A Place to Settle

Saint Croix Island International Historic Site

Sieur de Mons named the island Saint Croix Island, and Champlain recorded that:

''The island is covered with fir, birch, maple, and oak. It is naturally well located... and is easy to fortify... We considered this the best place we had seen on account of its location, fine surroundings and the interaction we were expecting with the Aboriginal peoples of these coasts and the interior, since we are in their midst... Around our settlement at low tide there are plenty of shellfish—such as clams, mussels, sea-urchins, and snails...''

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.)

A map of Saint Croix Island
Details, with modern legend, from Champlain's sketch of Saint Croix Island.
© Samuel Champlain/The Rare Book Collection, National Library of Canada


  1. Plan of the Habitation
  2. Gardens
  3. Small island serving as a cannon platform
  4. Platform for the cannon
  5. Cemetery
  6. Chapel
  7. Rocky shoals around Saint Croix Island
  8. Small island
  9. Site where the Sieur de Mons began construction of a water mill
  10. Place where charcoal was made
  11. Gardens on the western mainland
  12. Other gardens on the eastern mainland
  13. Large, very tall mountain on shore
  14. River of the Etechemins surrounding Saint Croix Island

Next part: Where Two Worlds Meet

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