Digest>May 2004

Photo Caption:

Stretched across the center of Canada's Gulf of St. Lawrence lie the Îles-de-la Madeleine -- the Magdalen Islands to Anglophones. The dozen or so islands and islets, mostly linked to each other by narrow sand bars, have long been part of Quebec although they are much closer to Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. The vast majority of the islands' 14,000 inhabitants are French speaking. Situated directly in the path of heavy shipping traffic through the Cabot Strait between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, the islands were the scene of hundreds of shipwrecks in the 19th century. In an effort to provide safer navigation, a half dozen lighthouse stations were established on the Magdalens between 1870 and 1928. The first of these was the ill-fated station at Rocher aux Oiseaux, or Bird Rock. The island is aptly named —John James Audubon visited in 1830 and marveled at the vast numbers of birds, as many others had before him. More precisely, the island's name is "Gros Rocher aux Oiseaux" or "Great Bird Rock," as there is also a smaller, separate island close by.
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The Cursed Lightstation of Rocher aux Oiseaux
Back to the edition of: May 2004

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