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Saint Croix Island International Historic Site

New BrunswickAerial photo of Saint Croix Island as seen on the Canadian side.
Welcome to Saint Croix Island, site of Pierre Dugua's first attempt at settlement in North America, which led to the establishment of the permanent colonies of Acadie and New France. The site was declared a National Monument by the United States National Park Service on June 8, 1949 and an International Historic Site on September 25, 1984. In 1958, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada recommended that Saint Croix Island be recognized for its national historic significance to Canada. The Canadian interpretation site, administered by Parks Canada, is located at Bayside, New Brunswick, near St. Andrews. It overlooks Saint Croix Island, located in the middle of the Saint Croix River.

In 1603, Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Mons, was given the title of Lieutenant General of " La Cadie "(Acadie). The following year, he arrived in Acadie on the flagship Bonne-Renommée . The ship's company included Samuel de Champlain, a skilled mapmaker and chronicler. In search of a suitable site for settlement, the expedition arrived in the Passamaquoddy Bay in late June. De Mons named the island Saint Croix and it was there that he tried to establish year-round French settlement in North America, an event that symbolizes the founding of Acadie.

Even though the settlement was short-lived, in the summer of 1605 they moved to the shores of the present-day Annapolis Basin in Nova Scotia where Port Royal was established, their experience taught them much. The invaluable experience they gained from this first settlement gave them the knowledge they needed to found a more successful settlement at Port Royal and gave way to an enduring French presence in North America to this present day.

We invite you to a journey of discovery; learn about the trials of the first settlement, its architecture and the experiences of the first harsh winter the French endured on Saint Croix Island .

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