It is one of the oldest settlements in North America: on 24 July 1534, Jacques CARTIER took possession of Canada on behalf of the king of France and placed a cross at this location, which very soon became a fishing port and supply centre for NEW FRANCE. Between 1628 and 1760, Gaspé was the scene of several incidents between the French and English. Sir William PHIPS's troops burned the village in 1690 and the English built a fort there just before the Conquest. After the American Revolution, many LOYALISTS settled in the area. Since then the population has been largely French speaking.
Cod and salmon fishing dominated the economy for many years, but today other activities such as forestry, trade and tourism play a key role. A regional history and folklore museum opened in 1976; a nearby monument commemorates the arrival of Cartier. Across the Baie de Gaspé is FORILLON NATIONAL PARK.
Author ANTONIO LECHASSEUR
Links to Other Sites
Gaspé Tourism and Convention Board
A colourful visitor's information website about Gaspé, Québec.
The official website of the City of Gaspé.
Micmac Nation of Gespeg
The website for the interpretation centre devoted to the history and traditions of the Micmac Nation of Gespeg.
Musée de la Gaspésie
The Musée de la Gaspésie is anchored at the spot overlooking Gaspé Bay where Jacques Cartier took possession of New France in 1534. The museum features an extensive exhibition about Jacques Cartier’s first voyage in the New World.
Gespeg First Nation
Community profile for the Gespeg First Nation from the website for Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada.
The Memory Project: Gulf of St Lawrence
Listen to an interview with a seaman who served on a Canadian merchant ship that transported passengers and supplies in the Gulf of St Lawrence during the Second World War. Also check out related digitized artefacts and memorabilia. From the Historica-Dominion Institute.
Shawnadithit grew anxious waiting for her uncle, Longnon, to return to camp at the junction of Badger Brook and the Exploits River, deep in the wilds of Newfoundland...