L’île aux Lièvres (Hare Island)
Aerial view of Hare Island, August 7, 2012.
The name of Hare Island originates from the small mammal that lived there in large numbers in its coniferous forest. During his voyage in 1536, Jacques Cartier stopped there and his sailors killed a great many hares for food. The explorer gave the place its name.
(Source : Commission de Toponymie du Québec)
13 km in length, Hare Island, densely forested, offered a greater potential for colonization than the other islands composed primarily of rocks.
On Hare Island, the shallow soil and numerous rocky outcrops limited agriculture; however, the tidal flats enabled fisheries to be installed for small fish and blubber fish (belugas). In order to live there, the islanders needed to have a schooner or rowing boat. In 1823, Captain Joseph April de Kamouraska and his two sons were granted land concessions and lived on the eastern tip of the island. About fifteen years later, the family of the navigator Jean-Baptiste des Trois Maisons known as Picard lived in the same place. At the end of the 19th century, two brothers, Lucien and Eugène Bouchard, were the last to live there from cultivation, fishing, hunting, and logging. Over the different periods, the island’s forest was exploited for firewood, timber and pulp.