Family life

“Moi j’suis une bonne Canadienne car j’en ai eu une douzaine Mais cela m’a pas empêché de continuer à turluter.” From “Les colons canadiens” (Canadian Farmers), recorded on March 20, 1936 Madame Bolduc sang of her dozen children. But her life as a mother was darkened by the loss of the children who died in infancy and several miscarriages and stillbirths. She lost three little ones to childhood illnesses and had five miscarriages. Only four of her children survived: Denise, Lucienne, Réal and Fernande. Her small family would become central to her life. Her husband, Édouard Bolduc, snapped this shot during a family gathering in Lafontaine Park in 1929.

“Le temps des vacances est enfin arrivé, On voit les enfants sont plein de gaîté” From “Les vacances” (The Holidays), recorded on July 2, 1932 Summer meant holidaying with the family. The Bolducs fled Montréal during the dog days of summer to visit relatives. In the summer of 1930, they took the train to visit Uncle John Cyr, the brother of Madame Bolduc’s mother, who lived in Naughton, Ontario. The clouds of mosquitos in that area inspired her to write “Les maringouins” (Mosquitos), recorded on August 21, 1930. The following summer, the Bolducs set off to the Gaspé in their brand new car, a 1931 Dodge.

Madame Bolduc took great pride in the clothes she, her husband and her children wore. All their clothing had to be well pressed, without a wrinkle; dresses and shirts were often starched. The museum’s collection includes six irons, including one that runs on gas and four electric models. This iron is the oldest one in our collection. It has two sections held in place by a lever: an oval base with an opening on each side and an oval stand that the base fits into. The handle is made of wood, painted green. This iron produced by the Dover Manufacturing Company was heated on a wood stove, even during hot summer weather.

Fer à repasser, 1900 po – métal, fer; bois – 13×16,7x 8,8cm – 1984.22.13.1 – Musée de la Gaspésie

Madame Bolduc était un véritable cordon bleu, selon sa fille Fernande. Pour le temps des fêtes, elle concoctait des pâtés, des tartes, des beignes… Le dernier été qu’elle a vécu, elle avait rempli le garde-manger de toutes sortes de confitures, aux prunes, aux pêches, aux fraises, du ketchup rouge, du ketchup vert… Ici, ces pots rectangulaires, provenant de l’ancienne Tchécoslovaquie, possèdent deux parois courbes, décorés d’une fine ligne dorée dans le haut et le bas, et munis d’un couvercle avec une anse.

Jarre – céramique, porcelaine – 21 x 11,5 x 11,5 cm – 1984.22.12.1-4 – Musée de la Gaspésie

“Mais vous savez dans l’fond mon mari c’t’un bon garçon, Et moi de mon côté on a rien à me r’procher. ” From “Mon mari est jaloux” (My Husband’s Jealous), recorded on June 18, 1930 On this day, August 17, 1939, it was party time at the Bolducs’ place. The children had brought together some twenty of their relatives and friends to celebrate the 25th wedding anniversary of their parents. The party was a look back 25 years into the past, to August 17, 1914, when Mary Travers and Édouard Bolduc united their destinies in the parish of Sacré-Cœur-de-Jésus in Montréal.

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