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Grosse Ile, L'Isle-aux-Grues

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Grosse Isle, is located in Gulf of St. Lawrence in Quebec, Canada. It is one of the islands of the 21-island Isle-aux-Grues archipelago. It is part of the municipality of Saint-Antoine-de-l'Isle-aux-Grues, located in the Chaudière-Appalaches region of the province.Also known as Grosse Isle and the Irish Memorial National Historic Site, the island was the site of an immigration depot which predominantly housed Irish immigrants coming to Canada to escape the Great Famine, 1845-1849. In 1832, the Lower Canadian Government had previously set up this depot to contain an earlier cholera epidemic that was believed to be caused by the large influx of European immigrants, and the station was reopened in the mid-Nineteenth Century to accommodate Irish migrants who had contracted typhus during their voyages. Thousands of Irish were quarantined on Grosse Isle from 1832 to 1848.It is believed that over 3000 Irish died on the island and over 5000 are currently buried in the cemetery there; many died en route. Most who died on the island were infected with typhus, which sprang up from the conditions there in 1847. Grosse Isle is the largest burial ground for refugees of the Great Hunger outside Ireland. After Canadian Confederation in 1867, the buildings and equipment were modernized to meet the standards of the new Canadian government's immigration policies. The island is sometimes called Canada's Ellis Island, an association it shares with Pier 21 immigration facility in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
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Reviews
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  • We had to take a boat to reach the Grosse Ile. Once on the island, they examined us as in the olden days. However in the old days, those who seemed sick were kept behind with their families. From a di...  more »
  • This historic site is serviced, animated and maintained by the government of Canada as an historical monument of the Irish coming to Canada after the Irish Potato Famine of 1847. That famine, witch wa...  more »
  • If you think Canada has no history - get to Grosse Isle. The guides are amazing. I teach a lot of this history as a professional genealogist, and the guides further educated me too! It's amazing. The ...  more »