Blockhouse Lacolle River, classified in 1960, is a military structure erected at an unknown date between 1778 and 1812. The wooden building square two floors, the upper floor is cantilevered, is topped with a pavilion roof. The designation also applies to the land. Blockhouse Lacolle River is located on a large landscaped garden overlooking the river, in the municipality of Saint-Paul Island-aux-Noix.
The heritage value of Blockhouse River Lacolle based on his interest in military architecture. The blockhouse is a small defensive work including serving as an outpost to a strong, checkpoint for strategic access, staging and shelter detachments moving, warehouse supplies and ammunition as well as barracks for small garrisons. It is built on the model of forts from local materials (wood and stone), and requires little knowledge of construction. Blockhouse Lacolle River is representative of this type of work. It has two floors, the second is slightly protruding. The walls are made of large pieces of wood assembled mid-squared wood, arranged horizontally on top of each other. Loopholes and embrasures allow occupants to fire on the enemy while enjoying relative protection. The square is topped with a roof supported by an imposing frame flag. Heating is provided by a central foyer on the ground floor. This type of fortification was introduced in North America by the British military, who built more than 25 in Lower Canada between 1760 and 1840.
The heritage value of Blockhouse River Lacolle also based on his interest in the history of fortifications. After the U.S. invasion of 1775 and 1776, the British authorities want to better control access to the St. Lawrence River from the Richelieu River. In 1778, they undertook the establishment of a defense system that includes several types of military books, including forts, redoubts and blockhouses, such as Lacolle. It protects a saw mill, which produces materials for improving the fortifications of Île aux Noix and St. John, as well as transmission tower lights on the Lacolle River. It also serves as an outpost for the British troops deployed in the region of Haut-Richelieu and Lake Champlain. Blockhouse Lacolle River is an important part of this defense system established by the Royal Engineers between 1778 and 1812.
The heritage value of Blockhouse Lacolle River is also based on its rarity. After the signing of the Treaty of Ghent by the British and the Americans in 1814, the military works are being phased out, assigned to other duties or destroyed. Among the 25 bunkers built in Quebec, one of the Lacolle River is one of the few that remain, which gives it a very great interest.
The heritage value of Blockhouse River Lacolle finally based on his interest in Canadian military history. On 30 March 1814, U.S. General James Wilkinson (1757-1825) attack British troops dug in sawmill Lacolle, strategic position near the blockhouse. Lacolle then was an important outpost because the town protected the entrance to the Richelieu River. The army of General Wilkinson tried to seize the mill, but must retire after a long battle. Battle of Lacolle Mill will be the last major battle of the Anglo-American War of 1812-1814 in Lower Canada, prior to the signing of the Treaty of Ghent, December 24, 1814. This war has its roots in the tensions between the new Republic of the United States and England. Blockhouse Lacolle River is open to the public since 1979 to showcase the military history of the region.
1, rue Principale, Saint-Paul-de-l’Île-aux-Noix, QC, CA, J0J 1G0