Searching the QCT archives for John Williams


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Photo: Screenshot from Google Maps

The oldest house in Quebec was built in 1675-1676 for François Jacquet at the corner of Rue Saint-Louis and Rue des Jardins. Several prominent figures have lived there, including the author of the novel Les Anciens Canadiens, Philippe Aubert de Gaspé, from 1815 to 1824. The Williams barbershop operated at this location from 1870 until 1920. Aux Anciens Canadiens restaurant has occupied the historic property since 1966.

Recent research by local historian Jean-François Caron has turned attention to a certain John Williams during Black History Month. Born in Quebec City in 1834 to Thomas Williams, a Jamaican, and Catherine Quinn, who was of Irish heritage, Williams was a successful local businessman who operated a barbershop in Old Quebec with his brother James for 50 years.