The first house you approach on the quay was one of the most admired in the town. Its owner, a Gascon named Joseph Lartigue (c. 1683-1743) and his wife, Jeanne Dihars, a Basque woman, came to Louisbourg with the first settlers from Placentia, Newfoundland. He had been a fisherman and trader, but here he accepted public office, becoming a member of the Superior Council and serving as town magistrate. Business sense, family alliances and official favour raised him to prominence in the town. Lartigue had the original of this house built here in 1734.

The house, a timberframe structure with rubblestone fill, is soundly built and handsome, but would we share the envy of Lartigue’s peers? The house is not large and part of it was used as a courtroom, yet Joseph and Jeanne lived here with their twelve children, several servants and a slave named Pompée. Lartigue was prosperous when he built this house and thought himself well favoured by it. Acknowledging his satisfaction, we begin to see that ideals of space and privacy change, and that the Lartigues accepted different standards than we might.

Except for four years of exile in France, Mme. Lartigue lived here through the whole existence of French Louisbourg, one of a few colonists to see both its foundation and its fall. Exiled again, she died in 1763.

Lime Kiln

The Lime Kiln

If you inspected the Dauphin demi-bastion closely, you know the stones of Louisbourg are not squared to lie together like bricks. The walls are a mass of round rubblestones in a cake of mortar, and kilns like this one produced all the tons of mortar the fortress needed. Trained limeburners burned quarried limestone in a wood fire here, then slaked the resulting quicklime in adjacent pits and mixed it with sand to make mortar. It was a tricky chemical process — incompletely burned limestone or salt from the beach sand sometimes spoiled the product — and the acrid fumes marred some of Joseph Lartigue’s pleasure in his nearby house.

This may be a good place to consider the sheer labour of fortress building. This fortress rose in just over two decades, tons of stone and earth shaped to an intricate plan by arduous hand labour. Only one quarter is rebuilt today.


The reconstructed site
Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site
Fortress of Louisbourg - Reconstructed buildings
On the map Building name
1 Desroches House (Wheelchair accessible)
- Dauphin Gate
- Dauphin Demi-Bastion
2 Powder Magazine
3 Barracks
4 Postern Tunnel
5 Embrasures at Lartigue
6 Lartigue House (Wheelchair accessible)
- Lime Kiln
7 Artillery Storehouse
8 Artillery Forge
9 King's Bakery Food service
- Woodlot
10 Duhaget House (Wheelchair accessible)
Garrison and Fortifications Exhibit
- Icehouse
11 De la Perelle House (Wheelchair accessible)
Congrégation de Notre-Dame Exhibit
12 De la Perelle Storehouse
13 Engineer's Residence
14 Laundry and Stables
15 Rodrigue House
16 Rodrigue Storehouse
17 De Gannes House (Wheelchair accessible)
18 Guardhouse
- King's Bastion
19 Military Chapel
20 Governor's Apartments
Fortress of Louisbourg - Reconstructed buildings
On the map Building name
21 King's Bastion Barracks
Reconstruction, Tools of War, and Archeological Typography Exhibits
- King's Garden
22 McLennan Centre (Wheelchair accessible) (Wifi available)
Virtual Reality Experience
23 De la Plagne (Wheelchair accessible) (Information)
24 De la Vallière House
Mi'kmaw Interpretive Centre
25 De la Vallière Storehouse
26 De la Vallière Storehouse II
- Fizel and Loppinot Properties
- Dugas House
27 Carrerot House
Building Techniques Exhibit
28 Benoist House (Wheelchair accessible) (Gift shop)
29 L'Épée Royale Café (Wheelchair accessible) Food service
30 King's Storehouse
31 Hôtel de la Marine (Wheelchair accessible) Food service
32 Grandchamp House (Wheelchair accessible) Food service
- Frédéric Gate
- Carcan
33 Grandchamp Inn (Wheelchair accessible) Food service
- Destouches House
34 Ordonnateur's Residence (Wheelchair accessible)
Recollecting Lives Exhibit & Harbour Gallery
35 Bigot Storehouse
36 Stables
- Louisbourg Cross
37 Marie Marguerite Rose plaque
- Eastward along the Quay
- Ruins Walk