VIEW-4914 | Murray Bay wharf, QC, about 1912

Murray Bay wharf, QC, about 1912
Wm. Notman & Son
About 1912, 20th century
Silver salts on glass - Gelatin dry plate process
11 x 16 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Architecture (8646) , Photograph (77678) , transport (150)
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Keys to History

Architecture: Variety of Shapes
According to official reports and lists published just before Confedation, small wood and stone lighthouses dotted the shores of the St. Lawrence River.

Lighthouses that indicated a harbour entrance or its wharf were sometimes built on existing structures. That is, the lantern would be built right on the roof of a building on shore.

  • What

    The "lighthouse" at La Malbaie was a small lantern perched on the roof of the station at the end of the wharf. Passengers getting on and off ships would shelter in the station building.

  • Where

    La Malbaie is located on the north shore of the St. Lawrence in the Charlevoix region. However, the wharf shown in this photograph might be the one at Pointe-au-Pic, just to the west of La Malbaie.

  • When

    In the early 20th century, La Malbaie (Murray Bay) was a popular summer destination for the rich and famous. One regular summer visitor was William Howard Taft, the 27th president of the United States (1909-1913).

  • Who

    La Malbaie owes its name to Samuel de Champlain. According to the Commission de toponymie du Québec, Champlain called the place "Malle Baye, the word malle meaning "terrible" in Old French. Champlain found the bay "terrible" because its low tides temporarily grounded his ships.