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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 7


Vol. 6, No.7 July - Juillet 2004

Acadian Tour

To celebrate the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the French in North America, and in recognition of the Congrès Mondial Acadien, the Fortress is adding a special guided visit entitled "The Acadian Connection", which will run daily from August 1st to August 14th.

The visit which underscores the integral relationship between the 18th century Fortress and Acadia, lasts for approximately 45 minutes, and is offered in both official languages. As a visitor, you are escorted through the l8th century community by a uniformed guide and introduced to several costumed inhabitants who will entertain you with their individual Acadian tales.

This guided visit is included in the price of general admission and begins daily in front of the Beauséjour tavern (building # 55 of the reconstructed site) at 2:50 p.m. in French, and 3:00 p.m. in English.

Learning & Discovery Passes

If you are a new employee (whose term is more than 60 days) or student who has not received a Learning & Discovery Pass, please notify your supervisor who in turn will report the names to me the so I can issue them.

This pass is to encourage employees to experience and learn about national parks and national historic sites and to share best practices.

Placentia Trip

During the period July 9-15 thirteen staff and volunteers from the Fortress of Louisbourg participated in celebrations in Placentia recognizing the French presence there. Our animators and volunteers, all dressed as compagnies franches soldiers and drummers, and using the two colours, put on three daily demonstrations in the town and at Castle Hill, NHSC. All the demonstrations were both entertaining and educational, and very well received by the town, site staff and visitors.

Sandy Balcom presented an accompanying series of lectures on the French fortifications at Placentia, privateering in Cape Breton and Newfoundland waters in 1744 and on the uniforms of the compagnies franches. Our animators participated in this latter talk highlighting uniform and rank distinctions, and even fife and drum calls.

Elizabeth Tait provided a 1996 compagnies franches uniform for use at Castle Hill, that proved very popular and will be integrated into that site’s interpretation program.

Our group received incredible hospitality which will long be remembered. The length of the ferry crossings will also be remembered and Eddie Kennedy’s cross-island advance trip was an epic that showed true dedication to the whole event. Congratulations to all involved as it was a tremendous success.

AGB News

On Tuesday, July 20th Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site of Canada hosted a special evening for members of the National Geographic Society who were touring our area aboard the cruise ship LeLevant. In the true spirit of Dr. and Mrs. Bell, knowledge and sociability were shared with our guests in the form of guided tours of our exhibit areas followed by a reception.

Canso Islands staff have been successfully conducting the VIP survey for their site. To best determine the needs of our visitors the survey will now be conducted on a daily basis.

New this season is a certificate issued to those who travel aboard "Special K" to the Grassy Island Fort. A nice memento of their visit to this site.

James and Leah Watson were visitors to the Site this past week. James is Dr. and Mrs. Bell’s great-great-grandson, and both he and his wife teach children who are deaf. They were very interested learning more about Mrs. Bell, as well as researching Dr. Bell’s own work with those who could not hear. We learned from them as well, and it was interesting to note that many of the techniques they use today to teach speech to deaf children are very similar to those used by Dr. Bell 130 years ago.

This season, money from the Innovation Fund has allowed us to offer evening presentations twice a week. Presenters include several of our own guides, participants from the Gaelic College and the Highland Village, and Joan MacInnis, a local historian.

Dan Kaiser reports that our heating and ventilation projects are nearing completion. "The end is in sight" he assures us, and is happy to report that all equipment is working, and air quality has been greatly enhanced.

Natosha and Heather, interpreters at Marconi National Historic Site of Canada hosted a Kite Program for a local YMCA day camp. The children made and decorated their own kites, and found that the Marconi site is an ideal place for kite-flying! Congratulations to Natosha on being accepted into Dalhousie’s Occupational Therapy Program!

Alexander Graham Bell Institute has conducted interviews for a Research Assistant. We expect to see the successful candidate in place by mid-August. Stay tuned for further details!

Annual Golf Tournament

The 2004 Cape Breton Island Field Unit Golf Tournament is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 15th, at the Highlands Links Golf Course in Ingonish. Registration is $15.00 per person which includes dinner, dance and your golf. Please register before October 4th by calling James MacIsaac, Local 3323 or Frances Chezenko, Local 3508.

FOL Visitor Comments

Midway through the season and there are many positive comments from our visitors. Here is a sample:

From River Deny’s: "I have visited the Fortress over the years with school classes and alone. This was definitely the best trip yet… Keep up the good work."

From Pierrefonds, PQ: "This place is awesome….I don’t think you should change anything"

From Ottawa, Ont: "Thank you for the great experience of seeing what it was like in the 18th century. You and your staff made every little detail come to life."

From Kirchberg, Switzerland: "The fortress was magnificent"

From Sorel-Tracy, PQ: "C’est formidable. C’est un oeuvre extraordinaire."


Our sincere condolences to Susann Myers on the death of her mother, Mildred Myers on July 25th.

Condolences to Lorette Andrews on the death of her brother.

Condolences also to Richard Dumais on the death of his mother, Lea Dumais on July 24th.

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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