How a French Chateau ended up on Canadian Air Force Base?!  (Moose Jaw)


French ‘Chateau’ Becomes Officers Mess, then gets Flown to Canada. Those clever Canadian pilots!


How a French Chateau resurfaced in Saskatchewan, Canada! In the 1960’s the plucky pilots at Canada’s air force base near Marville, France wanted a spiffy ‘Mess’ so they hunted around and bought an old French chateau in Montmedy that had fallen into disuse. Dating to the 1600’s, the officers paid a local the princely sum of 250 CDN dollars (this is back when a buck was a buck!) disassembled it, placed it on flatbeds, and then completely rebuilt it on the base (not however before omitting one plank of wood! pay attention). PROBLEM: France pulls-out of NATO (so there!) in about ’67 and sends Canada packing, jets and all. BUT local law says any ‘unfinished’ projects could be taken home. Remember that plank? RESULT: Having an air force at their disposal the pilots photographed every single part of the place, labouriosuly took it apart –again!…and flew it to Canada –where it was eventually reassembled at CFB Moose Jaw, SASK (now called 15 Wing!).

The Chateau Room, as its called, has some of the earliest papal red glass and wood beams dating back more than 700 years.  Most of the wood came from an abandonded Chateau in Montmedy (France). The castle was built in 1601 by Jean III d’Allamont (Governor, 1595 – 1617). Some of the wood is judged to be more than 780 years old….as some of the materials dated to 1224 in the orignal building.  Stained Glass Windows: The windows in the Chateau Room come from a 12th century church in Marville, France ( a monument of the Natuional Trust). The glass had been packed away in cases during both world wars. The red glass is some of the oldest Papal glass in France.


I did this story some time back as starving TV freelancer but thought ‘oh, what the heck’ …it’s a GREAT tale. Hope to revisit the story and am now hunting for the very place near Montmedy where the chateau stood.  This is BUT one of the unique wonders in the beyond magical Saskatchewan….(best cinnamon rolls west of the aurora borealis; most staggering Northern Lights anywhere; Emma Lake & Duck Lake, Cypress Hills…the human-scaled and stunning Saskatoon and more than one can imagine. Q: Why you’ve never really heard of Sask? A: Canadians dont want you to! Ha!

15 Wing is also home to the famed Canadian Aerobatics Jet Team, the Snowbirds!

Send any questions about Paris/France and I’ll do my best to answer or shed light on them!



How a French Chateau ended up on Canadian Air Force Base?! (Moose Jaw)

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