By William Crooks
Local Journalism Initiative
On Monday, July 17, a convoy of vintage cars visited Missisquoi Museum in Stanbridge East. The group included members from the Horseless Carriage Club of America (HCCA), from locations such as New Jersey and Georgia, and Canadians from Quebec, Ontario, and British Columbia.
“There were 42 cars,” Missisquoi Museum Executive Director Mona Beaulac informed The Record over the phone. There were 103 people, she added. “It wasn’t a show.” It was not publicized because the group merely booked a visit to the Museum without giving any further details.
The group was staying in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu. Their whole week was booked for day trips, Beaulac said. “They can’t go that far, and they can’t go that fast.” They organized an itinerary including routes with low-traffic roads, to historical sites such as Mystic’s Walbridge Barn, and Stanbridge East’s Cornell Mill and Hodge’s General Store, she continued.
After their Monday visit to the Museum, they traveled on to the Domaine du Ridge vineyard in St. Armand for lunch, “and then returned to St-Jean,” she said. They will be in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu until Saturday.
On its website, the HCCA defines a horseless carriage as, “any pioneer gas, steam and electric motor vehicle built or manufactured prior to January 1, 1916.” Many of the club’s events include later model vintage cars. Anyone interested can join the club; one does not need to own a vintage car. It is the mission of the HCCA, “to preserve originality or restore these automobiles to their original condition, use them for their original purpose of driving and completing tours, and promote the preservation of their historical value.” More information about their current tour, the Quebec Heritage Richelieu River Tour, can be found at hcca.org/calendar.