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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

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THE FORTRESS OF LOUISBOURG

SCHOOL PROJECTS

RESEARCH PROJECTS, FOR SCHOOL OR UNIVERSITY


LOUISBOURG: AN 18TH CENTURY TOWN

© Nimbus Publishing

AFTERWORD

THE FORTRESS TODAY

Louisbourg, the rich and colourful 18th-century fortress, seaport, and community, is no more. It ceased to exist long ago, except in documents and in archaeological traces.

Yet it lives again, at least after a fashion. It stands as the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site, located half-hour’s drive from Sydney, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia.

The re-creation of Louisbourg is perhaps Canada’s most ambitious attempt to recall its 18th-century past. Nearly one-quarter of the historic town has been reconstructed on the site of the original settlement to provide a sense of what is known as living history. Intensive research and work during the 1960s and 1970s by historians, archaeologists, architects, and tradespeople made it possible to rebuild 50 period buildings. Forges and guardhouses, homes and inns, barracks, a bakery, and many more buildings annually welcome tens of thousands of visitors. People in costumes play merchants and musicians, soldiers and servants, upper-class ladies and gentlemen. Each one breathes life into the past.

The Fortress of Louisbourg is often rated as the top attraction in Atlantic Canada. It is a major draw for tourists from around the world, but especially for Canadians and Americans. In Cape Breton, the fortress is a major employer, as well as a source of inspiration for people interested in preserving their heritage.


SUGGESTED BOOKS, ARTICLES & VIDEOS

BOOKS & ARTICLES

There are literally hundreds of books and articles available on Louisbourg. The ones you choose to read really depends on your interests.

Would you like to read more on the cod fisher? Religious life? Gardening? The garrison? The following is a selection of some of the publications dealing with 18th-century Louisbourg.

Balcom, B.A. The Cod Fishery of Isle Royale, 1713 - 1758. Ottawa: Parks Canada, 1984.

Donovan, Kenneth, ed. Cape Breton at 200: Essays in Honour of the Island’s Bicentennial. Sydney: UCCB Press, 1985.

__________. Īle Royale, 18th-Century, Plate 24, Cole Harris, ed. Historical Atlas of Canada. Vol. 1. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1987.

__________. The Island: New Perspectives in Cape Breton’s History, 1713 - 1990. Fredericton; Sydney: Acadiensis Press; UCCB Press, 1990.

__________. The Marquis de Chabert and the Louisbourg Observatory in the 1750s, The American Neptune. Vol. XLIV, No. 3: 186 - 97.

Dunton, Hope. From the Hearth: Recipes from the World of 18th-Century Louisbourg. Sydney: UCCB Press, 1986.

Fry, Bruce W. An ‘Appearance of Strength’: The Fortifications of Louisbourg. 2 vols. Ottawa: Parks Canada, 1984.

Johnston, A.J.B. Religion in Life at Louisbourg, 1713 - 1758. Montreal, Kingston: McGill- Queen’s University Press, 1984.

__________. The Summer of 1744. Ottawa: Canadian Parks Service, 1991.

McLellan, J.S. Louisbourg from Its Foundation to Its Fall, 1713 - 1758. Halifax: The Book Room, 1990.

Moore, Christopher. How They Crossed the Ocean Accurately in 1753, Canadian Geographic. Vol. 101, No. 6, Dec. 1981 - Jan. 1982.

__________. Louisbourg Portraits: Life in an Eighteenth-Century Garrison Town. Toronto: Macmillan, 1982.

Nova Scotia Historical Review. Nova Scotia Historical Review. Vol. 10, No. 2 (1990). Five essays on Īle Royale, including one on smallpox.

Proulx, Gilles. Between France and New France: Life Aboard the Tall Sailing Ships. Toronto; Charlottetown: Dundern Press, 1984.

Reardon, Chris, and A.J.B. Johnston. Louisbourg: The Phoenix Fortress. Halifax: Nimbus Publishing, 1990.

 

VIDEOS

There are numerous video productions dealing with Louisbourg and its history. The list below is organized by category for easy reference.

 

GENERAL

Louisbourg Then and Now. Louisbourg Then and Now. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, 1982. Approx. 60 minutes. Featuring Knowlton Nash, provides a cross-section of the 18th-century town. Available in English and French from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, P.O. Box 500, Station A, Toronto, Ontario, M5W 1E6.

Rebuilding History. Rebuilding History. TV Ontario. Approx. 14 minutes. Looks at the historic and re-created fortress. Available from TV Ontario, P.O. Box 200, Station Q, Toronto, Ontario, M4T 2T1.

 

ARTISANS & TRADES

At Work in the 18th-Century. At Work in the 18th-Century. Nova Scotia Department of Education, 1989. Approx. 8 minutes. A glimpse at a wood hewer, stone cutter, carpenter, and blacksmith. Available in English and French from Education Media Services, 6955 Bayers Road, Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3J 4S5.

 

ASTRONOMY

Canada’s Stargazers: From Louisbourg to Supernova. Canada’s Stargazers: From Louisbourg to Supernova. Science North. Approx. 28 minutes. Focuses on Canadian astronomical achievements, with a few minutes on the Louisbourg observatory. Available form Science North, 100 Ramsey Lake Road, Sudbury, Ontario, P3E 5S9.

 

CHILDREN

Life in a French Fortress. Life in a French Fortress. TV Ontario. Approx. 14 minutes. Follows a young girl through part of a typical 18th-century day. Animated character Trapper hosts. Available from TV Ontario, P.O. Box 200, Station Q, Toronto, Ontario, M4T 2T1.

 

CHRISTMAS

An 18th-Century Christmas. An 18th-Century Christmas. Global Communications. Approx. 25 minutes. A glimpse at wintertime life and moods in the fortified town. Beautiful cinematography. Available from Global Communcations, 81 Greene Road, Don Mills, Ontario, M3C 2A2.

 

CLOTHING & FASHION

Getting Dressed in the 18th Century. Getting Dressed in the 18th Century. Nova Scotia Department of Education. 1989. Approx. 12 minutes. Available in English and French from Education Media Services, 6955 Bayers Road, Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3L 4S5.

 

COOKING

Cooking in an 18th-Century Kitchen. Cooking in an 18th-Century Kitchen. Nova Scotia Department of Education, 1989. Approx. 15 minutes. An evening meal is prepared by a busy kitchen staff. Available in English and French from Education Media Services, 6955 Bayers Road, Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3L 4S4.

 

MILITARY LIFE

Les compagnies franches de la Marine. Les compagnies franches de la Marine. National Film Board. Approx. 13 minutes. Examines the life of a typical soldier. Available in English and French from the nearest office of the National Film Board of Canada. Production no. 106C 0180 532.

 

RECONSTRUCTION

Louisbourg. Louisbourg. National Film Board, 1972. Approx. 30 minutes. Treats both 18th-century history and 20th-century reconstruction. Available in English and French from the nearest office of the National Film Board of Canada. Production no. 106C 0172 553.

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