2014 Aug 17 – Day 59 – Sydney, NS

We had one thing to do today and that was go to Louisburg.  It is about 30 km from Sydney right on the coast and is the largest restored fortress in North America.  There are over 60 buildings or marked sites and this comprises only 1/5 of the original fortress. The remainder is preserved and untouched.

IMG_6914

Louisburg was a unique site because there had never been a settlement of any kind there before the French fishing community was established and after the British sacked the Fortress in 1745 nothing else was built later.  Archaeologists spent 20 years documenting artifacts and building sites.  There were over 250,000 diaries, documents, etc and 500 maps of the city; plot plans, architectural drawings of buildings, date of death inventories of the citizens and merchants of Louisburg.  A treasure trove of data. Plus researchers, historians and archivists combed through thousands of documents, letters, diaries, maps, and government papers; both in Canada and in France to locate things, confirm things, pieces together differing accounts or conflicting information.

IMG_6714

There had been a museum with a model of the fort build in the mid-1930’s and during the 1960-1970 work at the site people would come and see what was going on.  The ‘official’ opening of Louisburg was about 1987.  One of the things I liked was that Parks Canada, during the construction of the fortress buildings, employed many of the out-of-work coal miners from the area. They were re-trained on-site.  It took almost 20 years to complete the project.

We were there walking around non-stop for five hours and did not read all the information in the exhibit buildings nor take in any of the special talks or entertainment.  Many of the buildings are ‘manned’ by people in period costume portraying the lives of actual citizens of this 18th century French community.

IMG_6746 IMG_6760

 

 

 

Selling the bread made at the bakery this morning.IMG_6767 IMG_6770 IMG_6784 An off duty soldier.
IMG_6778 IMG_6777 IMG_6807 IMG_6849  The goose herderIMG_6850.

 

This lady is making willow lobster traps.

 

 

The Fortress was built solely to provide security for the cod-fishing.  As in the British community on Grassy Island, just up the coast, Louisburg was a seasonal job for most people. At the height of the summer there would be between 6,000 and 7,000 but in the winter there would be about 2,500.  30,000,000 fish would be taken from the waters of the coast off Louisburg each season.  This amounted to 4 times the value of the fur trade every year.

IMG_6715 IMG_6716 IMG_6718 IMG_6719 IMG_6720 IMG_6743 IMG_6744 IMG_6764 IMG_6822 IMG_6824 IMG_6827 IMG_6828 IMG_6851 IMG_6858 IMG_6859 IMG_6860 IMG_6866 IMG_6868 IMG_6870 IMG_6888 IMG_6896

Virtually everything used in the fort was imported through codfish trading with Europe, the US and the Caribbean.

IMG_6748 IMG_6763 IMG_6769 IMG_6843 IMG_6844These rooms are from the governor’s house or other well-to-do merchants. The average person had a much more basic home and furnishings.
IMG_6847

Today was Acadian Day at Louisburg so there was the History of Acadia told – accompanied by French songs – in the Governor’s Chapel, an Acadian Kitchen Party (impromptu, amateur entertainers) in the tent a the end of the street, and other special events during the day.  These children were gathering for their turn entertaining at the Kitchen Party.

IMG_6882 IMG_6885 IMG_6891

There were a lot of very interesting articles, paintings, models and artifacts in the many exhibits throughout the fort. I liked the ship models.

IMG_6875 IMG_6876 IMG_6879

This is a three-man French fishing shallop

 

 

I must admit that my feet hurt a bit; but it was another good day.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.