Grosse Île, Québec • Ghost Towns of Canada

Grosse Île, Québec • Ghost Towns of Canada

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Running time:

23 minutes


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Available in Canada

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Part of the Ghost Towns of Canada series

During the height of the 1847 potato famine in Ireland, an enormous wave of ships would cross to Canada, carrying an immigrant population riddled with typhus. Over 98,000 of these immigrants would land at Grosse Île, a quarantine station downriver from Québec City equipped with a single hospital of 200 beds. Within weeks, the hospital would house 700 patients, while the island's harbour would be home to dozens of vessels forced to keep aboard at least as many dead and dying. Many other immigrants were thrown overboard or abandoned on isolated beaches by ships hoping to make it through inspection at the Grosse Île station.

Today on the island, a 40-foot Celtic cross marks the final resting place of 5,000 Irish immigrants, all those who never recovered from the deadly disease to re-start their lives in the new world. Their harrowing story has outlived both the typhus epidemic and the quarantine station itself.

Titles included in this series:
Ireland's Eye, Newfoundland
Val Jalbert, Québec
Silver Islet, Ontario
Depot Harbour, Ontario
Creighton, Ontario
Ghost Town Trail, Saskatchewan
Rowley, Alberta
Nordegg, Alberta
Barkerville, British Columbia
Sandon, British Columbia
Ocean Falls, British Columbia
Cassiar, British Columbia

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