A bleached skeleton of the past, this dead spruce is reminiscent of Grant’s hopeful beginnings and tragic end. Founded as a farming community in the mid 19 th century, settlers cleared the heavily forested land and built their town, officially claiming community status in 1869.
By the turn of the century, it was obvious that soil erosion would win over farming. The cultivated soil was quickly turning to sand, creating an area known as the Bourget Desert. By this time, residents began selling their land and moving west, abandoning Grant. An attempt was made to save the area in 1921 when the Prescott & Russell counties — under the guidance of agricultural specialist Ferdinand Larose — hired local residents to replant the forest that originally stood there. The 51,800-hectare Larose Forest still stands as a testament to his endeavors, now the second largest planted forest in the world.
Grant lasted until the 1950s. All that remains are the yearly gatherings by old acquaintances for Remembrance Day services held over the four military tombstones in Grant cemetery.