Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Shooting the Lachine Rapids, St. Lawrence River
Item Type
Photogravure of the Richelieu and Ontario Navigation Company steamboat CORSICAN in the Lachine Rapids of the Saint Lawrence River.
Picture reportedly removed from an 1892 publication by Werner.

"SHOOTING THE LACHINE RAPIDS, ST. LAWRENCE RIVER.-- here is a fascination in gambling with Danger. The stake is often life itself, yet when the chances are decidedly in our favor, we love to match excitement against the possibility of death. This is what making the shooting of the Lachine rapids so attractive. For a brief time we put our lives into the hands of an Indian pilot. Grave and solemn from a sense of his responsibility, he stands beside the helm. The steamer leaves Lachine, and soon swings outward into the stream. Suddenly the surface of the river changes from a tranquil level to a tumultuous mass of elevations and depressions. Not only does the bed of the Saint Lawrence fall here rapidly, but its descending path is strewn with rocks, which churn its waters to a yeast of foam, hurl volumes of it into silvery spray, compress great swirling currents of green water into mill-races and waterfalls, twist portions of it into whirlpools with dark greenish vortexes, from which emerge strange gurling sounds, as if they were the maws of hungry monsters in the depths below. A wild exhilaration, -- half terror, half excitement, -- seizes us. This would be too intense, but for the calm reflectionthat no fatal accident has ever yet occurredhere. The Indian pilots know the channel like a trail. Yet should the eye err, the hand fail, or the heart falter, the steamer might at any momentdash upon a hidden rock and go to pieces like a house of cards. It is the consciousness of this, together with the firm belief that everything will end well this time, as it has before, that makes this strange adventure so enjoyable; and when we feel the last swift sinking of the steamer's deck, the last quick bound and rush of lighning-like velocity, and glide out once more into placidwater, a sigh escapes us, as when the curtain falls on an absorbing play."

On image: "The Werner Co."

Date of Original
Width: 33 cm
Height: 27 cm
Image Dimensions
Image Width: 25.5cm
Image Height: 20.4cm
Local identifier
Language of Item
Geographic Coverage
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 45.4169492025533 Longitude: -73.5888290405273
Copyright Statement
Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Shooting the Lachine Rapids, St. Lawrence River

Photogravure of the Richelieu and Ontario Navigation Company steamboat CORSICAN in the Lachine Rapids of the Saint Lawrence River.