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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
1729 - 1730
This was a relatively quiet time during the construction of the barracks. Madame Planton died in July, 1729,(1) which meant that her estate had also to be settled, but this could not be done until her brother's estate had been properly inventoried. As was the custom after a death, seals tad been placed on all the goods belonging to the deceased, but the manager of the estate received permission from De Mesy to have them lifted so that he could continue the work which was still under way.(2) A complete inventory of all the effects including papers was not undertaken until January, 1731. More than 2000 bills and accounts were found dating back to the earliest days of Isabeau's work in Louisbourg. There were numerous registers as well - in all a formidable amount of documentation and a sizeable headache for Verrier who had to supervise the final accounting of this part of the estate.(3)
Maurepas finally agreed that the light in the barracks tower and terrace on the roof were impractical.(4) Estimates for work necessary in 1730 mentioned the replacement with flat stone of brick in the chimney flues which projected above the roof. The same material was to be used for the raising of gables which formed the king posts of the roof. The cost of replacing the shingles with slate as a protection against fire and snow (and one of De Verville's most consistent recommendations), was calculated (5) at 26,800 livres or only 10,000 short of the original estimate for the whole building in 1718. Fifty thousand slates had been shipped in 1726 and in 1729, with three times as many in 1730(6)along with 54 rolls of lead for sealing joints, a barrel of nails and two cases of bolts.(7)
Verrier in his report supported De Mesy's idea that there should be a new bakery, but perhaps as a concession to Maurepas who wanted to cut expenses, said that it could be deferred since the present bakery could still serve for a year or two, and other works including the barracks should take precedence.(8)
In 1730 Ganet returned to France and obtained his new contract for continuing construction at Louisbourg with the same prices he had used in the 1725 bid. Arrigrand, this time backing another architect, claimed to have presented a bid which was a twenty percent reduction on Ganet's but which was refused. Moreover Maurepas asked Arrigrand not to proceed with his suit until Ganet was free from his Louisbourg commitments so as not to interfere with work in progress.(9)
1. Verrier to Minister, 18 December 1729, AN. Col., CUB, vol. 10, ff. 242-45.
2. De Becque to De Mesy, 15 July 1729, AN., Sec. Outre-mer, G2, vol. 180, f. 630.
3. Planton Inventory, 3 January 1731, AN., Sec. Outre-mer, G , vol. 180, ff. 647-80.
4. Minister to Saint Ovide and De Mesy, 22 May 1729, AN. Col., B. vol. 53, ff. 588v-90v.
5. Verrier to Minister, 26 March 1730, AN. Col., C11B, vol. 11, ff. 82-82v.
6. Minister to Saint Ovide and De Mesy, 20 June 1730, AN. Col., B. vol. 54(2), f. 502v.
7. Sabatier and Degoutin to Minister, 22 June 1730, AN. Col., C11B, vol. 11, ff. 90-91.
8. Verrier to Minister, 2 December 1730, AN. Col., C11B, vol. 10, f. 77.
9. Dossier Arrigrand, letter to Minister, no date, AN. Col.E, vol. 9, f. 11.