Fort de la Martiniere
|Fort de la Martiniere (1907-1943) - A Canadian coastal defense Fort established in 1907 in present day Levis City, Quebec, Canada. Located on the site of previous fortifications first established 1859 by the French as Fort Pointe-de-Levey and later the site of two British blockhouses. Abandoned in 1943.
Part of the Harbor Defense of Quebec.
Located at a strategic point across the Saint Lawrence River from Quebec City and put in place to deter a possible U.S. Invasion and to secure the Quebec channel and harbor.
The land for the fort was purchased in 1905 on the south bank of the Saint Lawrence River just across from the City of Quebec which is on the north bank. Site preparation probably began in 1907. Construction on the upper battery began in 1909 and on the lower battery in 1910. Two 7.5-inch MK C Vickers guns were mounted in the upper battery in July 1912.
During World War I two gun batteries existed here, the Upper and Lower Martiniere Batteries. The Upper Martiniere Battery was armed with two 7.5-inch MK C Vickers guns. The Lower Martiniere Battery had two 12-pounder quick firing (QF) MK 1 guns. The batteries were not manned during the tough Canadian winters when the Saint Lawrence River froze over. The garrison left for good after the freeze in 1917 since Germany was no longer a threat. In 1919-1920 the two 12-pounders in the lower battery were dismantled and removed and that battery was completely abandoned. The upper battery remained abandoned in place.
Canadian rearmament began in 1936-1937 and the two remaining guns at the fort were retained for possible future use. On 26 Aug 1939, the fort was ordered activated by the 59 Heavy Battery RCA under the command of Major C. Laflamme. Canada declared war on Germany on 10 Sep 1939.
During World War II only the upper battery was operational with the two original 7.5-inch guns. This battery was operational between 1939 and 1943. Initially the garrison lived in tents but by 10 October 1939 the troops were in wooden temporary barracks. By 1943 the course of the war was such that the battery was deactivated on 4 Oct 1943 and soon after was left in the hands of a caretaker detachment headed by Sergeant Bernier for the winter of 1943-44. The fort site seems to have been used for a communications tower through the end of the war but the site was abandoned at the end of the war in 1945.
After the war the site of the fort was completely buried, covering the gun emplacements and the magazine.
Historic site in Levis City, Quebec, Canada. Remains of the Upper Battery World War II gun emplacements and underground magazines. Buildings and magazine locked up and no on site presence but the site is open to the public. The visitor center and museum have been closed for about two years. One interpretive sign and several markers. No period guns or carriages on display. The remains of the British blockhouse foundation can be seen. Adjacent RV park located on some of the former fort property. No period guns or carriages in place.
Visited: 16-29 Jul 2013