An opportunity to understand, feel, listen, taste and resonate to the rhythm of the mills, at a site that’s unique worldwide!

» History

L'Isle-aux-Coudres is located in the heart of the St. Lawrence River, two kilometers from the north shore. In 1815, the absence of effective mills for grinding grains caused a famine on the island. Residents often had to travel to the north shore despite the dangerous boat crossings over the river, especially in winter! The Séminaire de Québec, Lord of the island approved the construction of a watermill. It was completed in 1825. However, over the years, the watermill produced low yields. This is why a windmill was built nearby in 1836.

A unique heritage place in Quebec

With the advent of industrial milling, our mills shut down in 1948. Classified according to the Law on Cultural Heritage in the early sixties, their second life began in 1982. Restored and located in close proximity to one another, the watermill and windmill form an exceptional and unique site in America. In the 80s, the mills were given a rejuvenation that respected the integrity of their character. Both are functional again.

 

 

 


» Visit of the Mills

A windmill, a watermill, the miller's house and more...

Two permanent exhibitions are presented in the reception building. The first, "Homage to work" displays the history of the Isle's customs and traditions through the works of folk art artist Alfred Desgagnés. The second is a tribute to well-known filmmaker Pierre Perrault. In the hall named in honor of the latter, you can watch a continuous projection of one of the three films he made in the 60s at the Isle-aux-Coudres. You will also discover "The Magic of reality" constituted of 25 photomontages in relation with this great filmmaker's work.  And why not learn more about this particular island and its traditions such as the Mi-Carême? Sort of a hyphen, the Mi-Carême masks connect the work of Pierre Perrault with the festive tradition of the islanders and the flour, basic ingredient for mask-making. 

On the other hand, the miller's house converted into an interpretation center can tell you the history of the Isle's mills. During your visit, you will have the opportunity to tour the site accompanied by a guide or to do it by yourself, at your own pace.  The miller and his team will provide valuable information on both the historical and technical aspects during the flour-milling demonstration. While continuing the work of our ancestors,the artisan miller shares his knowledge and reveals the process of grinding grain on millstones for the production of the flour that you can buy at our boutique.

You can also discover on our extensive site, a bread oven handcrafted in clay and a dam. Also, to make your visit to the site more pleasant, we offer a huge green area for a picnic or just plain relaxing. 


» Educational Workshops

Les Moulins à science

Activities developed in close collaboration with La Boîte à science in Québec City are offered to groups of children aged 5 to 12 years.  These activities aim at awakening young people's interest in science. With the help of experienced facilitators, children can participate and learn more about the mills' operation and a lot more.

Activities offered :

  • The windmill and its secrets
  • Meunier tu dors
  • The secret of bread
  • The history of hydraulics
  • Guided tour of two mills 

The duration of each activity can vary between 30 minutes and 1:30h. A reservation is required. Do not hesitate to contact us for more information.