Historic stone missing from Chalmers-Wesley property

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Photo: Dominique Lavigueur

This Board of Ordnance stone, which used to sit on the ground beside a tree at the entrance to the Chalmers-Wesley United Church parking lot, at 78 Rue Sainte-Ursule, is missing. Please notify the church or the police if you know where it might be. This photo was taken on Sept. 21.

A boundary marker dating from the 1770s, known as the B.O. stone for the two letters carved on it, is missing from the Chalmers-Wesley United Church grounds.

After the arrival of the British army in Quebec in 1759, Samuel Holland, a Dutch-born royal engineer who was the first surveyor general of British North America, was contracted to measure all the land claimed for the British government. Holland arrived in Quebec City in 1774 and began surveying the province of Quebec. The government lands were marked with stone boundary posts on which the letters B.O., for “Board of Ordnance,” and/or an arrow pointing up, the symbol of the Board of Ordnance, were carved.

Many of these boundary posts, or B.O. stones, still exist in various locations around the province, in particular within the walls of Old Quebec City. The top portion of one of these stones was located at the entrance to the church parking lot on Rue Sainte-Ursule.

A message recently sent to the church alerted members to the fact that the historic stone that once stood beside a tree at the entrance to the church parking lot was missing. A local tour guide, who frequently passed by the property and pointed the stone out to visitors, alerted the church to the fact it was no longer in its usual spot.

If you see or hear of anyone who has recently “acquired” a stone that looks like this, please notify the church or the Service de police de la Ville de Québec.

 

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The B.O. stone used to sit beside this tree. It went missing after Sept. 21, when this photo was taken. Photo courtesy of Dominique Lavigueur