Roberval, QB Convent Fire, Jan 1897



Ottawa, Jan. 7. -- The Convent of the Ursaline Nuns at Roberval, on Lake St. John, about 120 miles north of Quebec, was destroyed by fire, which broke out at 6 o'clock yesterday morning, and seven sisters are known to have perished in the flames, while about 50 inmates had very narrow escapes from a similar fate. Were it not that most of the students of the convent had gone home for the holidays, the loss of life might have been greater.
The religious titles and names of the dead respectively are as follows:
Mother St. Francois de Paul, ELIZA GOSSELIN of St. Jean Chrystome.
Mother Providence, EMMA LETOURNEAU of Quebec.
Mother St. Ursule Coriuthe of St. Foye.
Mother St. Anne, LAURA HUDON of Herbertville.
Mother St. Antone de Padua, CATHERINE BOULTE of Deschambault.
Mother St. Dominique, MARIE LOUISE GIRARD of Roberval.
Mother St. Louise, ROSE GOSSELIN of St. Jean Chrystome.
Another nun was badly burned in trying to extinguish the fire. The convent and the school are nothing but a mass of ruins. Just how the fire started is not known certainly, but his being the feast of Epiphany, it is supposed that a lighted candle near the cradle of the infant Jesus ignited the draperies and floral ornamentations, and in an instant the whole place was a mass of flames. The fact that parts of the convention were uncompleted caused the fire to spread more rapidly.
The monastery was a stone building five stories high and of 120 feet frontage, and was built eight years ago. The Ursuline nuns of Quebec, by whom it was controlled, are the oldest cloistered order in Canada, and it was in a cavity made by the bursting of a shell within their convent at Quebec that General Montcalm was buried after his death upon the plains of Abraham.

Piqua Daily Call Ohio 1897-01-07