Montferrand, Joseph

Born in Montreal in October 1802, Joseph Montferrand was the son of François-Joseph Montferrand and Marie-Louise Couvret. He stood almost six feet four inches tall, and spent a good many years of adventure up and down the Ottawa valley, where his name was pronounced Joe Mufferaw [Bedore 1979]. He lived through the worst years of intolerance and violence between Catholics and Protestants, French Canadians and Irish Shiners. His long arms were fearful weapons, and his legs could whip out with deadly force. He is said to have routed a large group of Irish bullies off the bridge between Bytown and Wrightstown, swinging one of them by the ankles, tossing others over the sides, tearing his way through to the other shore. He also left his “calling card” in a valley tavern by making a startling flip, head over heels, leaving the imprint of the sole of his lumberjack boot on the ceiling. He left the valley for good in the early 1840s, and died in October 1864 [Serré 2002].

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