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Report 1902: A Quick Scamper Round Nova Scotia

By Eleanor from UK, Fall 2010

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Page 9 of 16: Brief Summary of Some of the Buildings in the Fortress Louisbourg

photo by Michael

King's Bastion Barracks with guardhouse

Fauxbourg and Quay Area

There was an extensive fishing settlement outside the Fortress walls. Properties had their own wharf, fish flakes and huts for workers. Only resident fishing proprietors could hire migrant workers or hire out beach front property. The more successful became merchants selling fishing gear and goods for credit. They fished from shallops. Some bought a schooner to collect cod from the outposts.

The Fishing Proprietor's house is a reconstruction of a building belonging to Jeanne and Joannis Dastarit. Joannis Dastarit was unsuccessful and declared bankrupt, becoming a tavern keeper serving food and ale to Basque fishermen who arrived each spring. Jeanne ran the property after his death, acquiring two more properties and two more husbands.

Dauphin Gate

This was the main entrance to the fort with a manned guardhouse. This was used to house prisoners taken off New England fishing boats. These often acted as spies and fed information about conditions in the fort and surroundings to the Governor of Massachusetts.

The Dauphin Demi-Battery with soldiers' barracks and powder magazine is beyond. These were low lying and vulnerable to cannon fire from the surrounding hills. Cannons on the walls protected the harbour. It was joined to the King’s Bastion by a long curtain wall protected by steep earthen outer works and ditch.

King's Buildings

This was a large complex with masonry walls and an imported slate roof. It included the artillery storehouse, blacksmith, bakery, King’s storehouse, old storehouse, laundry, stables and Engineer’s residence.

King's Bastion

This is built on an imposing site above the town and was one of the largest structures in North America when it was built. It is surrounded by substantial ramparts with cannons.

In front of it is the Place d'Armes and Guardhouse where soldiers mustered for roll call and changing of the guard. The guardhouse was one of five located round the town.

Chapel and Governor's Apartments

The Governor lived in private apartments designed to impress, in a corner of the Kings Bastion, next to the chapel where he had a place of honour to the right of the altar. Important people were buried under the floor.

Commissionaire Ordonnateur's House

This is a large house near the quay where he could watch all movement in and out of the harbour.

Around the town are a number of houses belonging to high ranking officers or merchants. Several of these are open and include Dughaget House with garden, De Gannes House with ice house, De La Valliere House with storehouses behind.

Grandchamps House and Inn

People with property along the quay often opened their houses to paying guests. A spruce branch over the door showed they sold alcoholic drinks. This was brewed using a native recipe from the tender tips of spruce and molasses. It had a high ascorbic acid content so helping prevent scurvy. This is now a restaurant serving 18th century recipes.

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