Sherbrooke History Museum calling on locals for testimonials of Winter Prison

By Reann Fournier, Special to The Record
Sherbrooke History Museum calling on locals for testimonials of Winter Prison
(Photo : Record Archives/Taylor McClure)

The MHist, or Sherbrooke History Museum, is calling on former guards, inmates, families of inmates, and anyone who is willing to help piece together more information on the Winter Prison. The goal of the first-hand accounts is to help build a clearer picture of how the prison operated contribute to preparing the site for historical visits and tours.
Located on one of the highest plateaus of the old city, Winter Prison has been a landmark for Sherbrooke’s population for more than 150 years. The MHist plans to reopen the doors of the former prison for historical visits.
According to Davis Lacoste, the general manager for the museum, testimonies from those who experienced the prison first-hand are essential to the research. “We have official versions of the newspapers and government reports,” he said. “But there is nothing better than having stayed in Winter to explain the daily life, the inner life, the relationship between guards and prisoners, or different anecdotes.”
The testimonies will be recorded, taped or filmed according to the comfort levels of the speakers. “Their testimonies are complementary to the ongoing research and, above all, will enhance the quality of the human aspect of the upcoming visits,” commented Yanick Laverdière, project manager for the research.
If this call applies to you or to someone you may know, the Sherbrooke History Museum asks that you send a brief description of your experience with Winter Prison by e-mail at or call at (819) 821-5406 .

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