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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





(Fortress of Louisbourg
Report H D 14 R)




A. Gardens

Almost nothing is known about the gardens of the Ordonnateur's property.

Several plans of the first-phase Ordonnateur's house situate a garden at the rear of the lot G property. A cultivated area is seen in the southwest corner of the lot on plans N D.7 and N.D.7a. Plan 731-3-(1) confines the garden to a square area behind the south magasin, while plan 734-4 extends it along the west side of the magasins. Picket fences enclose the garden. [See IV-B, Fences Section.]

In 1742, pickets were fashioned to enclose the Ordonnateur's courtyard and garden. [57] With the exception of plan 744-5, gardens are not shown on the plans of the second and third phases of the house. The 1744 garden is situated on the former Rodrigue property, with an opening in the east wall of its enclosure.

B. Fences

In the first phase of the deMesy house, a picket fence ran along the west, south, and partially along the east boundaries of the property, enclosing the courtyard and the garden. (See plans N.D.7, N.D.7a, and 731-3-(1).) Entrance to the property was gained through a masonry wall which ran between the house and the storehouse. (Also see plan 731-1.)

A picket fence between the west wall of the south magasin and the west boundary of the property formed the north wall of a garden at the rear of the Ordonnateur's yard. (See plans N.D.7, 731-3-(1), and 734-4.) The area of the garden and the location of this section of the picket enclosure vary on the plans.

The property to the rear of the Ordonnateur's house (lot F) was enclosed following its acquisition from St. Ovide in 1736. [29] Plan 739-5-(1) shows a picket fence along the east, west, and Rue Royale south boundaries.

The Rodrigue property (lot H), which was added to the Ordonnateur's property in 1741, was encompassed by pickets. [51] As seen on plans 739-5, 739-5a, 740-3,741-2, and 742-6, the west perimeters of both lots G and H were very irregular. A proposed masonry wall, enclosing the proposed prison on lot H is shown on plans739-5-(1) and 739-5a. It is likely that the section of picket fence between the two properties was removed after the two were incorporated.

The entrance to the Ordonnateur's yard was situated behind the south magasin on the Rue St. Louis after the transition to the second phase of the house. (See plans 739-5-(1), 746-5, and 746-8) An entrance was also shown on the Quay front of the former Rodrigue property on plans 746-5 and 746--8. Plan 745-1 situates a picket fence across the Quay front of the lot H property.

The expenses for 1742 included pickets which had been furnished to enclose the Ordonnateur's courtyard and gardens. [57] In 1750, masonry and pointing repairs were made to several parts of a fence at the Ordonnateur's house. [73a]

Fences on the east and west boundaries of the Ordonnateur's property are seen in Gibson Clough's c.1759 sketch. The diagram includes interesting sketches of two gates, one located in either wall. No other plan shows an opening in the west boundary. Clough's sketch and plan 758-9 situate a fence on the Ordonnateur's terrace, overlooking the Quay and running up the Rue St. Louis. [See IV-C, Terraces Section.]

C. Terraces

1. Plans N.D.7 and N.D.7a show pave in the Ordonnateur's yard, stretching between the house and magasin for the width of the property and extending along the west wall of the magasins. This feature does not appear on any other plan.

2. Pavé appears on the north and east perimeters of the first-phase house on plan N.D.7 and N.D.7a. The terrace runs along the Quay from the northwest corner of the house, turns the corner at the Rue St. Louis, and terminates at the north wall of the north magasin,

In 1742, the land around the Ordonnateur's house was lowered to the terreplein level of the Quay. [56]  A bank, eight pieds wide, was left around the dwelling. (See plans 743-1.) Plan 758-9 and Gibson Clough's c.1759 sketch indicate that a terrace was situated on the elevated bank. Plan 758-9 shows a fence running along the Rue St. Louis to the entrance of the Ordonnateur's house, and continuing along the edge of a wider terrace area in front of the entrance where stairs descend to the street. A very similar fence runs along the Quay side of the terrace and extends down the Rue St. Louis in Clough's sketch. It is very possible that the section of fence facing the east wall of the house, including the stairs which are shown in front of the entrance, are meant to be situated on the Rue St. Louis. The758-9 fence seems to be iron, while Clough's fence could be either of wood or iron. Round knobs top the fence posts in both views. Stairs are shown descending to the level of the Quay on the west end of Clough's version of the Ordonnateur's terrace. A stone retaining wall is shown supporting the terrace.

The views 745-1 and 758-6a do not show the Ordonnateur's terrace. Although the construction date of the terrace is not known, it is likely that it was built soon after the 1742 alteration. Reported repairs were made to a brick terrace around the Ordonnateur's house in 1750. [73a]

A terrace similar to the one found on plans N.D.7 and N.D.7a, situated along the north and east perimeters of the Ordonnateur's property, is shown on plan 767-1.The widened area in the location of the Rue St. Louis entrance appears on the plan. The 1767 terrace extends the total length of the magasins.

D. Wells

Several wells were located on the Ordonnateur's property throughout its history.

1. Plans 731-3-(1), 734-4, N.D.7 and N.D.7a show a well on the west boundary of the Ordonnateur's property, opposite the west wall of the north magasin. It is wood-framed and has a scaled diameter of about 3 pieds. (Scaled from N.D.7..)

2. When Bigot became Ordonnateur in 1739, he complained that his Block 2 establishment did not have a well . [44] A new one had been made by December. [46]  The 1739 well was situated on the east boundary of the property, between the south magasin and the Rue St. Louis courtyard entrance. (See plans 739-5-(1), and 739-5a.) The well was enclosed, either partially or completely, by a structure with a hipped roof.  Plans 739-5-(1) and 739-5a show an opening on the west side of the well house.

The well was in existence until at least the first siege, for it appears on plans 740-3, 744-5, and 745-11.

3.  A new well was excavated in the Ordonnateur's yard after the French reoccupation in 1749. [68-18 to 22] The 1749 repair toisé stated that the excavation was 6 toises 3 pieds, presumably cubic measurement. Seven pieds of masonry were used in the well. There is no way of knowing how far the masonry extended above
ground level. If the well had a diameter of 3 pieds, there would have been 5 1/2 pieds of masonry below ground level and 1 1/2 pieds above. Sixty cubic pieds of lumber were used for the roof and its supporting posts over the well. Six square toises 2 pieds of Boston planks covered the roof.

The location of the well is not given on the plans. Possibly it was one of the wells shown either on the Gibson Clough sketch or the 767-1 plan. (See below.)

Gibson Clough's c.1759 sketch situates a pulley-operated well in the northwest corner of the Ordonnateur's yard

5. Plan 767-1 locates a well in the Ordonnateur's yard at the right-angle turn in the west boundary.

6. Plan 767-1 also shows a well in the Rue St. Louis, adjacent to the Ordonnateur's house and magasin. This probably was one of the public wells commonly located in the town streets. [76] A drain ran along the Rue St. Louis from the well to the Quay.

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