Historical - Musée de la Vieille Fromagerie Perron

La vieille fromagerie Perron

The cheese industry has played a major role in the development of the region and of the province of Québec. Its history begins with the establishment of the first cheddar factories by the Loyalists that came from the United States and 95% of the production was exported in England.

The Municipality of Saint-Prime alone had six cheese-dairies. The region of Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean was recognized for its production during Second World War. While the artisanal cheese industry was decreasing in the other regions of Québec, the production was increasing here in the region. Our cheeses were known under Lake St. John cheese!

Until the year 2000, the Perron cheese was one of the last dairies that sold its cheese in England. The Perron Family remained active up to 2015 and was one of the oldest families of cheese-makers. The last owner sold his shares to a dairy cooperative in 2015, but the company kept the same name and the same fabrication process.

Our history

1967

A page of history has been turned

Cheese production stopped in the old obsolete Perron dairy. The production is transferred into a bigger and more modern plant built next to the old dairy. The production is then moved from an artisanal to a semi-industrial type. The old Perron dairy becomes a warehouse.

1985

First cultural approach

Albert Perron approaches the ministère des Affaires culturelles du Québec to assess the possibilities of making a cheddar cheese museum in his old dairy and he receives the support from the ministry and from the Municipality of Saint-Prime.

1986

Ethnic historical study

Participation of Albert Perron in a large ethnological survey that will give rise the following year to an important Ethno-historical study on the Perron cheese-dairy by Lise Fournier, Ethnologist from Québec.

1987

First action of restoration

Creation of an interim committee dedicated to restoring and enhancing the century old cheese-dairy.

1989

Granting of national status

The ministère des Affaires culturelles grants the status of national heritage site, thus recognizing the historical and heritage interest of the building and of its old tools, and classifies the cheese-dairy as historical monument.

12 février 1990

Incorporation of the organization

The Corporation of the old Perron cheese-dairy in Saint-Prime is duly incorporated, and receives its land patent on December 2 of 1990. A second document is filed to the Corporation and to the Municipality regarding the interpretation and the highlights of the old Perron dairy, with very encouraging conclusions by the Ethnologist Lise Fournier.

Juin 1991

Encouraging conclusions

A second document is filed to the Corporation and to the Municipality regarding the interpretation and the highlights of the old Perron dairy, with very encouraging conclusions by the Ethnologist Lise Fournier.

9 avril 1992

Signature of the deed on donation

Albert Perron donates the old cheese-dairy, its tools and the land to the Corporation which was acknowledged by a notarial act. Then begin the necessary works for the renovation of the building and the implementation of an interpretation project.

1994

The museum stands out at the grand prizes of the regional tourism

The Museum wins the Grand Prize of regional tourism in the category “innovation”.

1995

Looking for the family furniture

The Corporation makes research to find some furniture that were owned by the Perron family.

1999

Opening of the cheese-maker apartment

The visit of the Perron’s apartment is now accessible to visitors.

2002

Celebrating the Museum’s 10th anniversary

The Musée du fromage Cheddar celebrates its 10 years of existence, thereby demonstrating its vitality and expressing a deep desire of its continuity.

2003

First restructuring of the services

Realization works of leasehold improvements, strategic marketing and development, installation of locked spaces for bikes at the back of the building, and recasting of the video showing the modern techniques of cheese making.

2005

School program and recording of the Perron collection

Realization of a new school program, and recruitment of a museologist in order to do the entire documentation of the Corporation museum collection.

2009

Enhancement of the presentation of the exhibition

Improvement of the permanent exhibition “Actions and hours”. Project realized with the museology company Bergeron Gagnon.

2010

The museum stands out again at the Grand Prix du Tourisme régional

Recipient of a Grand Prize for the regional tourism in the category “Humane Resources” that was awarded to Mrs Orietta Gilbet, employee-founder of the museum. Representation as well at the national tourism Grand Prize in the same category.

2012

Realization of a new concept of mediation

Realization of a pre-concept for a new permanent exhibition “From one Perron generation to another one, 125 years of history.”

2013

The museum is expanded and the name is changed

Project of drawings for the extension of the museum, and commencement of work for the new exhibition formula. Change of name of the Musée du fromage Cheddar for the Musée La vieille fromagerie Perron.

2014

Launching of the new image of the Musée La vieille fromagerie Perron

Introduction of new educational workshops, last of the extension works, layout of the new reception room and the souvenir shop.

2015

The Museum stands out again at the “Prize of the Société des musées du Québec »

With the new presentation of its exhibition and the cheese workshop, the Musée de La vieille fromageie Perron is recipient of the Grand prize of excellence from the Société des musées du Québec.

2017

A new corporate identity

Following a marketing study, the museum takes on a new marketing image.

2020

The museum is temporarily closed

2020 is a year that will remain forever in our memories with a global pandemic. Following the strict restrictions from Pubic Health, the museum must cancel its 2020 tourist season.

2021

Reorganization of our services

With a pandemic still hanging in the air and not wanting to cancel a second tourist season, the management of the museum decides to carry out the realization of an audio-guide offering a self-directed tour to the visitors. Meanwhile, the internet site is redesigned with the introduction of the audio-guide. The organization is already preparing the season 2022 and is working at moving into digital technology.