|Bay of Baie-Johan-Beetz|
© Charlotte Cormier
Fishermen from Gaspé and from Iles-de-la-Madeleine had been coming to the future site of Baie-Johan-Beetz since 1850. Then in 1862, after having fished for salmon for many years in the area, Joseph Tanguay and his family settled permanently on the shores of the river Piashti. With his two sons, Sébastien and Cyprien, Tanguay filled his days with fishing for salmon, lobster and hunting seal. Together, they also ran a lobster factory, and fished for cod and trapped for their livelihood. Many new arrivals from Iles-de-la-Madeleine later followed the Tanguays.
The town was originally named Piashte Baie, probably after the river that cuts right through the town centre. But in 1925, it was renamed Baie-Johan-Beetz, after the Belgian naturalist Johan Beetz, who settled there. He fell in love with the region’s wildlife, and helped co-found the Québec zoological society. He also fell in love with a local young woman, and their union was apparently romantic beyond words. You can learn more about this multifaceted man by touring his former manor, which the townspeople affectionately call the “castle.”