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Paspébiac, PQ  Lighthouse destroyed.   

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Paspébiac Lighthouse

Paspébiac is a city on Chaleur Bay in the Gaspésie region of eastern Quebec. The town is noted for a large sandbar jutting out into the bay.

Paspébiac was Quebec's first cod fishing port. In 1767, the Jersey merchants Charles Robin and Company established a permanent fishing operation and headquarters at Paspébiac. This establishment, together with the natural harbour, made Paspébiac the region’s main commercial centre. The Robin and Le Boutillier installations on the barachois resembled a small town. Each company had a warehouse four or five storeys high, a general store, a wharf, a carpenter shop, a sail loft, a blacksmith shop and forge, a cooper shop for making barrels, offices, a cook-house, a boarding house for the apprentices, and numerous other buildings – besides the large area given over to the flakes and the drying fish. Eleven period buildings, including the massive Le Boutillier warehouse, make up Paspébiac National Historic Site today.

In 1870, a square, wooden tower that exhibited a light at a height of fifty-feet feet above the high-water mark was built near the extremity of the point and placed in operation on June 29 of that year. Three lamps, set in reflectors, were used in the lantern room, with lamps pointing east, west and south. John F. Gallie was the first keeper of the light. He served until April 3, 1873, when Lionel Strong took charge of the lighthouse.

In 1874, a breakwater was built on the spit to protect the foundation of the lighthouse against the action of the sea during high tides. A storage/oil shed was also built near the lighthouse that year. The lighthouse was home to both the light and the keeper and his family.

The tower stood, in 1875, about 180 feet away from the high-water mark, but in 1878, the high-water mark was right at the lighthouse. As exorbitant sums were asked by local contractors, day labour under a competent foreman was used to relocated the lighthouse in 1881. A new larger lantern room was also installed atop the tower at this time.

In 1914, a double-flash catoptric apparatus was installed in the lantern room. This changed the characteristic of the light to a group of two flashes every fifteen seconds. In 1921, John Le Blanc erected a sixty-six-foot-tall, steel, skeletal tower at the station. The skeletal tower had an enclosed watchroom and lantern room and had slatwork on the side facing the water to make the lighthouse more conspicuous.

A violent storm in November 1963 destroyed the 1921 tower. A new tower was put in place in 1964 with an electric light that eliminated the need for the keeper. Léonard Joseph had served as the keeper from 1951 to 1963 and then served as the caretaker of the light from 1964 until 1968.

In 2021, a pole light marked the west end of the wharf at Paspébiac, and a square, skeletal tower displayed a flashing green light from the breakwater.

Keepers: John F. Gallie (1870 – 1873), Lionel Strong (1873 – 1878), John Loisel (1879 – 1894), John Loisel (1894 – 1927), P. Aspirot (1927 – 1931), A. Poirier (1931 – 1932), J.B. Labourdette (1932 – at least 1937), Charles Morin (at least 1945 – 1951), Léonard Joseph (1951 – 1963).


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

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