History

Grosse Île and The Irish Memorial

Every year, the Montreal Division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians organizes a pilgrimage to Grosse Île and The Irish Memorial, just outside of Quebec City. It is a humbling experience to learn what immigrants that came to Canada had to go through when this island was being used as a quarantine station.

A Brief History

Grosse Île was used as a quarantine station in Canada for over a century.  It's name recalls the cholera plagues of 1832 and 1854, and rings sinister in the annals of the Irish people in Canada because of the appalling visitation of typhus fever that came primarily to the island in the fateful year of 1847.

The Immigrants Stone at Pointe St. Charles

The attention of the observant traveler entering Montreal by way of the Victoria Bridge is always attracted to a peculiar monument that stands to the east side, close to the entrance of the bridge. It is simply a boulder set upon a granite pedestal and surrounded by a grassy plot .

The boulder bears an inscription reading:

TO PRESERVE FROM DESECRATION THE REMAINS OF THE THE 6000 IMMIGRANTS WHO DIED OF SHIP FEVER A.D. 1847-48

THIS STONE IS ERECTED BY THE WORKMEN OF MESSRS. PETO. BRASSEY & BETTS. EMPLOYED IN THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE VICTORIA BRIDGE A.D. 1859

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