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Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site of Canada
Recherche sur la Forteresse-de-Louisbourg Lieu historique national du Canada
THE CONSTRUCTION AND OCCUPATION OF THE BARRACKS OF THE KING'S BASTION
(Fortress of Louisbourg
Report H A 13)
CHRONOLOGY OF CONSTRUCTION
Maurepas' opening correspondence for this year rejected the plan of a separate lighthouse and returned to the original idea of a light in the tower over the barracks(1) He also ordered that a final accounting be made with the Isabeau heirs. Verrier, who, Maurepas said, had a reputation for honesty and was experienced in these matters, was instructed to reach an agreement with them.(2)
In Louisbourg, Verrier was determined to have his separate lighthouse, and he informed Saint Ovide and De Mesy that the clock-tower, having only two arches, could not support a light. His observation on De Mesy's terrace proposal was that it would indeed save on wood but that this saving would be cancelled out by the amount of lead needed to seal the new roof.(3)
De Mesy, meanwhile, had another project which would have an effect on the barracks. He wanted to build a new bakery in Block 1 near the stores building, but he was told that this could be postponed because the 1727 repairs had alleviated the water problem in the barracks bakery. The ordonnateur did not appreciate the cancellation of his plans and presented new objections to the present location. The room was so low that the bakers had to work bent over, in poor light, with great difficulties in transporting wood and flour. Its location was also a temptation for the soldiers who habitually congregated there.(4) Sabatier, the controleur, supported De Mesy, adding that the bakery was a fire hazard which should only be used during a siege.(5)
There was another area of difficulty in the barracks. Both De Mesy and Verrier reported that the armory was leaking in spite of the temporary roof, and that the tower should be completed as soon as possible.(6) Sabatier the following year carried the idea one step further and recommended that the armory, which was under the control of the ordonnateur, be moved to the upper floor of the storehouse so as to be closer to the official in charge.(7)
Finally, for this year, Verrier reported that 4 soldiers rooms still read no beds but that these were in the process of construction - a far cry from the optimistic hopes of 1723 which had anticipated an early completion of the soldiers' lodgings. The rotten windows were being replaced, Verrier added, and he again defended De Verville's work.(8) There were serious money difficulties that year, the current cash having run out, and Saint Ovide had to postpone his trip to France, at Verrier's request, because the soldiers would have refused to work in his absence.(9)
1. Minister to Verrier, 24 February 1728, AN. Col., B. vol. 52(2), ff. 568-69v.
2. Minister to Saint Ovide and De Mesy, 23 June 1728, AN. Col., B. vol. 52(2), f. 596v.
3. Saint Ovide and De Mesy to Minister, 3 November 1728, AN. Col., C11B, vol. 10, ff. 53-53v.
4. De Mesy to Minister, 22 November 1728, AN. Col., C11B, vol. 10, f. 110v.
5. Sabatier to Minister, 30 April 1729, AN. Col., C11B, vol. 10, f. 224v.
6. De Mesy to Minister, 14 November 1728 AN. Col,, C11B, vol. 10, f. 101v. Verrier to Minister, 13 November 1728, AN. Col., C11B, vol. 10, f. 135.
7. Sabatier to Minister, 30 April 1729, AN. Col., C11B, vol. 10, f. 222v.
8. Verrier to Minister, 13 November 1728, AN. Col., C11B, vol. 10, f. 134v.
9. Saint Ovide to Minister, 12 November 1728, AN. Col., C11B, vol. 10, ff. 89-94v.