Sample English in Sherbrooke Worksheet
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English in Sherbrooke
By Lynda Fischer
1 About one hundred fifty years ago, in a province where most people spoke French, the south eastern part of Quebec, Canada, was mostly English-speaking. Many people from England came to Canada, but there were also many people from America that came, also. After the American War of Independence (1775-1783), many Loyalists moved to Canada, including Gilbert Hyatt. He moved to the place where the St. Francis and Magog rivers met. He built mills there, and other people moved to the area to work in the mills. The people called this area Hyatt's Mills for awhile, but in 1818 they renamed it Sherbrooke after the Governor General, Sir John Coape Sherbrooke.
2 Sherbrooke's growth was slow at first because it was in the middle of a forest and did not have any good roads to get to it. Then a courthouse and a jail were built, and more business people came and built their homes. In the 1840's, the Grand Trunk Railroad between Montreal and Portland, Maine, was completed, and Sherbrooke really started to grow. The French-speaking people in other areas of Quebec were looking for cheap land and good jobs. In 1850, a new law was passed that allowed Roman Catholic parishes in the Sherbrooke area. This new law, new jobs, the railroad, cheap land, and the overcrowding in the French-speaking areas of Quebec made many French-Canadians come to Sherbrooke. When more French-Canadians came to Sherbrooke, more French services such as Catholic schools and churches were available.
3 Once Sherbrooke was mostly English-speaking, but today Sherbrooke is only about six percent English. The current Sherbrooke, as is the rest of modern-day Quebec, is mostly French-speaking, but you can still see the English beginnings with names of places that still exist today such as King and Queen Streets. For some names of places in the Sherbrooke area, they mixed the old English place name with a French saint such as Sainte-Catherine-de-Hatley. So, although Sherbrooke is now mostly French, you can still find a lot of English hiding there.
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