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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




JANUARY 6, 1961

(Fortress of Louisbourg
Report H C 01)


Old Fort Henry, Kingston, Ontario, January 6th, 1965 
Mr. A. D. Perry, Project Manager, 
Fortress of Louisbourg Restoration Section, Louisbourg, Nova Scotia

Dear Mr. Perry:

This report represents the first attempt since the inception of the Louisbourg project to create a 'Marriage" between archaeological and historical research in order to produce the most accurate description of a structure. The specifications apply to the Chateau St. Louis as it stood in 1745 and are intended to guide the architect in the preparation of working plans which must, of necessity, incorporate in certain areas modern techniques and facilities.

The archaeological and historical dissertations, of which this report is a distillation, totalled more than one thousand pages of material and were the result of two years of concentrated research. Analysis of the voluminous material at hand, revealed conflicts in evidence, not only between history and archaeology but within each separate field. For example, instances were discovered in which facts indicated by one manuscript source were in disagreement with evidence obtained from either another manuscript or an historic plan. Where possible, these conflicts have been resolved by a careful evaluation of the weight of evidence and an assessment of its source. In those instances in which a reasonable resolution of conflicting evidence was not possible, both sides of the case have been presented in this report. Furthermore, a deliberate attempt has been made to avoid speculation or to produce a hypothesis in order to resolve a problem. Nor has known intent of the original builders been allowed to influence the analysis for, unless otherwise stated, this report deals only with what is believed to have been actually constructed.

Because no analysis of cut-stone or hardware artefacts was available for incorporation within this report, it presents only the historical evidence concerning these two items. Analysis of cut-stone found in the Chateau and of hardware is, however, to be given the highest priority in the new year and special reports on these subjects will be submitted as soon as possible. In addition to further archaeological evidence, there is the distinct possibility that more information concerning the Chateau may come to view as a result of historical research now under way. Please be assured that any new testimony which either throws some light on areas now in doubt or modifies our interpretation of facts already known will be passed on to the architect without delay.

Although an effort has been made to write in detail specifications for the Chateau as it was in 1745, the sheer impossibility of describing in words so complex a structure made a recourse to plans the most logical way of presenting in consolidated form the mass of known facts. For the set of plans which accompany this report [Note: Not available at this time] and augment the historical photostats, we are indebted to Mr. J. Hanna. I wish also to commend to you Messrs. Bruce Fry, Iain Walker and Pierre Mayrand, all of whom worked extremely hard in producing massive reports. The Senior Archaeologist and the Senior Historian collaborated with Mrs. Way and myself in the analysis of evidence and they are in agreement with the conclusions presented.

Yours sincerely,
Ronald L. Way, 
Acting Research Director

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