Port Royal - Page 2
Nova Scotia, Canada
July 2003

The Port-Royal Habitation was home to one of the earliest European settlements in the Northern American continent.

The Mi'kmaq people lived along these shores for centuries and it was here that the French and the Mi'kmaq formed an enduring friendship and alliance.

In 1613, while the inhabitants of the settlement were away, an English expedition from Virginia looted and burned the Habitation.

De Poutrincourt, who was in France at the time in search of financial backing, returned to Port-Royal in the spring of 1614 to find his Habitation in ruins and the inhabitants living with the Mi'kmaq. Discouraged, he returned to France and transferred his North American lands to his son, who remained loyal to his adopted homeland.

The Habitation at Port-Royal was reconstructed by the Canadian government in 1939, after a decade of lobbying and research. Descriptions and engravings from Champlain's works, detailed studies of construction methods in France and an archeological survey provided the basis for the reconstruction.

Today, the Habitation not only commemorates historic events of the past but is itself a landmark in Canada's historic preservation movement.

There are three "Port-Royals":
1. The entire area surrounding the basin and the river was known as Port-Royal.
2. When the French returned to the Annapolis Basin a generation after the destruction of the Habitation, they settled 10 km from the original settlement. There--at today's Annapolis Royal--they established another Port-Royal, which had its own farmland and a fort that would evolve into the present-day Fort Anne.
3. Today the Habitation is known as Port-Royal.

The re-creation and interpretation of Port Royal is a credit to Parks Canada. In a beautiful and sympathetically done reconstruction, twentieth century craftsmen duplicated the work of 17th century shipwrights.

Reconstruction of the fort was completed in 1939-40 using the original Samuel De Champlain plans. Shipwrights, carpenters and builders, some nearly eight years old worked on the project.

Acknowledgement: the text materials above were lifted from the flyer created by the Parks Canada that we got from the site.