About the Beaulne Museum

The Beaulne Museum is located in the town of Coaticook in the Eastern Townships. It was founded in 1964 by Denise Beaulne. In its early days, the museum was housed inside the City Hall of Coaticook. Twelve years later, it moved to the Norton Castle. This splendid house was built for Arthur Osmore Norton who made his fortune by manufacturing jacks for the railroad industry. Over the years, the Beaulne Museum has become a must-see attraction in the region, offering temporary and permanent exhibits, events, an educational services and archives. Before entering the museum, visitors can enjoy the harmoniously landscaped Norton gardens.

Arthur Osmore Norton
rocking himself on the
magnificent Norton Castle veranda

Arthur Osmore Norton au Musée Beaulne Coaticook

Arthur Osmore Norton
rocking himself on the
magnificent Norton Castle veranda

Bureau de Arthur Osmore Norton au Musée Beaulne Coaticook

Work office


The house that shelters the Beaulne Museum, also known as the "Norton Castle", was built in 1912. In 1881 Arthur Osmore Norton was already living on Union Street, just in the front of the present Museum. After purchasing the adjacent lots, he had his house built in 1912. At the time, it was used as a secondary home for the Norton family. Arthur Osmore Norton, the father, had an office inside the home from where he also ran his business. Born in 1845 in Kingscroft, Arthur Osmore Norton started to learn about business at the age of 16 and worked as a clerk in a general store.

In 1870 he married Helen Maria Richardson, the daughter of a prominent businessman. The couple had two children: Harry Norton and Mary Helen Norton. Harry married Sidney Elizabeth Austin in 1907. The couple did not have children. Helen, his sister, would remain single and after the death of their father in 1919, she would take care of their disabled mother who passed away in 1929.

Arthur Osmore Norton and his wife Helen Maria Richardson

Arthur Osmore Norton 1845-1919
Helen Maria Richardson

Their two children

Harry Norton


Mary Helen Norton

Mary Helen

Railroad jack

Arthur Osmore Norton's audacity and flair led him to purchase the patent for one of Frank Sleeper's inventions.The ball bearing and gear railroad jack.

He made his fortune manufacturing jacks in his factories of Coaticook and Boston.

Railroad jack Old Poster Arthur Osmore Norton
Invention of the railroad jack A-O Norton

A unique style

The architectural style of this building is unique. It combines many features such as the Queen Anne Revival style, the brown shingles, the large and spacious balconies, the abundance and diversity of the windows, the use of field stones and the multiple gables which all contribute to its uniqueness and splendor.

In addition, the property was originally adorned with peonies and lilacs, a passion of Harry Norton. In recent years, a reminder of this past garden has been redone but with a modern touch. The introduction of other floral species, art,and painted benches, all add to a more contemporary layout.

Norton Castle in 1942 with roof overhang at the back
The large entrance hall of the house photo by Nakash, 1942
Entrance at the back of Château Norton in Coaticook Quebec

– 1942 –

Harry and Mary Helen, who continued their father's work in philanthropy, bequeathed the house in 1942 to the Anglican Church of Canada. It became a boarding school for young girls under the name of Bishop Mountain Hall in Coaticook. Until its closure in 1968, several young English-speaking girls from the region and elsewhere in the provinces lived there.

Later on, residents of Dixville Home lived in the house for a few years.


Denise Beaulne founded the Museum in 1964, which was housed inside the Town Hall of Coaticook. Then it was moved to the Old Post Office which is now the Françoise-Maurice library.

Her knowledge about both Anglophone and Francophone families, her interest in local heritage and her dedication were decisive in the development of the institution that bears her name today.

Denise Beaulne 1890-1981

– 1976 –


The Beaulne Museum moved to the Castle in 1976, after the municipality of Coaticook purchased the building.

Come and visit the Beaulne Museum within this exceptional residence


To learn more about the Norton family,
you may also visit the exhibit produced by the Beaulne Museum and published on the Website of Virtual Museum of Canada:
Norton sponsorship