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Cap-Chat, Quebec (Canada)

Gaspésie / Îles-de-la-Madeleine Administrative Administrative Region

Last modified: 2021-03-27 by rob raeside
Keywords: cap-chat | quebec |
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[Cap-Chat] image by Masao Okazaki, 21 February 2021

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The municipality of Cap-Chat (2,405 inhabitants in 2018; 20,740 ha) is located on the southern shore of river Saint-Lawrence, 200 km west of Gaspé. The municipality was established in 2000 as the merger of the town of Cap-Chat and of the municipality of Capucins.

The town of Cap-Chat was named for the canton of Cap-Chat, established in 1842, subsequently transformed into the municipality of the parish of Saint-Norbert-du-Cap-Chat (1845), known as Saint-Norbert-du-Cap-Chatte between 1865 and 1957, and merged in 1926 with the municipality of the village of Cap-Chat. Stanislas Drapeau mentioned in 1863 Saint-Norbert (Cap-Chattes).
Cap Chat, in French "Cape Cat", was named for the place's landmark, the cat-shaped rock featured on the municipal emblem. The map drawn in 1660 by Father Ducreux mentions "Promontorium Felis", in Latin, "The Cat's Promontory". A local legend recalls that a wild cat used to kill all kind of animals on the strand, until a cat-fairy showed up, accused him to have killed her pets, and changed him for ever in a stone statue. Another, more prosaic but more probable etymology refers to Aymar de Chaste, who was appointed 3rd Lieutenant-Général of Nouvelle-France in 160Z. The deformation of "Chaste" would explain the old written forms "Cap-Chatte" (in French, Cap She-cat), and "Cap de Chatte" (1612 and 1660), "Cap de Chate" (1632), and the pronunciation of the final "t" of "Chat", usually lute, by the village's elder.

Capucins, established as a municipality in 1915, is named for the Grands Capucins river and the Petits Capucins brook. The names of the streams evoke monk-shaped rocks, used as landmarks by seamen, as reported in 1754 by Bellin. In 1930, only one rock still stood, the other having been erased by erosion. It was soon destroyed by a public contractor, who used it as a filling material.
Commission de toponymie Québec
Ivan Sache, 22 February 2021

Municipal flag

Photo of present flag 1:
Masao Okazaki, 20 January 2021

Variant flag

[Cap-Chat] image by Masao Okazaki, 21 February 2021

Photo of present flag 2:
Masao Okazaki, 20 January 2021

Previous flag

[Cap-Chat] image by Masao Okazaki, 21 February 2021

A 2006 photo of a flag was posted by Luc Vartan Baronian in the FOTW Facebook group. Other members found images of two variants of a flag now being used by the town.
Masao Okazaki, 20 January 2021