I like ghost towns. And I think Grant might be one of my favourite ones. Just imagine: you are walking in the majestic Larose Forest and all of a sudden, you stumble upon a vast clearing in which there are tomb stones, sometimes more than a century old. It gives the impression of having discover a secret long kept hidden by the tall pines.
Grant used to be a small farming community, built at the end of the 19th century. As was the case in the surrounding villages, the inhabitants cleared the area, cutting down the forest to cultivate the land. The village had a school, a church and a post office. But soil erosion eventually forced the farmers to move on to more fertile land. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Bourget Desert was spreading quickly and several families from Grant decided to leave the area.
In the 1920s, agronomist Ferdinand Larose began his extensive reforestation program. With the help of the government, he bought the farmlands in the area and hired locals as tree planters. It was the end for Grant. On its land, we can now find the largest man-made forest in North America.
Today, only the cemetery remains. But this one is definitely worth seeing. The tombstones testify to the life of the people who used to live there. Some tombstones are very old and illegible, others seem newer. Protective barriers have been installed around those that time has made more fragile.
It is still possible to see the foundation of Grant church near the cemetery. In addition, interpretive panels on site give a glimpse of the life of that time.
To access the place, you have to go through some dirt roads (which can make access challenging when the weather conditions are not good), but the trip is worth it.