Campbell's Maritime Province Trip June/July 2018 travel blog

Aerial View of Fort Louisbourg

Aerial View of Fort Louisbourg

Original plan for fort

Freshly made Soldiers Brown Bread - Heavy with grain

Close-up of Soldier

Lunch at Pub with Caravan Folks

Kathleen at lunch in Pub

Unique meat spit powered by stone weight with RPM determined by spinning...

Photo showing lace making with muliple thread spools

Technique of tieing adjacent stones together with steel keys

A rest in the fort parade ground

Actor soldier descbing a soldiers life at fort - unpleasant at best

9-hole musket cartridge holder

View out of notch in the top of the fort wall

View of fort from across the bay from lighthouse

July 7 – Visit Fort Louisbourg on Southern Coast

The Fortress of Louisbourg was built by the French in the 1700’s. The fort was to protect the ice-free harbor which became the winter port of the French naval forces on the Atlantic seaboard. It was named after King Louis XIV.

The fort took the French 28 years to complete. The 2 1/2 mile protective wall was made of stone held in place with low quality mortar which did not stand up to the impact of artillery shells. Also, the wall foundations were not deep enough in the ground to prevent the structure from breaking apart due to the freezing temperatures.

The site stands as the largest reconstruction project in North America. In the 1960’s, the complete fort was reconstructed and 4 blocks of 34 city blocks were rebuilt. In 1760, the British intentionally destroyed it after it had exchanged hands 4 times from French, to British to French and back to the British.

French subjects were enticed to travel to Louisbourg to build the fort. Prospective, poor folks and convicts were promised 9 units (I cannot remember the name) per month and had only to work for the government military 1 day in 3. They were told that on the other days, they could work for contractors and make a small fortune in the 6 years of their contract.

Again, bait-and-switch techniques were used here as in Lunenburg. 7 1/2 units of their salary was held to pay for their uniforms, weapons and food, leaving them with 1 1/2 units per month for which they were paid twice a year. Two pair of shoes were issued. There was no underwear issued as such, just a knee length undershirt that was wadded up under the pants.

The workers spent more than they earned but were given credit such that they could not leave at the end of the 6-year contract period and were obliged to sign on for another 6-year contract.

Of their uniform elements, only the white scarf had to be kept clean and bathing was intentionally omitted since it was thought that the dirty skin reduced the chance of being bitten by bugs. The men slept 3 to a wide bed made up of straw that was changed once a year. There were usually only two men sleeping at a time since each man had to work for 24 hours in a 3-day period.

The muskets used could only be fired 9 times before they had to be cooled down and the firing pan cleaned of oily gunpowder residue. The soldier with the dirty, hot weapon would fall back behind the ranks to perform the cleaning process. If the firing pan was not cleaned, the flash would not enter the barrel chamber and the gun would not fire.

The port exported salted cod and cod liver oil. The value of the fish products exported was greater than the value of the timber exports.

We had lunch a pub with some of our caravan group. I had fish soup and dipped some of the heavy, brown bread that I had purchased earlier from the baker’s shop. Kathleen ordered mussels. We were given a large cloth bib to protect our shirts and one spoon.

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