This sketch was written for the Franklin County Historical Society by Mrs. Annie L. Jack, of Chateauguay, Basin, P. Q., and read at a meeting of the society, held Oct. 6, 1903.
The Chateauguay river, starting as it does, in the small lakes at the foothills of the Adirondacks, and winding its picturesque, but uneven, way through the counties of Huntingdon and Chateauguay, is a river of special interest to those who live within its influence along the fifty miles, until at Chateauguay Basin it empties into the St. Lawrence. At this point there is an interesting circumstance, for the blue water of the St. Lawrence will not mingle with that of the Chateauguay, and a distinct line of division may be seen where these waters meet.
The name has been of interest to many people, its rich French accent is not easy to spoil, and it is endeared to the hearts of the denizens on its banks. It is said to have been a name given by Charles LeMoyne, the early Montreal colonist, taken from some small place in Normandy known to him, as his father came from a small parish near Dieppe and afterwards became an inn-keeper at the latter town.
Charles LeMoyne was brought out by the Jesuits to Quebec at the age of 12, and was sent for a couple of years among the savages to learn their language, his wages being twenty (20) livres per annum. For services rendered-afterwards to the government he was granted land that he named Longueil and Chateauguay.
In an abstract from History of the Great French Families, by Abbe Francois Daniel, he says, in speaking of LeMoyne, “The chief of this family was the immortal Charles LeMoyne, of Norman descent, and a native of Dieppe. In 1673 he received further a new gift of land on the right bank of the river, of two leagues in front by three in depth, which he called by the name of Chateauguay, which it still bears.”
It has been suggested to me that a letter written to the Mayor of Rouen, France, might give more light on the subject to any historical society interested.
In Robert Sellars’s history of the counties mentioned, he says, “during Frontenac’s time a seignory, six miles broad and nine deep, was carved out of the bush an given to Charles L. LeMoyne.” The deed bears date of Sept. 29, 1673, and the title given to the seignory was “Chateauguay, a name derived from some place in France.”
Among the pioneers of Louisiana was one Chateauguay, who afterwards, became Governor of the French colony of Cayenne. I have been somewhat perplexed as to the spelling of the word, for up to within half a century it was more commonly written without, the final (u) than with it.
De Salaberry, who helped to make the name famous, and who was an admirable French scholar, wrote the word Chateaugua, at once preserving the correct pronunciation and keeping it in unison with the rules that govern the spelling of modern French, for (guay) is antique, if not barbarous. In the consolidated Statutes for Lower Canada the name is given as Chateaugai.
So it seems by this research that from old France the name was brought, to repeat itself and perpetuate the memory of the Old World in the New.
 Malone Palladium. Malone, Franklin Co., N. Y. Thursday, Nov. 19, 1903.