A French Colony in Acadie

Saint Croix Island International Historic Site

Seventy-nine men, including noblemen, artisans, labourers, Catholic and Protestants clerics, surgeons and soldiers spent the winter of 1604-05 on Saint Croix Island. The French brought with them things they considered essential, such as weapons, grains, utensils, tools, trade goods, and a few prefabricated frame buildings.

"Having found no place more suitable than this island... Sieur de Mons... allowed me to draw up the plan of our settlement. An oven was built, and a hand-mill for grinding our wheat which gave much trouble and labour... it was a painful task."

Samuel de Champlain
Explorer and geographer on Sieur de Mons' expedition

(French quotations are from vol.1 of Champlain Society's 1971 ed., of Champlain's 1613 ed., Voyages du Sieur de Champlain. The 17th century French has been transcribed into modern usage.)

Detail, with modern legend, from Champlain's plan of the Saint Croix Habitation
Detail, with modern legend, from Champlain's plan of the Saint Croix Habitation
© Samuel Champlain/The Rare Book Collection, National Library of Canada


A. Dwelling of Sieur de Mons
B. Public building where we spent time when it rained
C. Storehouse
D. Quarters for the Swiss
E. Blacksmith shop
F. Carpenters' quarters
G. Well
H. Oven where bread was made
I. Kitchen
L. Gardens
M. Other gardens

N. Square with a tree in the middle
O. Palisade
P. Dwellings of Sieur d'Orville, Champlain & Chandore
Q. Dwellings of Sieur Boulay & other artisans
R. Dwellings Where Sieur de Genestou, Sourin & other artisans lived
T. Dwellings of Sieur de Beaumont, la Motte Bourioli & Fougeray
V. Quarters of our priest
X. Other gardens
Y. River surrounding the island

Next part: A Winter of Despair

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