During the winter of 1606-07 Champlain organized the ORDRE DE BON TEMPS, the first social club in North America, and it was here that the first theatre event in Canadian history took place in 1606 - Marc LESCARBOT,s Le Théâtre de Neptune en la Nouvelle-France. Hopes for a prosperous colony were disappointed, however, and the site was abandoned in the summer of 1607.
The colony was re-established in 1610 by one of the original colonists, BIENCOURT DE POUTRINCOURT, but the habitation was destroyed 3 years later by English freebooter Samuel Argall. In 1629 Sir William Alexander, eldest son of Sir William Alexander, Earl of Stirling, established a Scottish colony there, but in 1632, following the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, the French repossessed the area. Although the buildings were rudimentary, Port-Royal remained the earliest European settlement of any permanence in North America north of St Augustine, Florida. The first dikes were built on the marshes before mid-century, and the concentration of troops and administration around the fort made for the only compact village in Acadia (see ACADIA, HISTORY OF).
The farmers lived in relative poverty, compared to elsewhere in Acadia, though they developed small orchards and were able to provide cattle, sheep and wheat for export to the fortress of LOUISBOURG. When retaken by the English in 1654, Port-Royal had a population of about 200; at the time of the CONQUEST (1759-60) it was about 350. In 1938-39 the federal government reconstructed the habitation and in 1940 created Port-Royal Habitation National Historic Park.
See also HISTORIC SITE.
Author ROBERT ALLEN
Links to Other Sites
Kespitutik to Port Royal
Explore the living history of Nova Scotia's Western Valley.
Living in Canada in the Time of Champlain
This website documents Samuel de Champlain’s role in the exploration and development of New France. Includes maps, artifacts, and related notes about Pierre Du Gua de Monts. Part of the Virtual Museum of New France.
Fort Anne National Historic Site of Canada
The website for the Fort Anne National Historic Site of Canada, the focal point for French and British settlement and as the seat of government of Acadia and then Nova Scotia. From Parks Canada.
Port-Royal National Historic Site of Canada
This national historic site features a reconstruction of early 17th- century buildings representing the former colony of the French who settled for a time along the Nova Scotia coast. Costumed interpreters and period demonstrations help recreate the look and feel of Port-Royal, one of the earliest settlements in North America. A Parks Canada website.
Indepth: Champlain Anniversary
This CBC site chronicles Samuel de Champlain's adventures in North America during the early part of the 17th century.
Saint Croix Island International Historic Site
Learn about Saint Croix Island and the remarkable story of the early French settlements in North America. Includes maps and other historic documents. From Parks Canada.
The Canadian Register of Historic Places
Canada is home to a vast array of fascinating historical sites. Many of them are illustrated and described in this searchable online database of Canadian historic places that are of local, provincial, territorial, and national significance.
Mathieu Da Costa Day Act
The official text of the “Mathieu Da Costa Day Act.” From the Parliament of Canada.
A biography of Marc Lescarbot, 17th century lawyer, traveler, and writer. Author of “Théâtre de Neptune,” the first theatrical production in North America. From “The Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online.”
Recorded memory of theatre life in Nova Scotia
This extensive site offers a mosaic of interviews, profiles, digitized archival material, and other items that relate to the history of theatre in Halifax and other Nova Scotia communities. Requires a flash plugin to be properly viewed. From the Dalhousie University Archives.
The Port Royal Habitation
An analysis of the historical reconstruction of the Port-Royal National Historic Site and the principles and policies that have emerged and influenced the Canadian preservation movement.