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Grosse Île and the Irish Memorial National Historic Site of Canada

Grosse-Île, Quebec, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1974/05/18

Corner view of 19th century hotel.; Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
Corner view
General view of 19th century building.; Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada
General view
exterior aerial photo; Parks Canada / Parcs Canada 1989
Grosse île and the Irish Memorial

Other Name(s)

Grosse Île and the Irish Memorial National Historic Site of Canada
Grosse Île and the Irish Memorial
Grosse-Île-et-le-Mémorial-des-Irlandais
Grosse Île and Immigration to Canada
Grosse Île et l'immigration au Canada

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1832/01/01 to 1937/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2004/12/09

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Grosse Île National Historic Site is located on an island of the same name in the St. Lawrence River. It is the site of a 19th and early 20th century quarantine station. Today it contains built, archaeological and cultural landscape resources that survive from this 1832-1937 period of use as well as a Celtic Cross erected in 1909 to commemorate the Irish immigrants who died there.

Heritage Value

Grosse Île and the Irish Memorial National Historic Site commemorates
- the importance of immigration to Canada, especially immigration through the entry port of Québec, from the early 19th century until World War I;
- the tragic experiences of Irish immigrants at this site, especially during the 1847 typhus epidemic; and
- the role played by the island, from 1832-1937, as a quarantine station for the port of Québec, for many years the main point of entry for immigrants to Canada.

The heritage value of the site resides in the cultural landscape and its component parts that illustrate the process of immigration and quarantine of 19th century immigrants to Canada through the port of Quebec, particularly the Irish during the mid-19th century.

Among its residents was Dr. Frederick Montizambert, medical superintendent of the island during the last 30 years of the 19th century. His belief in the new science of preventative medicine (microbiology, epidemiology, disinfection, vaccinations) caused him to develop a new generation of Canadian quarantine stations which protected Canadians from the deadly epidemics that ravaged many parts of the world at the time

Source
HSMBC Minutes, 1974, 1983, 1993, 1998, and the 1996 Ministerial announcement on Commemorative Intent

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that contribute to the heritage value of this site include :
- the cultural landscape located on the island's south shore, comprised of three distinct activity sectors
- the linkage of the sectors by a road, the length of the island
- the collection of modest, vernacular, wooden buildings and two in brick
- the memorial sites, including graveyards and the Celtic Cross monument
- the setting, isolated by the forested, northern portion of the island and by the waters of the St. Lawrence River

Western Sector
- buildings from the 19th and 20th centuries, including the disinfection building, carpentry and plumbing workshops, hotels, wash house, bakery, kitchen, the electrician's house, the vaccination and medical examination office, the guard house, and assistant physician's house in their found form, massing, materials, and spacial relationships
- the Irish cemetery with its grassed, unmarked graves and the doctors' monument
- the Celtic Cross memorial in its form, materials and setting
- the west wharf with vestiges of the 1846-1847 original and various engineering structures
- archaeological vestiges

Central sector
- built node including the sailors' quarters, Anglican and Roman Catholic chapels, Catholic Presbytery, the Marconi station, the house of the Public works official, the doctor's house, the workshop, the school, the nurses' residence, and the Superintendent's Shed in their found form, massing, materials, and spacial relationships
- the cannon battery
- cemetery
- vestiges of the lower wharf and engineering works
- archaeological remnants.

Eastern sector
- lazaretto
- cemetery, sub-divided into Catholic and Protestant sectors
- 1881 hospital laundry; - infections desease hospital foundations; - numerous archaeological remnants»

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Federal

Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Historic Sites and Monuments Act

Recognition Type

National Historic Site of Canada

Recognition Date

1974/05/18

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1832/01/01 to 1832/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Peopling the Land
Migration and Immigration

Function - Category and Type

Current

Leisure
Museum

Historic

Health and Research
Clinic

Architect / Designer

n/a

Builder

n/a

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

616

Status

Published

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General view

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General view

Building 35

Building 35, also known as the Guard Post, is located in the village in the Grosse Île and the Irish Memorial National Historic Site of Canada. The small, picturesque, two-storey…

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Building 22

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Building 84

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Building 66

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General view

Building 49

Building 49, also known as the Catholic Presbytery, is situated in the central sector of the village on Grosse Île, in the Grosse Île and the Irish Memorial National Historic Site…

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