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Cap-des-Rosiers in La Côte-de-Gaspé MRC, Quebec — French Canadian Region
 

Passer le cap / Keeping on course

 
 
<i>Passer le cap / Keeping on course</i> Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., August 17, 2018
1. Passer le cap / Keeping on course Marker
Inscription.  

Cap-des-Rosiers : Selon plusieurs, c'est à Champlain que l'on doit le nom de notre village. Il l'aurait nommé ainsi, en 1632, en raison de l'abondance des rosiers sauvages qui recouvraient la falaise...

Or, malgré cette appellation des plus charmantes, Cap-des-Rosiers est l'un des lieux oú l'on dénombre le plus de naufrages en Gaspésie. En effet, la navigation y fut longtemps périlleuse en raison de la grande force et de l'irrégularité des courants et de l'absence d'aide à la navigation lumineuse. Ce sont donc des dizaines de bâtiments de toutes dimensions et de toutes contrées qui touchèrent le « cap des Rosiers » ou ses environs immédiats, par gros temps, surtout dans les nuits de tempêtes et de brouillard.

Pour illustrer l'ampleur de ce phénomène, mentionnons qu'entre les mois d'avril 1840 et août 1848, huit (8) vaisseaux y firent naufrage ou s'y échouèrent, occasionnant pour la plupart de graves pertes humaines et matérielles. Un monument funéraire, érigé sur le « banc du cap », rappelle l'une de ces tragédies : le naufrage du CARRICK'S OF WHITEHAVEN, survenu le 28 avril 1847.

Aussi, en vertu des dangers que créait

<i>Passer le cap / Keeping on course</i> Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., August 17, 2018
2. Passer le cap / Keeping on course Marker
Cap-des-Rosiers Lighthouse in background
l'approche de ce secteur par les navigateurs, plusieurs autorités revendiquèrent l'érection d'un phare à Cap-des-Rosiers. De multiples arguments militaient en faveur du choix de ce site qui constitue la porte d'entrée du fleuve Saint-Laurent sur sa rive sud : création d'un point de repère représentant le premier signe de la présence du continent, augmentation de la sécurité des navigateurs, accroissement de l'efficacité et de la rapidité du trafic maritime permettant ainsi de concurrencer les ports de New York, de Boston et de Portland (importants ports d'entrée pour le commerce de l'Ouest), etc.

Ces nombreuses considérations amenèrent donc les commissaires des Travaux Publics à recommander le choix de Cap-des-Rosiers pour l'établissement d'une « lumière de première classe ». Ce choix fut à bien des égards stratégique comme en fait foi un article paru dans La Presse du 28 octobre 1950 indiquant que monsieur Joseph Ferguson, alors gardien du phare de Cap-des-Rosiers, reçut une citation pour vigilance ayant repéré, en septembre 1942, le premier U-Boat allemand dans les eaux canadiennes. Cette importante contribution permis sans aucun doute de freiner l'invasion allemande en territoire canadien...

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Cap-des-Rosiers: Some say

Cap-des-Rosiers Lighthouse and Rocky Coastline image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., August 17, 2018
3. Cap-des-Rosiers Lighthouse and Rocky Coastline
that in 1632, Champlain named our village after the many wild roses that covered the cliff...

Now, in spite of that very charming name, Cap-des-Rosiers is one of the places where there have been the most shipwrecks on the Gaspé coast. Navigating was perilous there for a long time, because of the powerful, erratic currents, and because there was no light to guide ships. Dozens of ships of all sizes and origins had a brush with the "wildrose cape" or its immediate surroundings in heavy weather and especially on stormy or foggy nights.

This happened often, as the period between April 1840 and August 1848 shows: eight (8) vessels were shipwrecked or were washed ashore there, resulting for the most part in serious human and material losses. A funeral monument was built on the beach ridge as a reminder of one of those tragedies: the shipwreck of CARRICK'S OF WHITEHAVEN, which happened on April 28, 1847.

And so, in view of the dangers to ships that approached the area, many authorities demanded that a lighthouse be built at Cap-des-Rosiers. There was much to be said in favour of this site, the entrance to the St. Lawrence River on the south shore: creation of a landmark indicating the first sign of the continent; more safety for ships, and better efficiency and speed for maritime traffic, making it possible to compete with the ports of New York Boston, and Portland (important

Anchor near <i>Passer le cap / Keeping on course</i> Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., August 17, 2018
4. Anchor near Passer le cap / Keeping on course Marker
ports of entry for western trade), etc.

For all these reasons, Public Works decided to recommend Cap-des-Rosiers for a "first-class light". This was quite a strategic choice, as seen in an article published in La Presse on October 28, 1950, which said that Mr. Joseph Ferguson, then lighthouse keeper at Cap-des-Rosiers, had received a mention for his vigilance in spotting the first German U-boat in Canadian waters, in September 1942. This important contribution definitely made it possible to stop the Germans from invading Canada...
 
Erected by Cap-des-Rosiers Lighthouse Maritime Historical Site.
 
Location. 48° 51.371′ N, 64° 12.094′ W. Marker is in Cap-des-Rosiers, Quebec, in La Côte-de-Gaspé MRC. Marker is on the grounds Cap-des-Rosiers Lighthouse Maritime Historical Site. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1331 boulevard Cap-des-Rosiers, Cap-des-Rosiers, Quebec G4X 6G7, Canada. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 7 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. La tour - La "light" / The tower - The light (a few steps from this marker); Le criard / Fog horn (within shouting distance of this marker); Le phare de Cap des Rosiers Lighthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Gaspé, une ville au coeur de la découverte

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(within shouting distance of this marker); Cloche du "Carrick's" voilier Irlandais / Bell of the "Carrick's" Irish Sailboat (approx. 0.4 kilometers away); Carricks of Whitehaven Shipwreck Memorial (approx. 0.4 kilometers away); Hommages aux Anciens / Honoring Our Pioneers (approx. 0.8 kilometers away).
 
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker.
 
Also see . . .
1. Cap des Rosiers Lighthouse. (Submitted on February 11, 2019, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Cap des Rosiers Lighthouse. (Submitted on February 11, 2019, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. Lieu historique national du Canada du Phare-du-Cap-des-Rosiers. (Submitted on February 11, 2019, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. CommunicationsMan-Made FeaturesWaterways & Vessels
 

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Credits. This page was last revised on February 12, 2019. This page originally submitted on February 11, 2019, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 45 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on February 11, 2019, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.   3. submitted on February 12, 2019, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.   4. submitted on February 11, 2019, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
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