We are in New Brunswick, Canada and have just left Sackville, heading for the Province of Nova Scotia a short distance away. Close to the border we spy a sign… Fort Beauséjour, and decide to take a closer look.
First we come to a beautiful stone building… and start to learn a little about the history of the area. I have a fascination for this because when I was at school I studied Graphic Art, and Art History because of my interest in all things “Arty”.
At the time I didn’t see the point in studying History as well, a decision I now regret, because over the years I have discovered that I am in fact a secret history buff.Ok, not in the technical dates and figures department of History, but in social history, the way people lived in the past, the practical implements of life that they would have had to hand, the technology of the time.
I adore looking at hand crafted wooden implements, I drool ( no… not literally) at the gorgeous detail in historical textiles, and look covetously at old cast iron cookware.
The historian in me loves places like this, so I’m keen to know more…
Arcadians came to this region, which they called Beaubassin, in the 1670′s.
They flourished for eight decades: raising families, dyking marshes, harvesting and selling crops and raising livestock. In 1750-51, the French introduced a military presence, first with soldiers , then with forts at Beauséjour and Gaspareaux. An expedition of British and New England soldiers captured both French forts in June 1755.
Two months later, the victors began to round up the Arcadian population for a massive deportation. Fort Cumberland (the renamed Fort Beauséjour ) was the headquarters and prison for those operations. This exhibit of artifacts and images tells the story of the Arcadian and French presence in this historic part of Canada.
Dr. John Clarence Webster (1863-1950) a medical practitioner and noted historian, was the moving force behind the creation of Fort Beauséjour National Historic Park. For over thirty years, he did much to raise the profile of local history in the province of New Brunswick. The artifacts are a variety of items collected by Dr. Webster and interested citizens.
Iron used for pressing lace.
This crib was made by Charles Dixon in 1840 as a gift for Queen Victoria’s son Edward, who became King Edward VII. Although the ship carrying the crib went down in a shipwreck, the crib was recovered and returned to the Dixon family. Constructed from maple with veneers and inlays of maple, mahogany, fruitwood and rosewood.
William Chapman’s note book. First used in Yorkshire in 1764 and still being used in 1777 to record payments for construction work at Fort Cumberland.
Wooden Plaque of the Coat of Ams for the city of Moncton 1942, that was hand carved by Mr. Albert Nadeau of St. Francois, New Brunswick.
Bronze bell from Arcadian Church on Beauséjour Ridge. The bell was cast in France in 1734 at the Navel Federation in Rochefort France.