MP-0000.933.5 | Jean Baptiste Rice, river pilot, Montreal vicinity, QC, about 1890

Jean Baptiste Rice, river pilot, Montreal vicinity, QC, about 1890
Anonyme - Anonymous
About 1890, 19th century
Silver salts on paper mounted on card - Albumen process
14 x 10 cm
Gift of Mr. Stanley G. Triggs
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  male (26812) , Photograph (77678) , portrait (53878)
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Keys to History

In the 19th century, many tourists wanted to experience the excitement of running the Lachine Rapids in a steamboat.

Early in the morning, the tourists climbed aboard. A pilot, specially chosen for his skill and experience with the rapids, took the helm. Once at the rapids, the boat began to pitch and roll, just as if it were on rough seas. The pilot and crew had to manoeuvre the craft skilfully through the eddies. Then the boat returned to Montreal, passing under the Victoria Bridge, and dropped its passengers at one of the quays of the port.

At the time, tourists throughout Canada could also go on other steamer excursions, such as hunting trips or moonlight cruises.

  • What

    The river pilots who navigated the Lachine Rapids were often Mohawks from Kahnawake, who were renowned for their skill.

  • Where

    Tourists took the train from Bonaventure Station in Montreal to get to Lachine for their outing on the rapids.

  • When

    After the excursion, the boat dropped the tourists off at the Port of Montreal at about nine in the morning, "just in time and with good appetite, for breakfast," as the advertisement said.

  • Who

    For a while, insurance companies required all steamers to be operated by a pilot from Kahnawake.