VIEW-4939 | Hay barge along St. Lawrence River, QC, about 1912

Hay barge along St. Lawrence River, QC, about 1912
Wm. Notman & Son
About 1912, 20th century
Silver salts on glass - Gelatin dry plate process
12 x 16 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  boat (1192) , Photograph (77678) , river (1486) , Transportation (2517) , Waterscape (2986)
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Keys to History

This sail barge, used for transporting hay on the St. Lawrence River, was the kind of craft typically used for trading this grain. In the 19th century, hay and oats were the two main cereals produced in Quebec.

After the fashion of the St. Lawrence River, the Richelieu River was one of the most important routes for transporting merchandise in the province. First, it was the most direct route between Montreal and New York in the19th century. It also served for transporting local agricultural products. So in autumn, barges loaded with apples, wheat and heating wood sailed the river.

  • What

    The St. Lawrence River and Great Lakes system was the longest inland navigable waterway in the world. In the 19th century, the River was the main route travelled by ships loaded with merchandise destined for local and international markets.

  • Where

    Hay grown on the lands around Lake Saint-Pierre and the Richelieu River was shipped to the United States.

  • When

    In 1848, the St. Lawrence navigable waterway linked Quebec City to Windsor by a canal system established in 1821.

  • Who

    Farmers from Lower Canada and later from Quebec practised intensive hay and oats farming, which permitted the development of milk production at the end of the 19th century.