Saturday, January 29, 2011

Roger on the Chambly Canal - a stop to find Fort Ste Therese

When I prepared to visit Fort Ste Therese on the Richelieu, I didn't know where to find it.  So as I went driving through St Jean sur Richelieu, I stopped at the Tourist Center.  I asked the young girl behind the counter how to find it. She insisted there was no Fort called Ft Ste Therese.  I insisted there was a Ft Ste Therese.  I drove north of the city and stopped along a little gatehouse on the Chambly Canal and met "Roger" the canal bridge operator.  He was fantastic and loved to talk about the history of the Chambly Canal and Ft Ste Therese. He had the perfect job because he loved everything about it and where it was located.

Oh!  Of course Roger knew where Ft Ste Therese was located- a easy stroll down the path from his gatehouse on the canal!

Roger, stop and talk to him and he will share his love of the canal and the fort site!

Roger in the doorway of his office in the gatehouse.
By the way, "Roger" in Québec is pronounced like "Raj A"

Roger operates the bridge over the canal.  From a pamphlet, Roger gave me I read it is Bridge #9 built by the Montreal Bridge Works 1887-1888 and is the oldest bridge on the Chambly Canal.  It was first built for another canal, the Lachine Canal, and was moved to the Chambly Canal in 1923.  It is a "Pony Pratt swing truss bridge".  

I didn't see how the bridge operates to allow boats to pass through the canal on their way to Chambly and the St Lawrence.  There was only a few boats earlier that morning.  It looks like the bridge rotates off the canal on an axle.

Roger graciously loaned me his big umbrella and off I went down the path on the side of the canal to the spot where it is believed Fort Ste Therese once protected the valley from the Iroquois.

The canal now separates the land where the fort existed.
Presently, the site is wedged between the river and the canal.

The path to the site of Fort Ste Therese on the Richelieu River

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