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Ile St. Croix

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The first Acadian settlement
     Pierre de Guast, Sieur de Monts, from Saintonge, was given a fur trade monopoly for Acadia.  Backed by merchants, de Monts sailed to Acadia with 79 men in 1604.  They explored the Baie Francoise (Bay of Fundy).   De Monts didnít like the rocky cliffs at Blomidon and they decided to stay on an island on the St. Croix River on the western side of the Bay of Funday.  It was thought that the area offered protection from raiders. 
      Francois Grave Du Pont and Jean de Biencourt de Poutrincourt sailed back to France before winter.  French noblemen, Catholic & Protestant clergy, laborers, and artisans were in the that first group of men. Over the winter, 35 men died.  Besides the weather, scurvy was a problem.  In The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents ... 1610-1791, ed. R.G. Thwaites, Father Pierre Briard wrote that of the 79, only 11 remained well. 
      Grave Du Pont arrived back at St. Croix in June 1605 with 2 ships, men, and supplies.  They spent 6 weeks exploring the coast (all the way down to Cape Cod) to find a better place to settle.  They chose a spout on the north side of the basin, opposite Goat Island, which became Port Royal.  They built structures at Port Royal using the materials from the buildings they had constructed on Ile St. Croix. 
St-Croix Today
     St. Croix became known as Dochet's (or Docea's) Island in the 1700s.  But a commission determined in 1797 that this island was indeed the place of the 1604 settlement.
     In 1949, St. Croix Island was designated as a national monument by the U.S. Congress.  1984, they declared St. Croix Island an International Historic Site.  
     On the U.S. side of the river, the National Park Service has a viewing site on Highway 1 at Red Beach, Maine.   On the New Brunswick side of the river, a Parks Canada interpretive site has been established at Bayside.  

The area once known as Acadia
Click on map for close-up
The island is on the west side of the Bay of Fundy, inland from Passamaquoddy Bay on the St. Croix River towards Calais.
St-Croix: 1604-2004: Il faut se souvenir de ces 400 ans!
    There will be a celebration of the 400th anniversary of the St. Croix settlement.  The plans to celebrate the event include:
       - cultural, culinary and musical events throughout the area in June/July 2004.
       - the production of commemorative coins and stamp in Canada. 
       - reconstructing the 1604 French settlement village from St. Croix Island nearby at Bayside, N.B. 
       - redevelopment of the interpretive site at Red Beach, Maine.
Ile St. Croix LINKS
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