|Furs, politics and... Sarah Bernhardt!|
|The fur trade was the mainstay of the economy of New France. It continued to play a key role after the British conquest in 1760 and the American Revolution, which together produced an influx of English-speaking merchants, mainly Scots and Americans.
When the United States annexed the territories south of the Great Lakes, Montréal businessmen with names like Dobie and McTavish concentrated on the fertile trapping and trading grounds of the Northwest.
|Politics were a favourite topic of conversation among the 19th-century elite, and led to spirited discussions in the various houses of the extended Viger family (from whose ranks came Montréal's first mayor), as well as the lawyers' offices, printing plants, inns and clubs in this district.
Following Confederation, in 1867, the Richelieu Hotel became a fashionable place where celebrities such as Sarah Bernhardt stayed. Here you see the terrace, in 1887.