|Verchères Village Range Rear, PQ|
Description: Range lights, known as Verchères Village, were established on May 1, 1902 to serve a new shipping channel dredged between Île Bouchard and the southern shore of the St. Lawrence River. This new range lead from the intersection of their alignment with that of the Contreceour-Verchères Range Lights to the intersection of their alignment with that of the Verchères Traverse Range Lights. Both of these other other range lights were located downstream from the Village of Verchères, but Verchères Traverse Range exhibited its lights upstream to mark the channel right off Verchères, while the Verchères Village Range exhibited its light downstream to mark the channel below the village.
The Annual Report of the Department of Marine for 1902 provides the following description of the Verchères Village range lights.
The front light is fixed white catoptric, elevated 44 feet above the summer level of the river; visible 12 miles in, and over a small arc on each side of, the line of range, and is shown from a square wooden lantern on a square wooden tower with sloping sides standing upon a cribwork pier, 380 feet S. 61° E. from the outer end of the village wharf.
Jospeh Guyon was hired as the first keeper of the front range at an annual salary of $80, while Felix Bousquet was paid $70 to serve as the first keeper of the rear range.
In 1929, the front range tower was rebuilt in the form of a skeletal tower topped by an enclosed lantern room.
Besides the range lights, another aid was established at Verchères in 1909 in the form of a marine signal station housed in an old windmill near the front range light. By means of signals placed on a tall mast that stood near the windmill, information could be sent between ship and shore. The mast was sixty-feet tall, with a twenty-five-foot-long cross-spar about twenty feet from its top. Signals displayed at the west end of the cross-spar related to points above the station, while signals on the east end referred to points below the station. For communicating messages, the International Code of Signals was used.
The windmill, along with eight other signal stations between Quebec City and Montreal, were connected by a private telephone line so the position of vessels could be quickly reported. Vessels could receive information on the weather, wind, and ice conditions as well as any dispatches addressed to them.
The following information on the old stone windmill at Verchères was recorded by the superintending engineer of the St. Lawrence River Ship Channel in 1910:
After negotiating for two years, the old Windmill property at Vercheres, P.Q., was finally acquired by the department, and possession was taken on April 1, 1909. Two objects were attained by this transaction, viz.: —
The old stone windmill served as a signal station until 1949, when it was acquired by the municipality of Verchères. The municipality restored the windmill in 1991, and today it is open during the summer as an art gallery.
Located 634 metres southwest of the front range light. The lighthouse is owned by the Canadian Coast Guard. Grounds/tower closed.
The lighthouse is owned by the Canadian Coast Guard. Grounds/tower closed.
Pictures on this page copyright Kraig Anderson, JACLAY, used by permission.