Gagnon, located in Prescott and Russell Counties, began as a small milling settlement in 1889. Its early success was due to two sawmills conveniently located near the railway line. Consequently, by the early 1890s, Gagnon grew to contain a hotel and school. During the early 1900s, the community added a store, post office and a butcher shop.
Lumbering began to decline in the Gagnon area, following a devastating fire in 1897. It destroyed much of the surrounding woodlands, and also the nearby community of Grant. By around 1920, both mills and the hotel had closed.
On the positive side, Gagnon was able to reinvent itself as a farming centre for a number of years. A cheese factory, established in 1922, experienced a number of financial ups and downs. Eventually it became prosperous and remained in operation until 1948.
Nevertheless, following the pattern of most small farming hamlets, Gagnon slowly trickled away piece by piece. Construction of a number of newer homes took place in the area over the years. In 2002, former residents erected an historic site on the location of the former general store. Residents hold an annual picnic on the site the second Sunday of every June. Learn More