Desroches House

Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site

At a glance

#1 on visitor map

Geographic coordinates:
45.893974, -59.991704

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This building is not open to the public.

Appropriately, the discovery of Louisbourg begins at a fishing establishment, for catching cod was the great industry that underlay Louisbourg's grandeur. During peak season, visitors arriving by shuttle bus will be greeted at the DesRoches house and wait for departure here at the end of their visit. To see this property in focus, imagine similar fishing stations crowding Louisbourg's harbourside and every nearby cove, each with a little wharf projecting below the low tide line and its own flotilla of fishing boats returning heavy-laden from a day's work.

Around this house, the fresh catch was cleaned and salted, then laid out to dry on "flakes" and gravel beaches. The work of catching and drying employed thousands in the colony. Can you smell the salt and the cod? Remember the fishermen when you admire the most luxurious homes in the town, for cod exports paid for almost everything the colony consumed.

The building is patterned on the home of Jeanne Galbarette and furnished according to a property inventory taken in 1735. Thrice wed, Jeanne Galbarette married her last husband in 1738. She was about 69, and the groom, Georges Desroches, was 28. This house, where they lived until her death in 1754, reflects local building usage in its simple log walls and sodded roof, but details such as the overhanging eaves recall the Basque heritage of its owners.

Built in 1717, the original house served as an unlicensed tavern for Basque fishermen and sailors. In the fishing season, the householder's employees probably took their meals, perhaps also their lodgings, here.

What happens here?

  • Bus service to and from the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site visitor centre (peak season only)
  • Costumed interpretation (peak season only)
  • Interpretation theme: 18th century fishery

The reconstructed site
Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site
Fortress of Louisbourg - Reconstructed buildings
On the map Building name
1 Desroches House (Wheelchair accessible)
- Dauphin Gate
- Dauphin Demi-Bastion
2 Powder Magazine
3 Barracks
4 Postern Tunnel
5 Embrasures at Lartigue
6 Lartigue House (Wheelchair accessible)
- Lime Kiln
7 Artillery Storehouse
8 Artillery Forge
9 King's Bakery Food service
- Woodlot
10 Duhaget House (Wheelchair accessible)
Garrison and Fortifications Exhibit
- Icehouse
11 De la Perelle House (Wheelchair accessible)
Congrégation de Notre-Dame Exhibit
12 De la Perelle Storehouse
13 Engineer's Residence
14 Laundry and Stables
15 Rodrigue House
16 Rodrigue Storehouse
17 De Gannes House (Wheelchair accessible)
18 Guardhouse
- King's Bastion
19 Military Chapel
20 Governor's Apartments
Fortress of Louisbourg - Reconstructed buildings
On the map Building name
21 King's Bastion Barracks
Reconstruction, Tools of War, and Archeological Typography Exhibits
- King's Garden
22 McLennan Centre (Wheelchair accessible) (Wifi available)
Virtual Reality Experience
23 De la Plagne (Wheelchair accessible) (Information)
24 De la Vallière House
Mi'kmaw Interpretive Centre
25 De la Vallière Storehouse
26 De la Vallière Storehouse II
- Fizel and Loppinot Properties
- Dugas House
27 Carrerot House
Building Techniques Exhibit
28 Benoist House (Wheelchair accessible) (Gift shop)
29 L'Épée Royale Café (Wheelchair accessible) Food service
30 King's Storehouse
31 Hôtel de la Marine (Wheelchair accessible) Food service
32 Grandchamp House (Wheelchair accessible) Food service
- Frédéric Gate
- Carcan
33 Grandchamp Inn (Wheelchair accessible) Food service
- Destouches House
34 Ordonnateur's Residence (Wheelchair accessible)
Recollecting Lives Exhibit & Harbour Gallery
35 Bigot Storehouse
36 Stables
- Louisbourg Cross
37 Marie Marguerite Rose plaque
- Eastward along the Quay
- Ruins Walk
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