M6650.7 | PLAN of RIVER ST. LAWRENCE Between Prescott and Montreal.

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PLAN of RIVER ST. LAWRENCE Between Prescott and Montreal.
H. H. Killaly
1856, 19th century
Ink and watercolour on paper - Lithography
50.5 x 523.5 cm
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Map (219) , Map (215) , Print (10661)
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Keys to History

The Lighthouse at Pointe-au-Beaudet
Located on the south shore of Lake St. Francis near the Quebec-Ontario border, the Pointe-au-Beaudet (or McGee Point) Lighthouse is a typical example of a small shore-based lighthouse. Built in 1847, it is a square wooden building 7.3 metres high. Topped by a glass circular lantern that projects a fixed white light up to 16 kilometres away, the tower sits on a small parcel of land that was expropriated by the government. The keeper was a Scottish immigrant by the name of Alexander MacDonald who at the time earned 35 pounds a year.

This lighthouse, which marked the Lake St. Francis channel, was an important component of the Laurentian navigation system. Destroyed by fire in 1877, it was rebuilt the following year and served faithfully until the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway, when more modern navigation lights were installed.

  • What

    The Pointe-au-Beaudet Lighthouse, a small wooden tower topped by a lamp, was one of several lighthouses on Lake St. Francis. It kept ships from foundering on the rocky point and sandbars in the waters nearby.

  • Where

    Lake St. Francis is a widening in the St. Lawrence River that covers 50 kilometres between Cornwall (in Ontario) and Salaberry-de-Valleyfield (in Quebec).

  • When

    In 1656, a group of five Jesuit missionaries heading for Huronia to convert the Aboriginals to Christianity arrived at Lake St. Francis and named it in honour of St François Xavier, who died in 1552.

  • Who

    The first lighthouse keeper was Alexander MacDonald, a farmer at Pointe-au-Beaudet at the time of his appointment in 1848. He later built a home beside the lighthouse.