Description: Roughly twenty kilometres downstream from Trois-Rivières, the Champlain River empties into the St. Lawrence River. Samuel de Champlain, founder of New France, gave his name to the Champlain River in the early 1600s, and his name was later applied to the nearby village.
In 1881, the salary of Keeper Hardy was increased from $100 to $130 owing to the establishment of a second light at his station. This second light was in the form of a pole light, with a shed at its base to house the necessary apparatus for hoisting the light to the top of the pole. When Napoleon Hardy died in 1889, Lucien Hardy was placed in charge of the main or front light and Miss Valérie Martineau was made keeper of the rear pole light.
A second set of range lights was established at Champlain in 1904, when two day beacons, which marked the channel from Citrouille Point, near the mouth of the Champlain River, to the Village of Champlain, were adapted for night navigation by hoisting a lantern up each of them. This new range was known as Champlain Upper Range, while the old range was renamed Champlain Lower Range. In 1905, a square, thirty-foot-tall, wooden tower, with sloping sides and surmounted by a square wooden lantern room, took the place of the front day beacon, while a square, skeletal, ninety-five-foot-tall, steel tower replaced the rear day beacon. The rear tower was topped by an enclosed lantern room and had white wooden slatwork on its range-facing side to enhance its visibility during the day. A second pair of keepers was hired to look after the Upper Range.
On June 15, 1906, lights were shown from new range lighthouses, erected at Champlain, distant 50 feet to the southward of the alignment of the old range lights, and mark the axis of the ship channel from Champlain to Ile Bigot. The tower and the mast from which the old range lights were exhibited were removed.
In 1927, the back light of Champlain Lower Range had to be rebuilt after the former structure was struck by lightning and burned. A decade later, in 1937, the lower front tower, a wooden tower topped by an octagonal lantern room, was replaced by a lantern atop a slatwork tower with a shed at its base.
At some point between 1955 and 1994, a white circular mast replaced the wooden tower at the front light of Upper Champlain Range, and the back light of Lower Champlain Range was discontinued, leaving just a white skeletal tower displaying a sector light. The present rear tower serving Upper Champlain Range was erected around 2010.
Champlain Upper Range is now known as just Champlain Range, while the light at the site formerly occupied by the front light of Champlain Lower Range is known just as Champlain.
Champlain Lighthouse and Lower Range Keepers:
Upper Range Keepers:
Located on the bank of the St. Lawrence River in Champlain. 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 Michael Boucher, used by permission.