St. Patrick’s Day, 1971 was a momentous day in the history of Cochrane.  It was the day the road link to LaSarre, Québec was officially opened.

Cochrane Public Library archivist Ardis Proulx-Chedore reads from the account in the Northland Post.

“The honorable René Brunelle, Minister of Lands and Forests, along with Abitibi officials and Enrico Labelle, chief ranger for the LaSarre district, fittingly chopped a log barrier to declare the road at the border open.”

Cochrane Mayor Maurice Hotte remarked on the fishing, hunting, camping and other recreational activities the trans-provincial road opened up.  He called it “a splendid tourist circle route.”

Dignitaries and townsfolk from both sides of the border were at the ceremony.

“A school holiday had been declared in the district so that youngsters could take part in the event,” Proulx reads from the newspaper story. “Two hockey teams stood on a snowy bank, carrying cards spelling out Welcome to Québec in French and English.”

The article concludes with the belief that the road would provide recreational and economic benefits to both communities.

Thousands of items that help trace the history of Cochrane can be found in the archives at the library.