The reputation of Knowlton is well known. As proof of this fact, one need only look at the Canadian Handbook Tourist Guide of 1867, the year of the creation of Canada, to read an invitation to come and experience the charm of the area. That charm has never ceased. Indeed in May 1997, the magazine Actualité listed Knowlton in the top 20 most beautiful towns in Quebec.
The first settler to arrive in the early 1800’s was Matthew Morehouse. Originally from Massachusetts, Morehouse only stayed for a short period of time. John Capel, of Vermont, also chose the area to build a home and arrived shortly after Morehouse.
In 1834, Paul Holland Knowlton settled in the area permanently. Knowlton knew the region well because he and his wife, Laura Moss, had had a home on the shores of Brome Lake for over 20 years. The Biographical Dictionary of Canada describes him as a first rate businessman. The article referring to his arrival states: « he acquired water rights first, and then built a sawmill to produce building material. He then built a large home with out-buildings, a blacksmith shop, a potash factory and a flour mill. This became the hub of the village of Knowlton which, prior to the establishment of the Post Office, was called Coldbrook. » Until 1851, the village and the river running through it were known by the same name. Coldbrook became Knowlton to honour its most illustrious resident.
The management of the Post Office, opened in 1851, was given to Albert Kimball, the owner of Blinn’s Inn, which had opened two years prior and which is now the Auberge Knowlton. In 1855, the date of the establishment of the municipal system in Quebec, and the date of the creation of the Municipality of Brome County, Knowlton, the centre of commerce and communications with its Registry office and Circuit Court, became the county seat.
In July 1888, Knowlton become a municipality distinct from the Municipality of Brome County.
Source : Canada Census