ParksProject Website Design and Content © by Eric Krause, Krause House Info-Research Solutions (© 1996)
All Images © Parks Canada Unless Otherwise Designated

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

Volume 1: Number 3




Vol. 1, No. 3, June - Juin 1999


Encampment '99

Joining the staff at Louisbourg for Encampment '99 are a number of other Parks Canada employees. Geraldine LeVert from Cape Breton Highlands, Sharon Morrow from Alexander Graham Bell, Elizabeth McDonald, Glen Lush, and Bev Boyd from the Service Centre will all be helping in the media centre. Derek Quann, Gerald Bourgeois, Heather Davis and Eugene Davis, all from Cape Breton Highlands are joining our wardens, while Andre Gousse and Bob Andrews from the National Office, Glen Tozer from Mainland Nova Scotia, John McLeod and David Webb from Southwestern Ontario and, Wayne Moug from the Service Centre are helping with the black powder. (They are also joined by Bruce Ellis of the Halifax RCMP and former Curator of the Army Museum in Halifax Citadel). Finally - Karen Jans and Marge Boutilier from Halifax and Suzanne Emery from the National Office are helping with registration and some of the special events.

Please welcome these people to Louisbourg and take the opportunity to get to know some of our colleagues.

Special Guests for Encampment '99

On Friday afternoon, we will be hosting representatives of the organizations who have helped us with the financing of Encampment '99.

These include the members of the Board of Directors of the Volunteer Association and representatives of ATV, the two largest contributors.

There will also be guests from Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation, Tourism Nova Scotia, Tourism Cape Breton, and the city. (The Mayor and his wife are really joining in the fun - they=ll be in costume all weekend!).

As well there will be guests from the Royal Bank, Marine Atlantic and Maritime Beer who are also sponsoring Encampment >99.

On Sunday the Honourable Andy Mitchell, the Secretary of State (Parks), will be the main speaker at the commemorative ceremony. Our local representatives, Michelle Dockrill, Russell MacKinnon and Dannie Hansen will be here, along with other guests.

Around the site all weekend will be Joe O'Brien, the Director General Eastern Canada, Carol Sheedy, the Director for Heritage Presentation and Public Education, and Kim Whytock, the Director for External Relations.

We also expect to see Lloyd Fucille from the Public Service Alliance on site.


Up to mid-July, there is a $22,000 increase in revenue at Louisbourg over last year; this figure represents a significant increase in visitation. Alexander Graham Bell also indicates a $12,000 increase in revenue, so they are welcoming more visitors, too!

Tourists will abound this week with the arrival of the Bluenose II, in addition to the Encampment. Up to ten thousand visitors a day are expected!

La Veuve de St. Pierre

The producers of La Veuve recently wrote to thank the staff at Louisbourg for all Atheir help, encouragement and understanding during filming.

The "French and Quebec-based" crews were delighted with working with Cape Bretoners and have already begun fondly reminiscing... of their stay in this area. While here the film company spent over $2 million dollars hiring carpenters and extras, renting and purchasing equipment, paying for hotel rooms and meals. This event includes all the artificial snow that was trucked in from Ben Eoin!!

The End of an Era

On July 28th at Marconi National Historic Site, the Coast Guard will hold a ceremony to mark the end of the use of Morse Code as their means of communication. The last message to the Coast Guard College will be sent using Marconi's historic call letters AVAS from the birthplace of Marconi's Trans-Atlantic Radio Telegraphy Service. The Sydney Amateur Radio Club will continue to use morse code at Marconi National Historic Site in their communications to fellow radio hobbyists around the world.

Life and Death in New France: The Burials of the Fortress of Louisbourg

Since the 1960's, extensive historical and archaeological research has made the Fortress of Louisbourg one of the best documented historical sites in Canada. It's spatial organization, architecture, military, economic and political activities, and the lifeways of its inhabitants are all part of Louisbourg's extensive knowledge base. But what do we know of the inhabitants themselves? Much less. We hope to change that by studying the skeletal remains of those who lived and died at Louisbourg. And we plan to do this while we are moving the remains from a cemetery on the shoreline that is threatened by coastal erosion.

Over the next three years, Dr. Robert Larocque, archaeologist and paleoanthropologist at the Université Laval (Québec) will excavate burials from the main parish cemetery of Louisbourg - in use from 1723 to 1744 and located inside the walls of the town in Block 40 - and carry out osteological analysis on these remains.

The examination of the skeletons will allow him to identify the age and sex of each individual, their physical characteristics and especially any bone lesions that may reveal a biological stress, such as nutritional deficiencies, infectious diseases, diseases of the joints (arthritis), bone injuries, surgical operations, etc. The way these data are related to each other and to the age and sex of each individual will help arrive at the first image of the state of health of the Louisbourgeois. Robert Larocque's ultimate goal is to understand how these biological characteristics were related to the activities, the customs and the behavior of the people of Louisbourg. To this end, the past historical and archaeological research at Louisbourg will be invaluable. Dr. Larocque will also use the excavations to document the burial customs at Louisbourg, an area not well understood.

This summer's project will start August 2nd and end August 30th. Using small test pits, Dr. Larocque and his team will locate precisely the limit of the cemetery in town Block 40. They will also use the data to formulate the research strategy for the extensive excavations that will take place in the summer of the year 2000.

Ote, the remains of the early French settlers will be reburied in a new cemetery with the appropriate religious ceremony.

Submitted by Andrée Crépeau and Robert Larocque

If you would like to make a submission to the Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Newsletter, please direct same to Wendy Bryan at 733-2280, Extension 3109 or e-mail at



Return to the Previous Page /
Retour à la Page Précédente