Sarah MacInnes has been the Historian at the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site, administered by Parks Canada, since 2016. With a background in both public history and archives, her primary roles include supporting the development of visitor experiences, facilitating research opportunities and increasing public accessibility to the site’s extensive collection of materials. Since 2017, MacInnes has also been actively involved in the UNB Bioarchaeology Fieldschool Program, undertaking research with Dr. Amy Scott in order to uncover more about lived experiences in 18th-century Louisbourg through bioarchaeological evidence.
Louisbourg: A harbour through three centuries
Located in unceded L’nu territory, the community of Louisbourg was established by French settlers in 1713. Once the third-busiest port in North America, at the town’s heart is its harbour, which has remained a focal point for more than three-hundred years.
This was particularly true through periods of war. The construction of significant harbour defences in the 18th century was intended to keep invading forces at bay, yet conflict still found its way to Louisbourg’s shores. The community’s landscape and, in some capacity, the harbour’s utilization, were forever changed. Over 150 years later, the town was disrupted by war again, but 20th century conflicts would see the port take on dramatically different roles in order to contribute to the war effort and protect the home front.
How have Louisbourg and its harbour been impacted by these last three centuries of human activity? This session will focus on how a community’s relationship with its harbour has evolved over the past 300 years, with particular attention paid to activity in and around the port during periods of conflict.