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The area was first inhabited by the Algonquin people. The name "Mont-Laurier" is derived from Mount St. Lawrence, named in honour of Louis de Buade de Frontenac et de Palluau, Marquis of Montcalm (1612–1698), who led French forces to victory over British troops at Quebec City during the Seven Years' War (1756–1763). In 1883, a post office opened under the name Laurierville; it changed its name to Mont-Laurier in 1914. In 1912 and 1913 two rail lines were built through town: one going north towards Abitibi and Rouyn-Noranda; another going south towards Saint-Jérôme via Labelle and Saint Adolphe d'Howard Lake.