Our story began after the 2008 passing of Louise Tillotson, wife of Neil Tillotson. As a prosperous businessman, Mr. Tillotson had acquired properties in East Hereford and St-Herménégilde, near where he was born, starting in the 1960s. In the early 2000s the company Tillotson Farms and Forests managed a private area of more than 5,400 ha, which included Mount Hereford, the ninth highest summit in southern Quebec. The estate of this very wealthy American stipulated that the assets of Mr. Tillotson’s empire were to benefit the communities in which he worked over his extensive career as a business leader. In the case of Mount Hereford, a decision was made to grant the vast 5,400 ha tract of private forest to the community, while ensuring its preservation. This initiative resulted in the involvement of numerous Quebec and American partners over more than four years of efforts. Hereford Community Forest has existed since 2013, when ownership of the property was officially transferred.
All our benefactor’s life achievements were steeped in simplicity and humility. However, his life and generosity were so unequaled and extraordinary that he quickly became a legend; a status which now transcends the borders of his native North Country. To relive that legend, visitors can enjoy the top of Mount Hereford, a mountain he always wanted to be kept available to the public, so that all could enjoy the great outdoors of the Appalachians.
Photo Alain Lampron
And, since the summer of 2017, they have also been able to stop at the Pioneer Trail Neil Tillotson located near the Hereford Community Forest office (325 chemin des Côtes, East Hereford).
Finally, the Municipality of East Hereford, in cooperation with Hereford Community Forest, has edited a short summary of Mr. Neil Tillotson’s life. This can be found on the Municipality's website (french only).
Photo Stéphane Flibotte
To demonstrate the feasibility of this project, a land-use plan was drawn up in 2011 as a prerequisite for the official transfer. The plan described potential ways to develop Tillotson Farms and Forests properties as of the moment when the land would be ceded to the communities. Today, integrated planning is anticipated in order to determine medium-term development orientations in keeping with the communities’ aspirations.