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Madeleine de Verchères National Historic Site of Canada

Verchères, Quebec, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1923/05/25

Historical view of Madeleine de Verchères, showing the bronze statue set atop a tapered conical tower, 1934.; Library and Archives Canada / Bibliothèque et Archives Canada, PA-056837, C. M. Johnson, 1934.
Historical view
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Other Name(s)

Madeleine de Verchères National Historic Site of Canada
Madeleine de Verchères
Madeleine de Verchères

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2010/07/06

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Madeleine de Verchères National Historic Site of Canada is located in a small landscaped park on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River in Verchères, Quebec. The site consists of a 7.2-metre high bronze statue of Madeleine de Verchères set atop a tapered conical tower with a square stone base, which stands sentinel facing the St. Lawrence River. The site also includes the manicured grass area and the fence surrounding the monument. Official recognition refers to the 30.5-metre parcel of land at the centre of which the monument was erected in 1913.

Heritage Value

Madeleine de Verchères was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1923 because:
- this monument was erected in honor of Madeleine de Verchères, then aged 14, who took the commandment of Fort Verchères in 1692 and successfully defended it for eight days against a war-party of Iroquois.

In 1692, a group of Iroquois attacked Fort Verchères in what was then New France. At the time of the attack, 14 year-old Madeleine de Verchères (1678-1747), her two younger brothers, an elderly servant and two soldiers held the fort. Young Madeleine led the defence, which after eight days of resistance, ended in victory.

In the early 20th century, the Governor General of Canada, Lord Grey, recommended a commemoration project to honour the role Madeleine de Verchères played in defending Fort Verchères. After seeing the statuette of Madeleine de Verchères created by Louis-Philippe Hébert in 1910, the Governor General proposed reproducing the statuette on a larger scale and placing it on the headland of Verchères, facing the St. Lawrence River. The monument was erected in 1913, and in 1927, a plaque was added by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.

Source: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, July 2009; Plaque Text, May 1927.

Character-Defining Elements

The key elements that contribute to the heritage value of this site include:
- its location on low-lying land next to the St. Lawrence River in Verchères, Quebec;
- its proximity to the original site of the battle of Fort Verchères;
- the orientation of the monument facing the St Lawrence River;
- the construction of the square base using dressed white limestone and contrasting darker coursed rubblework;
- the tripartite design of the monument, including the tapered conical tower measuring 4.5 metres square and 5.5 metres high, the detailing including quoins, loopholes, and crenellation at the top of the tower the square pedestal of the bronze statue;
- the small section of wall projecting from the west side of the monument;
- the bronze statue of Madeleine de Verchères measuring 7.2 metres in height;
- the site plan, including the monument, the paths, the surrounding areas of manicured grass and the
surrounding fence;
- viewscapes to and from the site and the town and the shoreline of the St. Lawrence River.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Federal

Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Historic Sites and Monuments Act

Recognition Type

National Historic Site of Canada

Recognition Date

1923/05/25

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1692/01/01 to 1692/01/01
1913/01/01 to 1913/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Peopling the Land
Settlement
Governing Canada
Military and Defence

Function - Category and Type

Current

Historic

Community
Commemorative Monument
Leisure
Historic or Interpretive Site

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

1468

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

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