“There were few things more powerful, or destructive, or terrifying, than a hungry bear or a river in full flood.
Gamache knew exactly where the river was heading. While he’d never been along this road before, he knew the area. They weren’t all that far from his own village.
Which meant the roar they heard was the Rivière Bella Bella, heading straight into Three Pines.” (A Better Man, pg. 50-51)
Coldbrook is the stream that runs through the center of Knowlton and empties into Brome Lake. In fact, Knowlton was originally named Coldbrook when it was settled in 1802 by Loyalists from New England and New York.
The Coldbrook is flanked by history and a walk in downtown Knowlton is a trip into the past. Look for the ghosts of Israël England, who built the tannery in 1843, and namesake Paul Holland Knowlton, who constructed the first gristmill in 1836. Both structures are now gone but one can still see the foundation of the tannery and the millstone from the gristmill is located in Coldbrook Park.
A stone’s throw from the stream is the Pettes Memorial Library which opened its doors in 1894 and was the first free rural public library in Québec and the Partridge Building where the H.F. Smith Printing Company operated from 1899 to 1943.
After a day exploring around the banks of the Coldbrook one must simply stop at Auberge Knowlton. Built in 1849 and the oldest hotel in the Eastern Townships, the Auberge houses the Bistro Le Relais, where the Jarrets d’agneau is to die for!