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  Researching the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site of Canada
  Recherche sur la Forteresse-de-Louisbourg Lieu historique national du Canada

Volume 6: Number 11


Vol. 6, No. 11
November 2004 -novembre 2004 

Four hundred years after the French established the first European settlement in North America, the Canadian Museum of Civilization is presenting a major exhibition on life in New France.  This exhibit is being presented from June 11, 2004 to March 28, 2005.

The exhibit presents 500 objects from 40 Canadian and foreign collections, such as the Stewart Museum, the Louisiana State Museum and the Musée national de la Marine.  Artifacts include a wide range of period furniture, paintings, ceramics, clothing, silverware, religious ornaments, engravings, sculptures and other items that speak volumes about life in New France.  Some of these artifacts are on loan from the Louisbourg collections.

Anyone interested in seeing slides of this exhibit, a powerpoint presentation can be seen on G:/Commom/CMC Exhibit.

Aaron Miller, a MA student at Memorial University of Newfoundland studying under Dr.James Tuck spent some time here in Louisbourg during October.  Aaron is working on his thesis which focuses on the 18th Chinese export porcelain excavated at the Colony of Avalon site in Ferryland, Newfoundland.

Although there has been extensive research at the site focussing on the l7th material culture, very little has been carried out in regard to the 18th materials also excavated. Chinese export porcelain research has seen a similar lack of enthusiasm in the field of archaeology.  One exception to this trend has been the porcelain research carried out with the Louisbourg collection.

The collection of 18th materials located at Louisbourg offers a one of a kind reference collection of Chinese porcelain.  The few collections of porcelain which do compare are found in Decorative Arts museums which don't offer the everyday examples which so rarely survive intact.  

The Louisbourg collection has provided Aaron with the materials and ease of research which he hopes will help facilitate how archaeologists deal with this important ceramic.  

Bill O'Shea, Manager, Cultural Resources was in Placentia, Newfoundland last week as part of the team carrying out a Commemorative Integrity evaluation of Castle Hill, NHS.  Bill began working for Parks as Superintendent of Castle Hill many, many years ago.

From the FOL Heritage Presentation and Client Services staff... thanks to all of you who came to our open house.

We were proud to show off our new digs - complete with phone lines and real time computer access.  We no longer have to run between two buildings and wait for a free line before communicating with the outside world - apropos for those in the communications business!!

For those of you who didn't get a chance to stop by (besides missing good company and great food!), we would like to acknowledge the assistance of the Fortress Louisbourg Association for their cash donation that was such a great boost in getting our offices established... thank you.  We want to thank all members of the team for making our offices a reality... design, construction and all the trades, behind the scenes folks like stores and finance as well.. thanks a bunch.

If you haven't had a chance to see the new building, do drop by and see us.

Here is an excerpt from a letter written to Alexander Graham Bell in Salem, Massachusetts from his mother in Brantford, Ontario dated November 14th, 1874. She is responding to a newspaper item he forwarded that alludes to a "curiously similar discovery of Mr. Gray" in the quest for the telephone.

"We have your note of the 23rd and 24th, as well as the newspaper regarding the curiously similar discovery of Mr. Gray. We fully sympathize with you in your anxiety regarding the final success of either. My dear boy, I warned you in a former letter to gird up your mind against the possibility of difficulty and even disappointment, for I feared if a  hitch should arise in bringing your scheme successfully through, that your mind and health would suffer, and now you feel that yourself. Work as if you were certain of success, in whatever you undertake, but always with the reservation of, it may be, not that it will be. If you should miss the desired end, still your labour and thought may not be lost but prove rather a stepping stone to something yet higher. Keep up your heart and spirits, and trust to that power which can and will direct you, if you ask."

Letter Book Binder #73, page 69

The Baddeck Liberated Learning Showcase was launched in October at UCCB and at AGBNHSC marking the beginnings of an exciting new program and research project that will bring increased 'access to knowledge/increased access to the life story of Alexander Graham Bell' for visitors to our Site. This new program, to be implemented in the 2005 visitor season, will utilize technology that translates the spoken word into the written word simultaneously. Visitors equipped with 'palm pilots' will be able to read in 'real time' presentations given by heritage presentation staff equipped wireless microphones. This will be of particular benefit to visitors with hearing impairments. The research and development of the software is ongoing and we are applying for  Innovation Funds to help move this forward as we develop programs and train staff to use them in 2005.

We were very pleased when it was announced that so many Canadians nominated Alexander Graham Bell as one of the greatest Canadians that he made the "Top Ten" in CBC's The Greatest Canadian Contest. This resulted in the production of a one hour documentary on his life and work which has been aired across the country on CBC television - a wonderful reminder of his accomplishments and the importance of Canada in his achievements and quality of life. Results of the contest will be announced November 29th and he is holding strong at number ten amongst some strong competition. Some media coverage related to this nomination were a half hour on Talkback and an interview with CBC Radio Information Morning as well as coverage in Island newspapers.

A film crew from Office Kei, the New York office for Japan's NIPPON TV, did some filming on site for an A.G. Bell documentary they are producing which will air in Japan.

A Heritage Presentation Field Unit Meeting was held at AGBNHSC November 23rd with CBH, FoL and AGB well represented. After a demonstration of the Liberated Learning software courtesy of Valerie Mason, the morning was spent discussing Outreach Education and potential funding. A BBQ luncheon was enjoyed by all and during the afternoon Roundtable each site and park gave a summary of programs and outreach resources. One of the outcomes is that each site and the park will create a site/park fact sheet and a school resource inventory sheet mainly for teachers. It was decided that HP-FU meetings should be held on a regular basis and the next one is scheduled for January 13th. This gathering was also a great opportunity to meet Georgina Leslie, new Manager, Heritage Presentation and Client Services at Fortress of Louisbourg.

Rebecca Duggan, Ann Coleman, (former Parks Canada employee) and Elizabeth Tait were among the participants in a one-day Community Consultation on Women's History held in Sydney November 29. The consultation was organized by Parks historians Anne Marie Lane Jonah and Lindsay Croken. A consultation was also held at the Citadel in Halifax. These meetings brought together Parks employees, academics, professionals and volunteers interested in women's history to discuss and identify potential opportunities for Historic Sites and Monuments Board commemorations related to women's history in Nova Scotia.

The consultations are the first step of a process aimed at developing a local network interested in the advancement of women's history as well as increasing the number of designations by the HSMBC in the area of women's history. The consultations were well attended and produced a lot of proposals. This meeting was a promising first step toward increasing the profile of women's history in Cape Breton

Our sincere condolences go out the Gary Pierrard and his family on the death of his grandmother, Lily Pierrard on November 14th.

Sincere condolences to the family of Lena Ferguson who passed away November 17th. Lena leaves behind daughters, Patsy MacDonald, member of our Cleaning Staff, and Anna Bagnell, former employee of the fortress. Also left to mourn is Michael Bagnell, grandson of Lena and a Carpenter here at the fortress. Our thoughts are with her family and her extended families (the Baldwins, the Harris', the MacMullin's).

Sincere condolences to Nicole Molaison-Bell on the death of her grandmother, Mary Alma Martell.  Mrs. Martell passed away on November 23rd

Don't forget about the Staff Christmas Party being held December 18th at the Stella Maris Hall, in Louisbourg.  Tickets are $25.00 a couple and can be purchased from Donna MacNeil or Alice Lahey up until December 10, 2004.

Congratulations to Eddie Kennedy and his helpers on the great looking float that was put together for the Santa Claus parade here in Louisbourg and in Sydney.  They won a "Special Award" for this float.

Anyone wishing to submit an article to the Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Please forward to Donna MacNeil at  or telephone 733-3551.

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