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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




JULY, 1971

(Fortress of Louisbourg
Report H A 13)



Though the barracks was not yet completed, this year marked the beginning of a number of changes which were to further alter the original plan of the building. The major undertaking was the raising of the roof of the governor's wing in an attempt to alleviate the leakage as well as provide room for servants in the attics. This involved rebuilding the walls of the second floor of the wing, which meant in turn changing the windows thus allowing the replacement of the brick surrounds with more durable cut-stone. On these higher walls a new roof structure was built which had a much steeper slope than the original. Fireplaces were added to the attics so that living quarters could be fashioned there.(1) These changes are reflected in Figure 12 [ND-21: Presently Unavailable] which dates from about 1729, and Figure 13 [ND-88: Presently Unavailable] which dates from 1731. The new slope is best seen in the upper section of the profile in Figure 13 [ND-88: Presently Unavailable]. Also evident are the altered windows and added fireplaces. All the chimneys of the building are taller in the latter plan, and this change was probably effected during the reconstruction of the flues in flatstone when it was thought that taller stacks were necessary. Part of the materials used in these changes, especially planks and timber, were obtained from English ships which were frequenting Louisbourg in increasing numbers(2)

At the end of the year Saint Ovide reported that he was at last pleased with his lodging: "the wing of the barracks in which I live has been readied to perfection, this lodging is now fine and serviceable ."(3)

Verrier elaborated on the work which had been done. Aside from the roof being raised, the wing had been slated and the fireplaces widened. Verrier hoped to slate the rest of the building the following year, widen the fireplaces and replace the jambs as well. Sensing Maurepas' impatience with the prolongation of work on this building, he added that these works would be done "so that Your Highness will no longer hear talk about the barracks".(4)

On the second last day of the year Verrier squeezed in another proposal for a modification to the barracks. Brick fire backs had been used originally, but since they were only 4 pouces thick they easily disintegrated and were a fire hazard and needed to be replaced every four years. Verrier had tried replacing them with local cut stone but this new material had split in the fire. The only solution was to import 30 iron fire backs, and Verrier asked that they be two pieds high and quite smooth with a suitable thickness to resist fire.(5)

In the final accounting of Isabeau's estate, completed at this time, the heirs received 17,641 livres 7 sols.(6) From this they had to pay other creditors the sum of 10,239 livres 6 sols,(7)leaving just over 7300 livres. It had taken seven years after Isabeau's death for the estate to be settled but this was not uncommon given the communications and ponderous legal procedures of the time.


1. Verrier to Minister, 23 May 1731, AN. Col., C11B, vol. 12, f. 102v.

2. Le Normant to Minister, 21 May 1731, AN. Col., C11B, vol. 12, f. 51v.

3. Saint Ovide to Minister, 25 November 1731, AN. Col., C11B, vol. 12, f.40v.

4. Verrier to Minister, 29 November 1731, AN. Col., C11B, vol. 12, f. 105v.

5. Verrier to Minister, 30 December 1731, AN, Col., C11B, vol. 12, ff. 111-11v.

6. Le Becque, 28 November 1731, AN. Col., C11B, vol. 12, ff. 60-61v.

7 Saint Ovide and Le Normant to Minister, 13 October 1733, AN, Col., C11B, vol. 14, ff. 43-50.

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