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Community History

Rebuilding the Port Royal Habitation (1938 –1940)

In the 1930s, a replica of the 1605 Habitation of de Monts and Champlain was built near the original site in Lower Granville. Interest in the project was largely due to the efforts of Harriet Taber Richardson of Cambridge, Massachusetts, who galvanized support and organized the Associates of Port Royal in New England. Money raised there was used to hire the services of Harvard-educated archaeologist C.C. Pinckney who had experience excavating sites at Williamsburg, Stratford, and Mount Vernon in the United States. Following authoritative research in France, the Canadian government undertook the rebuilding of the Habitation, employing local tradesmen in its construction. The Port Royal Habitation was opened in 1940.

Visit the Port-Royal National Historic Site of Canada web site at Parks Canada:

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Our collection of photographs was compiled by Kenneth D. Harris, the Chief Architect for the reconstruction. The images document the stages of construction as well as many of the workers who built the Habitation. The explanatory text included with the images is largely taken from Mr. Harris’ notes. Click on each picture to enlarge it.

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Port Royal 001 First exploratory excavation work to locate the eastern wall foundations of the Habitation.

Photograph taken August 30, 1938

Port Royal 002

Two workers using naturally curved timbers for struts of roof trusses.

Photograph taken July 22, 1939

Port Royal 003

Workers shaving and splitting pine shingles.

Photograph taken September 7, 1939

Port Royal 004

Two broadaxemen using adzes to square timbers.

Photograph taken July 18, 1939

Port Royal 005

Workers operating a circular saw.

Photograph taken October 27, 1939

Port Royal 006

Worker hewing bent logs to form roof truss struts.

Photograph taken July 24, 1939

Port Royal 007

This image shows two workers preparing the hewn log framing of the cannon platform.

Photograph taken August 18, 1939

Port Royal 008

Men at work making shingles for the roof of the Habitation.

Photograph taken September 1, 1939

Port Royal 009

View looking south showing the foundation of the west line of buildings.

Photograph taken July 14, 1939

Port Royal 010

Moulded bricks being sun dried.

Photograph taken July 22, 1939

Port Royal 011

Brick kiln prior to being daubed with clay.

Photograph taken July 25, 1939

Port Royal 012

Sun dried bricks being piled to form a kiln.

Photograph taken July 24, 1939

Port Royal 013

A roof truss being framed and fitted on the ground. All of the joints were mortised, tennoned and pinned.

Photograph taken July 12, 1939

Port Royal 014

Masons on the cannon platform building stone steps.

Photograph taken August 14, 1939

Port Royal 015

A view of the cannon platform from the powder magazine.

Photograph taken August 4, 1939

Port Royal 016

Palisade posts being set in place.

Photograph taken October 27, 1939

Port Royal 017

View looking east showing the north line of buildings. The buildings were framed in a modern manner which was later concealed.

Photograph taken July 27, 1939

Port Royal 018

Interior view of the Common Room.

Photograph taken September 1, 1939

Port Royal 019

Interior of the courtyard looking south-east. This image shows the entrance gateway being framed and the shingled roof of the blacksmith shop.

Photograph taken October 18, 1939

Port Royal 020

A more completed view of the Habitation.

Photograph taken October 18, 1939

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