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Traverse Cap-Santé Range, PQ     

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Traverse Cap-Santé Range Lighthouse

Cap-Santé is a town situated on the northern bank of the St. Lawrence River, just west of the mouth of the Jacques-Cartier River. Legend has it that the village’s name, Cape Health in English, is a result of the miraculous cure discovered there for soldiers suffering from an unknown disease.

Traverse Cap-Santé Front Light circa 1960
Photograph courtesy Michel Forand
A set of range lights was established at Portneuf in 1842 to guide mariners along the St. Lawrence River upstream from Portneuf, and in 1938 a second set of range lights, known as Portneuf River, was activated to guide mariners along the river downstream from Portneuf. The front light of Portneuf River Range was displayed from a small white wooden tower surmounted by a square, white, wooden lantern, while the rear light was displayed from a pole that was marked by a white, diamond-shaped daymark featuring a black stripe.

Starting in 1943, the lights that had been originally known as Portneuf River Range were listed in the annual List of Lights as Cap Santé Traverse, since they guided mariners along the river off Cap-Santé.

At some point between 1955 and 1971, a circular steel tower replaced the original wooden front range tower, and a skeleton tower took the place of the pole from which the rear range light was displayed. Similar towers are in use today.


  1. List of Lights, various years.

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