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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



Microfiche Report Series 83


Margaret Fortier


Fortress of Louisbourg

Part Two - The Outports

Grand  Laurembec 

The area immediately east of Louisbourg harbour was known as the Plein Du Grand Laurembec. The land was identical in character to what lay on the other side of the harbour, alternating between high ground and marsh. Plans seem to indicate that it had been stripped of whatever trees it had, though it is likely that there had only been scrub fir and spruce. The plain terminated at the cove and barachois of Grand Laurembec. The area north of the Rivière Aux Roches (6-Mile Brook) and the barachois into which it drained seems to have been quite heavily wooded. [1]

Land on either side of the barachois was granted to Jean La Grange, surgeon major of the troops, in 1727 by Governor St. Ovide and commissaire-ordonnateur De Mézy. The concession contained 20 arpents on either side of the barachois and extended inland for 40 arpents. It was bounded on the south by the sea, on the northwest by St. Ovide's habitation, and on the rest of its perimeter by lands not conceded. [2]

The portion of La Grange's concession which lay south of the stream and barachois was part of the plain area, while the land to the north was heavily wooded. In 1732 residents of Baleine and Petit Laurembec complained that La Grange had prohibited them from cutting wood on his land. De Mézy replied that La Grange and others who owned large parcels of land had always permitted wood to be cut, provided it was done in specified areas and that roads opened at the landowners expense were not ruined. When the complaints were investigated, he continued. it was found that the residents of those communities had been cutting wood near La Grange's house, leaving it exposed to the wind off the water. Plans indicate that the house was in the northeast shore of the barachois, in an area which would be fairly well sheltered as long as the trees between it and the seashore to the southeast remained. La Grange showed those who complained a more suitable place to cut wood, which was also more convenient for them. [3]

The census taken in 1734 lists one person living on the La Grange property. [4] In 1742 a heifer went astray and ended up on La Grange's land. She was put in a dairy which veuve La Grange maintained there. The domestic who worked for veuve La Grange was Martin Guion. [5] Nothing is known of the La Grange habitation after that date., There is no record of a sale or a re-granting of the property. Plans from the 1750s show the area occupied by the house to be clear of trees. [6] In 1757 batteries were established on the western shore of the Anse du Grand Laurembec. A footpath was cut between the batteries and a parapet "avec banquet, et tranchée derriere de 6 pieds plus bas pour y posser a couvert", was formed. All along the shore in front of these works was an abatis (a defensive feature formed by felled trees). [7]