FROM THE SHIPYARD TO THE MUSEUM
In 1973, the Chantiers maritimes de Charlevoix Ltd. of Saint-Joseph-de-la-Rive, a company dedicated to the wintering and maintenance of schooners since 1946, closed its doors. The last sailing schooners were sold and set sail for the Caribbean Sea in 1978. Those who remained were stranded on the beaches of the region to die slowly. A page of history is thus turned. It will inspire the next chapter.
Indeed, a few years later, residents of Saint-Joseph-de-la-Rive decided to revive to the public the beautiful epic of wooden schooners and its craftsmen who built so many boats on the beaches of the village.
Thus, in 1981, a permanent maritime exhibition was set up in the old school of the municipality. Then, in 1985, the owner of the shipyard consented to the development of the site to make it a place of interpretation dedicated to the maritime heritage of Charlevoix. The three schooners found there, discover their letters of nobility and become witnesses of a life that will not come back.
Quickly recognized and with the support of the Quebec Ministry of Culture and Communications, the Musée maritime de Charlevoix’s site was dedicated "historic site" by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada in 1988.
Despite a devastating fire in 1998 that destroyed the first three boats that had previously been preserved, the St. Lawrence schooners Jean-Yvan and Saint-André and the fishing schooner Marie Clarisse became, over the years, important witnesses of the permanent exhibition dedicated to water cars.
THE FORÊT MARINE
In 2008, the museum receives a forest of 40 hectares, a precious gift from a resident of Saint-Joseph-de-la-Rive. Today called Forêt marine, it is dedicated to the restoration of the forest and developed in partnership with Laval University. Since 2016, a spectacular 4 km mountain trail crosses it.
THE PARC DES NAVIGATEURS
2015, undertakes a new project with the ambitious development of Parc des navigateurs. An investment of nearly $ 3 million.
The Parc des navigateurs allows the museum to offer a UNFORGETTABLE forest to river, nature to culture experience. The museum offers additional exhibitions in three buildings, a large park with a play area, an arboretum, an adventure trail, sculptures, a four-kilometer mountain trail, a covered terrace, picnic areas, etc.
Proud to be the main funder of this project, the museum has been echoed by several financial partners including the Quebec Ministry of Tourism, as part of the Maritime Strategy - Tourism Program, the Canada Fund for Spaces Program of the Federal Government, the Capitale-Nationale Region Economic Development Fund, the Government of Quebec Regional Tourism Partnership Agreement (EPRT), the Laval University, the Montréal Botanical Garden, the Corporation des pilotes du Bas Saint-Laurent and the Charlevoix RCM.
Interpret and highlight the history of wooden schooners in Charlevoix and their crossing on the St. Lawrence River. This is accomplished through exhibitions, lectures and publications.
In addition, the Museum oversees its collection and archives, including the buildings of the Charlevoix Shipyards Ltd., its equipment (1946)* and its boats. These boats / schooners include the St-André and Marie-Clarisse, which are listed in the Quebec Cultural Heritage Directory.
Our goal is to be an informal place of education. The Museum offers and renews a program of activities and training including workshops for school groups.
The Museum also includes the outside exhibit Parc des navigateurs and its forest. This forest cultivates the varieties of trees needed to build a wooden schooner.
Between nature and culture, mountains and river, the Museum preserves for local people and international as well, today and tomorrow, young and old, this exceptional part of the history of Charlevoix.
* Protected under the Cultural Heritage Act.