Irish Commemorative Stone

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The Irish Commemorative Stone (also known as the Black Rock) is a monument in Montreal, Quebec commemorating the deaths of 6,000 Irish immigrants to Canada during the famine immigration.

Officially named the Irish Commemorative Stone, it is more commonly known as the Black Rock and also has been referred to as the Ship Fever Monument.[1] or the Boulder Stone. [2]

History[edit]

The Black Rock, commemorating thousands of Irish "ship fever" victims.

During the mid-19th century, workers constructing the Victoria Bridge across the St. Lawrence River discovered a mass grave in Windmill Point where victims of typhus epidemic of 1847 had been quarantined in fever sheds. The workers, many of whom were of Irish descent, were unsettled by the discovery and wanted to create a memorial to ensure the grave, which held the coffins of 6,000 Irish immigrants, would not be forgotten.[3][4]

Erected on December 1, 1859, the stone was the first Canadian monument to represent the famine. The inscription on the stone reads:

"To Preserve from Desecration the Remains of 6000 Immigrants Who died of Ship Fever A.D. 1847-48

This Stone is erected by the Workmen of Messrs. Peto, Brassey and Betts Employed in the Construction of the Victoria Bridge A.D.

1859"[5]

Social significance[edit]

The Black Rock, continues to be a significant icon, particularly within the Montreal Irish community, led by the Ancient Order of Hibernisn Canada. Each year at the end of May, the Canadian Irish community hosts a walk from St-Gabriel's church in Pointe St. Charles to the stone to commemorate those lives that were lost.[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ McMahon, Colin. "Montreal's Ship Fever Monument: An Irish Famine Memorial in the Making" The Canadian Journal of Irish Studies Vol. 33, No. 1, Ireland and Quebec / L'Irlande et le Québec (Spring, 2007), pp. 48–60
  2. ^ Gallagher, The Reverend John A. (1936) The Irish Emigration of 1847 and Its Canadian Consequences CCHA Report, University of Manitoba Web site. Retrieved February 07, 2011.
  3. ^ McMahon, Colin. "Montreal's Ship Fever Monument: An Irish Famine Memorial in the Making" The Canadian Journal of Irish Studies Vol. 33, No. 1, Ireland and Quebec / L'Irlande et le Québec (Spring, 2007), pp. 48–60
  4. ^ Montreal Irish walk in remembrance of coffin ship victims Irish Central, July 23, 2009. Retrieved on February 06, 2011.
  5. ^ McMahon, Colin. "Montreal's Ship Fever Monument: An Irish Famine Memorial in the Making" The Canadian Journal of Irish Studies Vol. 33, No. 1, Ireland and Quebec / L'Irlande et le Québec (Spring, 2007), pp. 48–60
  6. ^ Montreal Irish walk in remembrance of coffin ship victims Irish Central, July 23, 2009. Retrieved on February 06, 2011.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 45°29′13″N 73°32′47″W / 45.4869°N 73.5464°W / 45.4869; -73.5464