What Lies Beneath the Seaweed: Searching for Submerged Remains of an Attempted 1604-1605 French Settlement at St. Croix Island International Historic Site
Author(s): Bert Ho
Between Maine in the U.S. and New Brunswick, Canada flows the St. Croix River into the Bay of Fundy and Atlantic Ocean. Its significance as a river border for the U.S. and Canada is far exceeded by its historical significance and role in the eventual founding of more permanent French settlements. With the abundance of resources favored by the French explorers in the early 17th century, the St. Croix River provided an attractive setting for an oft forgotten attempted settlement on a small island bearing the same name, St. Croix Island. This island was the location of the 1604-1605 attempted French settlement by Pierre Dugua Sieur de Mons and Samuel Champlain, and its failure led directly to the settlement at Port Royal in Nova Scotia. Today St. Croix Island International Historic Site is jointly owned by the U.S. and Canada, with the U.S. National Park Service managing and administering the site, while sharing interpretive responsibilities with Parks Canada. In 2011, the U.S. National Park Service’s Submerged Resources Center led a multi-disciplinary research team to evaluate the surrounding river bottom for any submerged resources within the littoral zone. In addition, a detailed 3-dimensional map was made of the eroding cliff face that is rapidly collapsing onto the beach below as both natural and man-made factors act on the island. This paper will present the new questions asked about the possibility of submerged remains from the failed French settlement, and hopefully provide some answers based on the results.
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What Lies Beneath the Seaweed: Searching for Submerged Remains of an Attempted 1604-1605 French Settlement at St. Croix Island International Historic Site. Bert Ho. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 437112)
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