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Pointe à la Citrouille Lighthouse

Pointe à la Citrouille, Pumpkin Point, is situated at a significant bend in the St. Lawrence River between Champlain and Batiscan. J.U. Gregory, Agent of the Department of Marine at Quebec City, provided the following description of a temporary light established on the point in 1873:
This is a temporary fixed white light, triangular lantern, mammoth flat-wick, placed on top of a frame to indicate the point, and is in charge of C. Brunelle. At the request of Captain Nelson, with the permission of the Department, I removed this light two acres back to high water mark on the point clear of the trees, and sent up a new frame work, consisting of three poles, about thirty feet high, upon which a triangular lamp is placed, being at least ten feet higher than formerly. The frame work is painted white, and owing to the action of the ice, will have to be removed to a distance of about one mile at the end of the season. A small building, which is easily removed, with the use of a stove, was secured for the shelter of the keeper, for which six dollars is to be paid for the season. The keeper’s salary has not yet been fixed.
This “temporary” light served for nearly twenty years. In 1891, land on the point was purchased and plans and specifications were prepared for a small tower on a pier. Tenders for the work were invited in the spring of 1892, and a contract was awarded to F.A. Verrette of Three Rivers to erect the lighthouse for $1,675. The light was placed in operation on September 14, 1892 and the following information on it was subsequently published:
Pointe à la Citrouille Lighthouse in 1898
Photograph courtesy Library and Archives Canada
It is fixed white, elevated 40 feet above high water mark, and should be visible 11 miles from all points of approach. The illuminating apparatus is dioptric, of small size.

The pier is built on a gravel ridge at the most prominent part of the low-lying point. The lighthouse is a square wooden building, painted white, surmounted by an iron lantern, painted red and stands on a platform on the middle of the hip roof.

The height from the ground to the vane on the lantern is 41 feet.

The total expenditure in connection with the improvements to this station has been $1,679.55.

In the spring of 1896, ice floes carried away the tower and part of the pier. A temporary pole light was quickly erected until the pier could be repaired and the tower placed back in its former position. It was likely at this time that a twelve-foot-tall concrete pier replaced the old wooden one.

In addition to a light, Pointe à la Citrouille was also equipped in 1928 with a tidal semaphore that used large figures to display the depth in feet and a small semaphore to display the additional depth between zero and eleven inches. This tidal semaphore enabled pilots of downward-bound, deep-draught vessels to know if there were sufficient water in the dredged channel at Cap a la Roche to pass in safety. If not, the vessels could anchor below Pointe à la Citrouille and wait for the tide to rise sufficiently.

Around 1949, a fifty-one-foot-tall skeletal tower replaced the pier light at Pointe à la Citrouille. A similar structure displays a fixed green light at the point today.

Keepers: C. Brunelle (1873 – 1893), Widow C. Brunelle (1893 – 1894), E. De la Bissoniére (1894 – 1896), Ferdinand Marchand (1896 – 1906), Widow F. Marchand (1906 – 1908), William Brunelle (1908 – 1913), L. L’Heureux (1913 – 1919), H. Bouchard (1919 – at least 1923).


  1. Annual Report of the Department of Marine, various years.

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