FORGED BY THE NATURE OF A REGION
At Cherry River, we are pleased to be a part of Quebec’s new generation of distillers. We distil gin, we blend vodka, we produce alcoholic sparkling waters, and a complete selection of bitters boasting with complex and generous aromas.
Driven by our passion for both spirits and creation, our team truly enjoys developing the distinctive flavours of all Cherry River products, and it has made it a mission to do so while respectfully taking advantage of years of tradition and of the vast diversity of local botanicals available here to bring forth products crafted from selected ingredients that reflect the true identity of a region.
Cherry river, a name and a legend
Cherry River is the former name of a river that runs through Mount Orford Park and flows into Lake Memphremagog.
An Abenaki legend claims that the first cherry tree in North America was planted by the great Manitou at the summit of Mount Orford. Thereafter, cherries would have rolled down the mountain and fallen into the river. The first inhabitants of this region would thus have named Cherry River, the river and the village they founded.
Some also say that the name Cherry River comes from the fact that wild cherry trees grow on the banks of the river of the same name.Others claim that the name comes from the colour of the river water, which is said to be cherry red in springtime.
A BIT OF HISTORY…
Eastern Townships, Orford and Cherry River
In 1680, the Abenakis who had been evicted from their ancestral lands in New England arrived in the Eastern Townships. They travelled back and forth to trade furs in the St. Lawrence Valley and to reach their settlements. The latter have left us numerous names: Magog, Memphremagog, Massawippi, Coaticook…
The Township of Orford was born of the county of Buckinghamshire in 1792 and was granted in 1801 to Jonathan Ball, an American. It then extended eastward to the confluence of Magog and Saint-François rivers, an area that was three times larger than it is today.
The name Orford is part of the toponymic practicesused by the surveyors of Lower Canada in the designation of Townships. Orford evokes the name of a coastal village in the county of Suffolk, England, and although the names Oxford and Orford can be found on early maps of the region, the name Orford was given to the lake in 1831, municipality in 1855 and mountain in 1863.
It was during the 19th century that British immigration to the Township of Orford was orchestrated by the British American Land Company. Newcomers, loyalist pioneers, came to settle and developed the village Cherry River, building a church, a school and a post office. It will be the 20th century that will welcome the French-speaking settlers.
Mount-Orford National Park
In the late 1920s, Dr. George A. Bowen, former mayor of Magog, wanted Mount Orford to be made a protected park. He worked for nearly 20 years to promote its touristic appeal and to attract influential economic players to his project. 1938 would prove to be a victory for this visionary, as the provincial government would establish Mount Orford Provincial Park. Twenty-seven municipalities in the region will get involved in fundraising for the purchase of the land, a process that will take nearly four years. It is during this period that the road will be laid out to connect the Village of Cherry River with the magnificent Mount Orford.