DROUIN, PIERRE (baptized Pierre-Étienne), furniture-maker; b. 22 Sept. 1810 at Quebec, son of Pierre Drouin, a merchant, and Marie-Louise Fraise; m. 21 Nov. 1843 Marie Paquet, widow of Simon Forgues, at Saint-Michel, Lower Canada; d. 27 May 1860 at Quebec.
By 1843 Pierre Drouin was in partnership at Quebec with François Drouin, with an establishment at 24 Rue des Fossés (Boulevard Charest) in the faubourg Saint-Roch. The firm made all kinds of furniture, including cots, cradles, sofas, love-seats, chairs, tables, and buffets, and it assured clients that in their manufacture solidity was combined with elegance. The next year, on 5 June 1844, the entire stock of household furniture was sold by auction. After the company’s demise on 11 June, Pierre notified his debtors that he alone was authorized to receive payments on account. He remained in business on his own at 27 Rue des Fossés.
In 1845 Drouin did not escape unscathed in the fire that ravaged part of the faubourg Saint-Roch, but he carried on with his work and invited the public to visit his workshop. In 1847 he advertised furniture in “good condition” and exquisite taste, particularly “a large stock of straw-bottomed chairs painted in a fanciful style, and others of wood alone.” Probably in 1854, Drouin moved to 45 Rue des Fossés. No sooner had he set up shop there than journalists became keenly interested in the items he was making for the universal exposition in Paris in 1855. However, there were no entries by Drouin among the Canadian pieces displayed. Two or three years later he formed another partnership, probably with François Roy, a furniture-maker who had come to the province in 1854. The firm of Drouin et Roy attracted numerous customers and interested enquiries. The partners manufactured furniture in the styles current in Paris and London, and sold it at lower prices. As master furniture-makers, they advertised that they personally supervised the manufacturing and employed only the best workers. Unfortunately, the premature death of Pierre Drouin at 49, from a “heart ailment,” put an end to this promising partnership.
ANQ-Q, CE1-1, 23 sept. 1810; CE1-22, 30 mai 1860; CE2-5, 21 nov. 1843. Can., Prov. of, Legislative Assembly, App. to the journals, 1856, app.46. Le Courrier du Canada, 28 mai 1860. Le Journal de Québec, 13 mai 1843; 1er, 15 juin, 8 août 1844; 28 nov. 1846; 4 déc. 1847. Quebec directory, 1848–58. P.-L. Martin, La berçante québécoise (Montréal et Québec, 1973). Morisset, Coup d’œil sur les arts.