The Brousseau plumbers of Saint-Georges are descendants of François (known as Francis) Brousseau, whose family included twelve boys. Eleven of them became plumbers, and the twelfth joined the faith. The first to settle in Saint-Georges was Vilmer Brousseau. Born May 5, 1900, he learned his trade at a very young age, in Waterville, and started his own business in 1920. The following year he settled in Saint-Ludger, and in 1929 he settled permanently in Saint-Georges, as a plumber and tinsmith, which were related trades. His first space was downtown, on 1st Avenue, near the river, roughly where there is a small grassy park between the Rock Café restaurant-bar terrace and 118th Street leading to the bridge. We have several old photos of his studio, taken during the debacle, including the one from 1939 (picture 1). Vilmer had four sons who also all became plumbers: Georges-Henri in Saint-Georges. Euchariste who worked for his brother GH the Third, Benoit, was already a foreman on the aqueduct at Saint-Georges. And Lorenzo was also a plumber entrepreneur in La Sarre, Abitibi. Georges-Henri started his business in 1937, and from 1941 he participated in the founding of the company V. Brousseau et Fils. In 1947, he took over the family business and started running it under the name G.-H. Brousseau Enr. Over the years, his sons joined him. Around 1965, they moved to the lower floor of a large building located at the intersection of 118th Street and 2nd Avenue, the main entrance of which was at the rear northeast corner of the building, at number 29 118th Street, (photo 2, from 1968). This entrance still exists, although not used by customers, but its number has changed to 160 118th Street. This building was built in 1917 by the famous Bérubé brothers. The upper apartment was occupied for a long time by Mrs. Arthur Champagne, from 1926 to 1970. Before the Brousseau plumbing was located on the ground floor, it was occupied by restaurants, including Bon Accueil in 1970 70 (Fig. 3). The Brousseau building almost burned down in the great fire that destroyed its neighbor the Hôtel National in 1977, but the others were spared (Figure 4). In 1992, they purchased the entire building and established their offices and reception and sales room on the 2nd Avenue front, sharing a floor with the barber shop (Figure 5, dated September 2016). See an aerial photo that offers a rear view of the building in 1995 (photo 6 by Yvon Thibodeau). After GH’s death in 1995, his four children Gilles, Lucille, Jacques and Yves took over and continued to run the business under the name GH Brousseau et Fils Inc., plumbing and heating contractors. The Brousseaus now occupy all three floors of the building (except the barber shop). They enjoy an excellent reputation and have a huge and highly rated inventory of parts. A family of plumbers from generation to generation.
Photo 1 from the collection of André Thibaudeau. Image 2 of L’Éclaireur-Progrès magazine. Photo 3 from the Claude Loubier collection. Photos 4 and 6 courtesy of Yvon Thibodeau. Figure 5 from Google maps. Text and research by Pierre Morin.
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