Heritage Site

NotreDameParoisse Notre Dame de la Nativité

Date of Origin: 1930
Property Type: Church - Roman Catholic
Current Name: Paroisse Notre Dame de la Nativitie (Our Lady of the Nativity Roman Catholic Church)
Location: Zenon Park, Park Road
Designation Bylaw Passed: May-03-1983

Constructed in the summer of 1930 to replace the original 1913 church that was destroyed by fire earlier that year, this building is nevertheless one of the older structures in Zenon Park. The church was constructed by a general contractor using materials from a local lumberyard and local volunteer labour. Electricity was installed in time for midnight mass on Christmas Eve, even though pews were not yet in place. While the design of the church demonstrates basic traditional designs, the exterior finish -- stucco -- reflects the gaining popularity of this material in building construction during the 20th century.

 

couvent-220Sacred Heart Convent

Date of Origin: 1936
Property Type: Convent 
Current Name: Vacant
Location: Zenon Park, Park Road
Designation Bylaw Passed: Feb-01-1982

This building was constructed for Les Soeurs du Sacre-Coeur de le Charité de Notre Dame d'Evron and was increased in size in 1948 to accommodate an increase in boarders. At its peak, the convent housed some 62 students plus the teaching Sisters. While the convent officially closed in 1969 due to a drop in enrollment, some Sisters lived here until 1973. From 1975 until 1977 this building housed Zenon Park Industries. It was then partially rehabilitated for use as a day care centre, library, community centre and community offices. More recently, École Notre-Dame-des-Vertus occupied the building when the school was first established, taking the building back to it’s original purpose. The building was torn down in July of 2010 due to it's poor condition and the lot is vacant.