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Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site of Canada
Recherche sur la Forteresse-de-Louisbourg Lieu historique national du Canada
TERRENCE D. MACLEAN
(Fortress of Louisbourg
Report Number H D 24)
From the foregoing analysis of documentary and cartographic evidence it is possible to give some idea of the general appearance of Block 4 on the eve of the first siege. There were at least ten buildings on Block 4 in 1745, and possibly 13 (Figure 13).
FIGURE 13: BLOCK 4 1744 - LEGEND:
(01) Old Delort House;
(02) Delort Store and Boutique;
(03) Delort Bakery;
(04) Delort House;
(05) Butcher Shop;
(06) Duvivier-Jouet House and Outbuilding;
(07) Cassagnolles-Detcheverry House;
(08) Cassagnolles-Detcheverry Store;
(09) Cassagnolles-Detcheverry Store;
(10) Santier-Vallée Store Inn and Residences;
(11) Gardener Shed;
(12) Santier House;
(13) Laborde House;
(14) Garden Pool.
All were constructed in wood, ranging in age from one to 32 years, in value from the 9,000 livre Delort house on Rue Royale to the worthless piquet buildings along the Quay facade of the block, and in size from the tiny Delort bakery on Lot A to the large Santier-Vallée building on Lot D. The Rue du Quay façade of Block 4 contrasted with that of Blocks 1 and 2 where stately stone buildings decorated the port, but the Delort storehouse and boutique, the Santier-Vallée building and the Laborde residence must have been as impressive for their size and possibly their architecture. On the other hand, the Cassagnolles-Detcheverry house on Rue du Quay paled by comparison, as did the old Delort and Duvivier houses before their removal sometime prior to 1745. The area in front of Lots B and C and along, the west side of the Isle du Quay were described in 1728 as a "coupe gorges", roughly translated as murderer's row, so it is not surprising that by the 1740s the principal residences for the wealthy proprietors of these lots were located on Rue Royale, while their Rue du Quay buildings were uninhabited [NOTE 364].
Security was not a major problem within Block 4, however, mainly because military guards patrolled the route from the Dauphin Bastion [PAGE 102:] along the Quay, and from the the Pièce de la Grave to the Place du Port [NOTE 365]. There are no recorded thefts in Block 4 during the entire French period, though there were many in other parts of the town. Fences, shutters and other safety precautions must have been added to the Block 4 properties to augment the security provided by the guard. But fences were not as numerous as they were on Block 2, for example, because there were only five properties on Block 4.
Buildings and properties are only a reflection of the people who own and occupy them. Most of the inhabitants of Block 4 were successful merchants; all were members of either the middle or upper levels of Louisbourg society. The Delorts, François Duvivier and Jean Laborde were wealthy and influential members of the colonial bourgeoisie, while Louis Jouet, Blaise Cassagnolles and Bernard Detcheverry were typical of the successful European merchants who found Louisbourg a lucrative centre for their commercial establishments. Similarly, Pierre Santier and Michel Vallée operated expanding business and fishing enterprises prior to the first siege. As a result, Block 4 provided in 1744-45 an interesting mixture of thriving business establishments and orderly residences, and an excellent cross-section of the Louisbourg merchant class.