Our blog is to keep family and friends informed of our motorhome journeys.
We have dreamed of this for many years and finally our dream has come true.
We are looking forward to many happy miles ahead.
One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things. Henry Miller.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Coteau du Lac, Lachine and L'ile Sainte Helene

30 July 2013

Coteau du Lac is the location of the first canal built in North America by the British in 1812 to protect the portage. It is located on the St Lawrence. The canal made it possible to navigate the toughest rapids between Montreal and the Great Lakes. In 1813 it was converted to a military post to deter the Americans from capturing Montreal. Only remains of buildings and a rebuilt blockhouse remain as the British set it on fire in 1837 to prevent it from falling into the hands of the Patriots. The blockhouse was used as a hospital,barracks and ordinance


Model of Original Fort

Remains of Barracks

Blockhouse/Museum

Facing St Lawrence

Remains

Canal Entry


Model of Blockhouse

Officer Display

Another Model of Fort

Continuing on to the town of Lachine we toured the Hudson Bay Company original warehouse. The warehouse was built in 1803 by the Northwest Company and later acquired by HBC in 1833. There is a nice museum housed in the building. The fur trade was strong for over 200 years.
Canal by HBC Warehouse

HBC Warehouse and Museum

Signage about HBC

Fur Displays

Argument over Ownership

Traders


Display of Voyageurs

Fur Trading with Iroquois

Cute Little Critter

Museum

Also in the town of Lachine was the 1689 massacre when 1500 Iroquois descended on the area. Over 200 townspeople were slained and 120 taken captive. We then walked along the Lachine Canal, ate lunch and continued on to L'ile Sainte Helene in Montreal.
Plaque on Massacre
Lachine Canal

Signage on Canal

L'ile Sainte Helene also known as Parc Drapeau is located across from Montreal. Our purpose for visiting was to tour the British Arsenal and fort built in 1820 to replace the destroyed Montreal Citadel as a defensive chain to protect Canada  from the threat of American invasion. It served as an important central artillery depot for all forts west. During WWII it was used as an interment camp for Italian Canadians. Today it is home to the David Stewart Museum founded in 1955 housing artifacts from the 16th through 19th centuries.
Map of L'ile Sainte Helene

Arsenal and Museum

Parade Ground

Cannon Display

Blockhouse

It is said that the site is inhabited by ghosts of 800 soldiers killed when their general put them in the line of fire of enemy sharpshooters. They are buried in a mass grave on the Ile. Their ghostly footsteps are heard, objects disappear and put in other places, light anomalies and disembodied voices.

The museum was closed so we will return tomorrow.

Returning back to camp we stopped at Costco for supplies.


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