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 Nicolet Sector, PQ    
Lighthouse best viewed by boat or plane.
Description: The Nicolet River, named for the French fur trader Jean Nicolet, who drowned when his boat capsized on the St. Lawrence River during a storm, empties into the St. Lawrence River at the eastern end of Lake Saint-Peter.

In 1906, the Department of Marine erected a set of range lights near the mouth of Nicolet River to guide mariners along Nicolet Traverse. A concrete pier, which was forty-two feet square at its base, twenty-five feet square at its top, and had a height of thirty feet, was built just offshore for the front light tower and keeper’s dwelling, while foundations for the skeletal rear tower were built on the mainland with a height of seven feet to protect the structure from ice floes in the spring of the year. The work on the two piers was done by day’s labour and cost $28,336.90 through June 30, 1906.

The Department of Marine published the following description of Nicolet Range Lights in 1907:

The front lighthouse stands on a permanent concrete pier, on the flat on the east side of the mouth of Nicolet river. It is a square wooden building, surmounted by a hexagonal wooden lantern, the whole painted white. The building is 19 feet high from its base to the top of the ventilator on the lantern, and the pier is 30 feet high, square in plan, with battered sides. The light is a fixed white catoptric light, elevated 45 feet above the summer level of the river, and visible 4 miles in the line of range.

The back tower stands on the site of the old front day beacon, 3/4 miles below the mouth of Nicolet river, about 600 feet back from the water’s edge, and 4,250 feet from the front lighthouse. It consists of an open steel framework, square in plan, with sloping sides, painted white, surmounted by an inclosed wooden watch-room and a square wooden lantern. The side of the framework facing the channel is rendered more conspicuous as a day beacon by being covered half way down with wooden slatwork. The lantern roof is painted red, the lantern sides, the watch-room and the slats are painted white. The height of the tower from its base to the top of the ventilator on the lantern is 82 feet. The light is a fixed white catoptric light, elevated 86 feet above the summer level of the river, and visible 5 miles in the line of range. The back skeleton tower was provided by Messrs. Goold, Shapley & Muir, of Brantford, Ont., for $668.50, and the front wooden tower, as well as the erection of the steel tower, and completion of pier (which latter was practically finished last year), was done by day’s labour, under the Montreal agency, at a cost of $1,903.82.

Didier Heroux was hired as the first keep of the front range light at an annual salary of $150, while Edmond Heroux was paid $100 a year to look after the rear light.

In 1938, the front pier’s nineteen-foot-tall wooden lighthouse with a hexagonal lantern was replaced by a hexagonal iron lantern that reduced the lights focal plane from forty-five to twenty-three feet. The rear tower remained the same.

In 1970, Nicolet Sector, which showed a green light along a bearing of 353° and a white light between 353° and 173°, was established on the front range pier, and the range’s rear light was discontinued. Around this time, a set of range lights, known today as Traverse de Nicolet Range, was established on the shore just east of Nicolet Sector. Here is a picture of the current Traverse de Nicolet Range Front Light and a picture of the current Traverse de Nicolet Range Rear Light.

Keepers

  • Front: Didier Heroux (1906 – 1923), P. Lamy (1923 – 1924), R. Lamy (1924 – 1925), O. Pinard (1927 – 1932), J.M. Cecile (1932 – 1936), B. Proulx (1936 – at least 1937).
  • Back: Edmond Heroux (1906 – 1918).

References

  1. Annual Report of the Department of Marine, various years.

Location: Located on an islet in the St. Lawrence River at the east end of the Lake Saint-Peter basin north of Nicolet.
Latitude: 46.257528
Longitude: -72.650972

For a larger map of Nicolet Sector Lighthouse, click the lighthouse in the above map or get a map from: Mapquest.


Travel Instructions: As the lighthouse is closest to the southern shore of the St. Lawrence River, it is best viewed from that shore. From QC-132 in Nicolet on the eastern side of the Nicolet River, go north on Rue Saint Jean Baptiste. After 1.5 km (0.9 miles) the road will become Rang du Bas de la Rivière, which you need to follow for another 2.3 km (1.4 miles). At this point, you can turn left onto Chemin de la Pointe du Hameau. This road leads to a private camping ground from where you can get a view of the light. You can also get a distant view of the light from the wharf at Port Saint-François.

The lighthouse is owned by the Canadian Coast Guard. Grounds open, tower closed.

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Pictures on this page copyright Kraig Anderson, used by permission.