Work began in 1902 on a new set of range lights known as Contrecoeur Verchères to guide mariners along a new dredged channel located between Verchères and Contrecoeur. Contrecoeur Verchères Range marked the eastern end of this channel’s axis, while its western end was marked by Verchères Village Range, which was established in 1902.
Contrecoeur Verchères Range was placed in operation on October 27, 1903, and the Department of Marine published the following description of the new range:
The lights are fixed white catoptric lights, visible 6 miles in the line of range.
The three other new ranges near Contrecoeur referenced were Contrecoeur Course, Petite Traverse, and St. Ours Traverse, which were all located just downstream from Contrecoeur and were also placed in operation on October 27, 1903.
The front tower is a square wooden building, with vertical sides, standing on a concrete pier. The pier is whitewashed, and the lighthouse is painted white with a red roof. It stands in one foot of water on the flats making out from Contrecoeur, on the south shore of the river. It is distant 4,350 feet N. 42° W. from Concrecoeur village church.
The back light is shown temporarily from a lantern hoisted on a pole above the
steel framework of the tower, which is a square building, with sloping sides, consisting
of all open, steel framework, with wooden slats on the upper portion of the side facing
the alignment. The skeleton steelwork is painted brown, and the slats are white. The
height of the tower from the pier to the top of the slatwork is 42 feet. When the
wooden superstructure of this tower is completed the light will be shown from the
lantern thereof without any change in its height or character.
The pier on which the tower stands is of concrete, whitewashed.
The deck of the pier is 26 feet above the summer level of the river. This pier stands upon an islet rising out of the same flat on which the front one stands. It is distant 9,250 feet N 54° 30’ E. from the front tower.
These buildings, with their concrete foundations, were erected by day’s labour, under the supervision of Mr. E. Roy, foreman of works, and together with the three new ranges at Contrecoeur, have cost to date $26,631.84.
Honore Tetreault served as the first keeper of the front range light, while Ernest Guyon was employed as the first keeper of the rear range light. In 1906, the two keepers were earning an annual salary of $93.75 for minding the lights.
Mariners traveling downstream were advised that the lights of Contrecoeur Verchères Range should be kept in one ahead at a bearing of 40° 15’ after they left Verchères Traverse Range and until they came into the alignment of the Contrecoeur Traverse Range.
At some point between 1959 and 1995, Contrecoeur Verchères Range was altered to its current configuration where the lights are now spaced by 5,655 feet (1723.6 metres) instead of the original spacing of 9,250 feet.
- Front: Honore Tetreault (1903 – 1912), J.B. Gervais (1912 – 1922) $63.23, H. Tetrault (1922 – at least 1923).
- Back: Ernest Guyon (1903 – 1912), Joseph Dupuy (1912 – at least 1923).
- Annual Report of the Department of Marine, various years.
The front light is located on a pier along Chenal des Chasseurs in the Contrecoeur Islands, while the back light is 1,724 metres away.
Latitude: 45.86525 Latitude: 45.876923
Longitude: -73.251861 Longitude: -73.237503
For a larger map of Contrecoeur-Verchères Range Lighthouse, click the lighthouse in the above map.
Instructions: Take QC-132 (Route Marie Victorin) to the 4700 block in Contrecoeur, where you will find Parc Cartier-Richard, also known as Battlefield/Patriot Park. A distant view of the front range light is possible from the park. The rear light can be viewed from around 5724 Route Marie Victorin (QC-132).
The range lights are owned by the Canadian Coast Guard. Grounds open, towers closed.
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