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Rivière du Loup Lighthouse

The City of Rivière-du-Loup is situated on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River and is named after the river (Wolf River) that runs through the city before emptying into the St. Lawrence. The wharf at Rivière-du-Loup is busy as it is the point of departure for a ferry to Saint-Siméeon, for trips to Brandy Pot Lighthouse, and for whale watching excursions that may afford the opportunity to see Red Island Lighthouse and Prince Shoal Lighthouse.

Lighthouse on Rivière-du-Loup Wharf in 1906
Photograph courtesy Library and Archives Canada
A $600 appropriation was made in 1880 for a new lighthouse to mark the wharf at Rivière-du-Loup, but as the Public Works Department was engaged in raising the level of the wharf, the project was delayed until this work was done. The Department of Marine provided the following details on the new lighthouse in 1882:
During the past season, the contract of the light heretofore maintained at the outer end of the Government pier at Rivière du Loup was assumed by the Department, and a new lighthouse tower erected on the northwest corner of the pier. A fixed white light is shown, elevated 38 feet above high water mark, and visible 11 miles from all points seaward. The illuminating apparatus is dioptric of the sixth order. The tower is a square wooden building, 36 feet in height from the pier to the vane of the lantern, and is painted white. The lighthouse was erected under contract by Mr. James Sheridan, of Montreal, for the sum of $619.

L.T. Puize was hired as the first keeper of the new wharf light, and in 1886, he was paid an annual salary of sixty dollars for minding the light and fifty dollars for running the signal station.

In 1909, the colour of the light was changed from fixed white to fixed red, likely to make it readily distinguishable from electric lights in the area. At this time, the pier extended 1,600 feet westward from the northern shore of the river and had a depth of fourteen feet alongside its head at low water. A railway connected with the Intercolonial system extended to the end of the pier for transportation of freight, and the marine signal and telegraph station were located near the inner end of the pier.

In 1930, the wharf light was moved to the top of the freight shed and remained there until around 1954, when a skeletal tower was erected on the pier to display a fixed green light. By this time, a privately maintained whistle was operating on the pier, sounding a blast every thirty seconds when needed.

Today, a flashing green light is shown from a skeletal tower at the end of the wharf at Rivière-du-Loup.

Keepers: L.T. Puize (1882 – 1900), P.E. Tremblay (1900 – 1902), F.E. Gilbert (1902 – 1905), L.J. Puize (1905 – 1907), F.E. Gilbert (1907 – 1912), Mrs. L.J. Puize (1912 – 1913), Emile Madore (1913 – at least 1923).

References

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

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