2. Commemorative Integrity of the Site

2.5 Other Heritage Resources

Archaeological remains

When this photo was taken, the new lock had already been in operation for ten years. There were still many well-appointed buildings and outbuildings on the island.
The upper entrance to the Saint-Ours lock in 1943.
© Parks Canada / neg. 161/00/ic-195

Aside from the archaeological remains of the first lock, there are probably numerous other remains related to buildings no longer standing but which had to do with the operation of the first and second canals. These buildings stood within the present limits of the site at various times from 1850 to now. Those that should be noted on Darvard Island include the superintendent’s first residence,14 a stable, a forge, workshops, sheds and a windmill. On the east bank is a lockmaster’s shelter, a stable and various sheds.

A flourmill, built near the first Saint-Ours lock in 1845, was destroyed by fire in 1939. There were also headrace and tailrace canals that were used for hydraulic power. On the west bank, there are remains associated with the dam, such as two abutments, and the remains of old fish ladders.

Underwater archaeological remains

The Richelieu River is full of wrecks and other underwater navigational remains. Divers have accumulated considerable collections of objects that have the potential to enrich our understanding of the history of this navigable corridor.

Other cultural resources

The site is also home to one of the two original seamarks, miniature lighthouses that served as beacons for guiding boats. Although the structures are relatively recent (1970-75), they testify to past commercial activity on the canal and technological advances in navigation.

14 The current house was added on to the original superintendent’s house, a temporary building erected in 1844 by canal workers to be used as their own quarters. This first building, without foundations, was hastily repaired when the new house was built, and used as a summer kitchen and an office for the lockmaster and the toll collector. This annex to the residence was destroyed in 1977.

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