Thursday, July 28, 2016

Louisbourg, Nova Scotia

Before I get into my usual "what we did..." I have to include a picture of this interesting rig we saw in the campground:

I wonder how they get in? 

On Tuesday we woke to a raging rain storm, so just stayed in bed almost all morning.  It continued to rain most of the day, but we didn't really mind. We both have books we are enjoying.

It was sunny again on Wednesday, so we went to Louisbourg, another of the "must see" places in northeastern Nova Scotia.  In the early period of Canadian History there was a fishing town and then a fort there, that changed hands between the French and English several times before it was eventually abandoned. 

In the 1960's, all that was left were a series of stone foundations, but because it had been an important location, there was recorded documentation of who, when, and what had been there. At that time, due to the closing of the local mines, there were many unemployed but skilled workmen who needed jobs. 

The Canadian government sponsored a retraining program that taught carpentry and stonework to the miners. Using the techniques of the 1700s they reconstructed the fort and part of the town.

Wool lady
It is now a National Historic site, and is staffed by costumed docents playing the parts of residents and soldiers.

As we walked from building to building, home to home, the residents told us a bit about their lives and their history.

This was a very large kitchen in the spacious harbor master's home. The cook told us about the foods and how they were prepared. No potatoes or tomatoes were eaten because they thought they were poisonous. Almost everything except fish and a few garden vegetables had to be shipped from France or England, depending on who was in control at the time.

Three to a bed, twenty four to a room, a soldier's lot was not so good, but we were told that for most it was a better life than they had had before on the streets of Paris.

The men pooled their rations and cooked them together in a communal pot. Fish head soup was often the base.

One of the events for a small extra cost, was a tasting of the rum typical of the time. We were taken in a group to an upper tavern room where we learned about the rum trade, and the importance it had in the lives of the troops.

We tasted both the strong rum that a soldier would drink and a rum-punch that was consumed by the officers' wives in the afternoon.

By the end of the day we were a bit hungry because I didn't bring our usual lunch. The tavern restaurant was closing for the day, but we were able to get bread and soup next door. It was very authentic. I asked for some ice for my water, and was reminded that there was no ice for the common folk in the 1700s!

We enjoyed the day very much. We are so lucky to be able to go to so many of these places on our own time. 

Friday we hit the road again and head toward Halifax. We were lucky to get a spot for this weekend because it is Halifax's birthday. (Probably of the city rather than of the 2nd Earl of Halifax, for whom the city is named.) The park we are staying at normally gives a Passport America discount, but not on holiday weekends. I have reserved for our usual four day stop. I hope they have decent WiFi!


  1. Love your header and the car tent. I always enjoy the costumed docents and learn so much from them. NO ICE!

  2. The fort sounds even better than Upper Canada Village - rum and all. Glad you are enjoying Canada.


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