Beauce (//; French pronunciation: [bos]) is a historical and traditional region of Quebec located south of Quebec City. It corresponds approximately to the regional county municipalities of Beauce-Sartigan, Robert-Cliche and La Nouvelle-Beauce, and its major communities are Saint-Georges, Sainte-Marie, Beauceville, Saint-Joseph-de-Beauce and Saint-Victor.
The first record of the name goes back to 1739. "Nouvelle Beauce" (New Beauce) designated the seigneuries granted earlier along the Chaudière River and which would later become the current cities of Sainte-Marie, Saint-Joseph-de-Beauce, Beauceville, and Saint-Georges, as well as several other communities which would detach from these territories.
According to accounts from Governor Charles de Beauharnois de la Boische and Intendant Gilles Hocquart, "Beauce" was chosen by seigneurs Joseph de Fleury de La Gorgendière, Pierre de Rigaud de Vaudreuil and Thomas-Jacques Taschereau to develop the potential of colonization, as the name recalls the French Beauce, a region renowned for its wheat production. In 1829, the name represented a county extending to the Canada–US border with Maine.
Later, Beauce would also be the name of administrative, municipal, electoral, school and judicial subdivisions, sometimes with different borders. Today, residents of neighbouring regional county municipalities consider themselves "Beaucerons" (masculine) or "Beauceronnes" (feminine) because of the former administrative links. They describe themselves as fiercely independent and mentioning how they do not look to government for help and believe in entrepreneurship and solidarity.
Historically, Beaucerons have also been known under the nickname of "Jarrets noirs" (black hocks). Travelling to Quebec City took up to one week, and because of the hilly roads and their conditions, they would often have to push their farm carts. They would get their legs dirty and arrive at the destination with their hocks black.
Black hocks actually referred to the hocks of their horses being black when they got to Quebec City because of the abundance of peaty bogs or wetlands on the journey there. Horses legs would sink up to their hocks and become covered in the muck and therefore be blackened.
Exclusively agricultural for many years, Beauce's economy slowly diversified in the first half of the 20th century through forestry, wood processing, and the leather and textile industries. In 1951, the industrial production value became for the first time superior to agriculture, likely due to strong local entrepreneurship and cheap labour. Today's economy relies especially on small and medium enterprises in the industries of furniture, food, clothing, printing and metalworking. It is known as Quebec's entrepreneurial heartland.
This section needs additional citations for verification. (April 2017)
- Marius Barbeau, ethnographer
- Jesse Bélanger, NHL hockey player
- Gilles Bernier, Canadian politician
- Maxime Bernier, Canadian politician
- Roch Carrier, author
- William Chapman, poet
- Robert Cliche, Quebec politician
- Marcel Dutil, businessman
- Clermont Pépin, composer
- Édouard Lacroix businessman and politician
- Laurent Noël, as of 2021, the oldest living Catholic bishop
- Jacques Poulin, novelist
- Marie-Philip Poulin, hockey player
- George Pozer, businessman
- Fabien Roy, Canadian politician
- Mathieu Roy, NHL hockey player
- Alex Tanguay, NHL hockey player
- Elzéar-Alexandre Taschereau, clergyman
- Henri Elzéar Taschereau, judge
- Stéphane Veilleux, NHL hockey player
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Beauce.|
- The Canadian Press (2017), The Canadian Press Stylebook (18th ed.), Toronto: The Canadian Press
- "Beauce" (in French). Commission de toponymie du Québec. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2009-05-15.
- "Voters in Maxime Bernier's hometown say they like the man more than the Conservatives". Montreal Gazette. 2017-05-26. Retrieved 2018-11-29.