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Report 1902: A Quick Scamper Round Nova Scotia

By Eleanor from UK, Fall 2010

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Page 3 of 16: Louisbourg

photo by Michael

Heritage Buildings

After Louisbourg Fortress was destroyed in 1758, the English built a small fishing village across the harbour from the site of the Fortress.

The harbour stays ice free and was an important port for exporting coal from Sydney in the winter months. The town grew and wealthy merchants built large wooden houses.

A railway line was built from Sydney but was poorly constructed and abandoned after a forest fire. The station buildings in Louisbourg, including the station master's house, round house and freight shed have been restored as a railway museum. There is a loco, caboose and freight truck by the platform.

After the loss of the railway Louisbourg began to decline. The main industry was fishing and increasingly tourism. The Louisbourg Playhouse is popular with locals and visitors.

There are still many fine heritage buildings left in the town. Many of the larger houses are now B&Bs. There was a definite 'out of season' feel by the end of September and many had vacancy signs.

It is a pleasant drive to the Lighthouse through the older part of the settlement with wharves onto the beach and good views across to the Fortress. The road runs out of the forest into open landscape around the lighthouse. The foundations of earlier lighthouse buildings can still be seen. There is a gravel path to Gun Landing Cove, which looked a nice walk along the cliffs with views and no trees.

There are plenty of eateries but Louisbourg is very poor on food shops. The Grocery was very basic, although Pecks (next to Pecks Housekeeping Cottages) had a better selection. Perhaps the locals go to Sydney for their shopping. The Off Licence however had a good selection of Nova Scotia wines.

We were booked into Midtown Cottages. There are 5 separate buildings each of two units with steps or ramp access. There was a large kitchen/living area with bathroom and double and single bedroom at the back. Cooking equipment for those wanting to self cater was basic and there is little working space in the kitchen. Having seen how poor the food shops were and how many eateries there are, perhaps most people eat out.

We had booked two nights in Louisbourg as we wanted to spend a full day visiting the fortress.

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