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Memories of Brentwood and its Inhabitants
by Norman James Cameron

Brentwood, on the South Shore of Montreal, is now part of St. Hubert (Longueuil).

My first encounter with Brentwood occurred in November of 1944, when I visited my sister while on furlough from the Canadian Army. At that time, and previously, I suppose, this was mostly a summer hideaway for people trying to get away from the bustling city of Montreal. The residents at that time consisted of the Millars, Nobles, Knipes, and Pincombes. Today only the Nobles – Charlie and his son – remain of the original population.

I moved to Brentwood permanently from Montreal on April 30th, 1949. At that time, there were no streets – only footpaths, no electricity, and no telephones.

Following my arrival were Mansel Scott, George Caines, Alex Grant, Jim Johnson. Later came John Flood, Dave Murray. Followed later yet by Cound, Stewart, Desmarais, Pompkoski, Davidson and McGrails.

In 1950, the village folk formed a club and built a community hall and appropriately named it the Brentwood Community Centre (BCC). Many good times were had in this hall.

During my 40-odd years of living in Brentwood, the only events I recall of any consequence were as follows:

  • In 1947, an East Greenfield boy was killed in a hunting accident.

  • In January 1952, George Caines lost his family’s home to fire on a very windy day.

  • In October 1953, during a severe wind and rain storm, a cable from the Southern Counties Railway line broke. Gordie Millar grabbed it as a reaction to it almost hitting him in the face and received 55,000 volts of electricity through his body, as he remained attached to the cable. Charlie Noble and Milton Pincombe were successful in beating his hand off of the wire with brooms.

  • A stalled car was hit by a train on the Brentwood crossing. The lady (a Miss Neal) and child narrowly escaped death when she grabbed the youngster and jumped just before the train hit the car.

When I think of Brentwood, I think of the little hut-type station by the railway tracks, where people boarded the little electric train, five days of every week, to be whisked away and returned each evening.

The station was given the name “Dogpatch” by some unknown and no doubt budding artist. Rumours suggested that the name was chosen from a then current comic strip by the same name.

About Brentwood’s Residents…

Raymond Millar, who married my sister, was a colorful chap who worked at the Montreal Star and who on most days would still be shaving when the old Southern Counties Railway train would blow its whistle on its way from Brookline (about 2 kilometres distance away). Raymond used to do the 50 yard dash to catch the train before it left the Brentwood station for Montreal.

The Southern Counties Railway was our only transportation to Montreal back then, and it had run from Montreal to Marysville from the 1920s to 1954. A monthly pass could be purchased for the princely sum of $4.25

Gordie Millar left old Brentwood for California in the 60s and is now deceased. His brother Raymond and my sister are also deceased as is Ben Noble and his wife, Alex Grant and George Caines. Dave Murray and my sister, Nellie, migrated to Phoenix, Arizona back in the 60s as well.

Charlie Noble and Milton Pincombe were given safety awards by the Power Company for their heroic efforts at saving Gordie Millar.

After the Johnsons passed away (Jim and Olive), Mr. Steve Ford purchased their property, and he and his wife reside there today. Steve’s wife is the daughter of Mansel and Mary Scott.

Today, Brentwood is populated mostly by francophones. Many new homes were built so that it is hardly recognizable.

The 1930s
by Art Dockrill

There were two houses on the East Greenfield (south) side of the tracks in Brentwood: Miss Curry's and Laverty's.

Miss Curry was there when I was a kid (1930s), and she had a little store. We used to catch snakes along the track, and she would give us (Bill Hale, Red Barker, and myself) a couple of "honeymoons" for one. She used to make belts out of them. This was long before Ina Blvd., later known as Maricourt, was put through.

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