|Leclercville Range, PQ|
Description: Leclercville is situated on a bend in the St. Lawrence River opposite Grondines and is named after Pierre Leclerc, a settler who donated a large portion of his land for the construction of a church. Named in honour of Sainte-Emmélie and built in a neo-Gothicism style, the church was completed in 1863. In 2000, the Village of Leclercville and the parish of Sainte-Emmélie were amalgamated to form the municipality of Leclercville.
Ste. Emmélie Range Lights were built to replace those at Cap Charles but they were not initially activated as the Montreal Harbour Commissioners had not completed dredging the new deep water Cap à la Roche Channel the new range was intended to mark. After it was found that heavy-draft vessels did not pass through this part of the new Cap à la Roche Channel at night, the decision was made to not activate the range but to have them just serve as day beacons.
The range lights were finally activated on October 26, 1898 to help keep the Montreal and Quebec passenger steamers clear of the buoys while fighting the channel’s swift current. The following description of the range was given at that time:
The front range building stands on the south side of the highway running along the top of the cliff on the south shore of the River St. Lawrence, and is situated about midway between the mouth of Grande Rivière du Chêne and the mouth of Petite Rivière du Chêne. At the site, the river bank rises steeply to a height of about 80 feet, and the top of the bank is clear, level, cultivated land.
Urgent repairs to the towers’ foundations were carried out in 1900 by a mason sent from Quebec, and in 1901, the light exhibited from the back tower was altered so that it could be seen from all points of approach in the channel rather than only along the line of the range. This change in the light was made “for the convenience of coasting steamers calling at Ste. Emelie wharf, in the mouth of Great Chêne river.”
In 1915, new steel, skeletal towers surmounted by an enclosed watchroom and lantern room replaced the original wooden towers (front and rear) at Ste. Emmélie Range. This work was carried out under the direction of A. Martin at a cost of $2,517.59. Each of these two new towers stood forty-seven feet tall, and the side of the towers facing the range line was covered with slats that were painted white with a black vertical stripe. The front light was exhibited at a height of 128 feet above the river, and the rear light, located 1,220 yards from the front light, at a height of 183 feet.
In 1983, the front range light was moved away from the edge of the cliff, and in 2002, a simple square, skeletal tower replaced the square, pyramidal, skeletal tower with an enclosed top that had housed the front range light. By 2008, a square skeletal tower had also taken the place of the square, pyramidal, skeletal tower with an enclosed top that had housed the rear range light. The range is now listed by the Canadian Coast Guard as Leclercville (St. Emmélie) range.
Located along QC-132 west of Leclerville. 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, used by permission.