Home - The Human Side of Lake Saint-Pierre
Virtual Museum of Canada

The Archipelago

Île Dupas and Berthier

The first European inhabitants of the archipelago settled on Île Dupas in 1699; the colony soon spread to Île aux Castors, Île Madame and Île Saint-Ignace. The population was concentrated on the north-western islands of the archipelago—a trend that persists to the present day.

Red-brick church on Île Dupas, built in 1852
The church on Île Dupas, built in 1852

In the 1940s, people began to leave Île Dupas for Île Saint-Ignace, as it is closer to Sorel, where the job market was booming due to a surge in war-related industries.

Stone rectory on Île Dupas
Rectory on Île Dupas

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This bridge connects Île Dupas to Île aux Castors, and is one of three bridges built in 1939 to link the islands to the north shore. Before the construction of the bridges, barges would ferry people across Chenal des Épouffètes, Chenal aux Castors and Chenal du Nord.

Bridge between Île Dupas and Île aux Castors at sunset

James Cuthbert acquired the Seigneury of Berthier in 1765. Following the death of his wife, he had this chapel built in her memory. Protestants in the Berthier region used the chapel as a house of worship from 1787 until St. James Anglican Church opened in 1856.

Small white chapel, built in the 18th century

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