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Historical - Musée de la Vieille Fromagerie Perron

La vieille fromagerie Perron

The cheese industry played a major role in the development of both the region of Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean and the province of Québec. Its history began with the establishment of the first cheddar factories by the Loyalists that came from the United States. 95% of the production was exported to England.

The Municipality of Saint-Prime alone had six cheese factories. During the Second World War the region of Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean was recognized for its production so that although the artisanal cheese industry was decreasing in the other regions of Québec production was increasing here in the region. Our cheeses were known in England as Lake St. John Cheese!

The Perron cheese was one of the last cheese factories to export its cheese to England, which it did up to 2000. The Perron Family remained active up to 2015 and was one of the oldest cheese making families. 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 is turned

The production of cheese in the old Perron premises stops. Production is transferred into a bigger modern plant built next to the old premises. Production switches from an artisanal method to a semi-automated type. The obsolete premises become a warehouse.

1985

First foray

Albert Perron approaches Québec's Ministry of Cultural Affairs to assess the possibility of opening a cheddar cheese museum in his old cheese making premises. He receives support from both the Ministry and the Municipality of Saint-Prime.

1986

Historical ethnography

Albert Perron participates in a research project which the following year gives rise to an important historical ethnography of the Perron cheese factory by Lise Fournier, an ethnologist from Québec.

1987

First phase of renovations

Establishment of an interim committee dedicated to restoring and enhancing the century old cheese making factory

1989

Granting of national status

Québec's Ministry of Cultural Affairs grants national heritage status to the site, thus classifying the cheese making factory as an historical monument. This is formal recognition of the historical and heritage value of the building and its tools.

12th Februrary 1990

Incorporation of the organization

The Old Perron cheese-making factory in Saint-Prime is incorporated and receives its land patent on 2nd December 1990.

June 1991

Encouraging conclusions

Ethnologist Lise Fournier submits her account of the Old Perron cheese-making factory to the Corporation and the Municipality. The report focuses on the site's exhibits and their interpretation and makes very positive conclusions

9th April 1992

Signing the Deed

Albert Perron's donation of the old cheese factory and its land to the Corporation is signed into deed by notary public. Work begins on the renovation of the building and the creation of an historical interpretation.

1994

The museum stands out at the regional tourism grand prix

The Museum wins top prize for regional tourism in the category 'innovation'..

1995

Looking for the family furniture

The Corporation undertakes research to locate furniture once owned by the Perron family.

1999

Opening of the cheese-maker's lodgings

Visitors are now able to access the Perron family's lodgings.

2002

Celebrating the Museum’s 10th anniversary

The Cheddar Cheese Museum celebrates 10 years of existence, a fact which demonstrates its vitality and sustainability.

2003

Innovations and service improvements

Improvements to the site, development of strategy and marketing, installation of bike lockers to the rear, and filming of a video showing modern cheese making techniques.

2005

School program and archiving work

Creation of an education program and hire of a museologist to create an archive of the entire museum collection.

2009

Enhancement of the exhibition

Improvements to the permanent exhibition “Daily Routines”. with the assistance of museology company Bergeron Gagnon.

2010

The museum stands out again at the Regional Tourism Grand Prix

Mrs Orietta Gilbet, employee-founder of the museum, receives a top award for regional tourism in the 'human resources' category. Participation in the National Tourism Grand Prix under the same category.

2012

A new approach to interpretation

Conceptualisation of a new exhibition “From one Perron generation to another: 125 years of history.”

2013

The museum is expanded and the name is changed

Architectural designs for the extension of the museum and initiation of work on the new exhibition. Change of name to Musée de la Vieille Fromagerie Perron.

2014

Launch of the newly branded Musée de la vieille fromagerie Perron

Introduction of new educational workshops, conclusion to the extension works, design of a new ticket office and souvenir shop.

2015

The Museum wins an accolade from Québec's Museum Society.

The Musée de la vieille fromagerie Perron wins a top accolade for excellence from Québec's Museum society.

2017

A new corporate identity

Market research leads to new branding.

2020

The museum is temporarily closed

2020 is cemented forever in our memories with the onset of a global pandemic. Public Health regulations force the closure of the museum for the 2020 season.

2021

Reorganization of our services

With the pandemic still hanging in the air and not wanting to cancel a second tourist season, the museum creates an audio-guide to offer a self-directed tour for visitors. Meanwhile, the internet site is redesigned to incorporate the audio-guide. The organization is already preparing for the 2022 season and is working further on digitization.