Fortress Louisbourg

Louisbourg Railway Museum

Beryl Markham

Port Baleine

Louisbourg Playhouse

Marine Museum

The Fortress of Louisbourg is the largest historic reconstruction in Canada. Built to protect France's interests in the new world and to serve as the centre of its massive seasonal fishing industry, the Fortress served as the first line of defence for France in its 18th century struggle against Great Britain for colonial supremacy in North America.

The reconstructed Fortress offers a unique window into 18th century colonial history. Costumed animators become the town's residents of the summer of 1744. Surrounded by ramparts, the King's Bastion is a fort within a fortress. The King's Bastion Barracks is the largest building on site and in its day was one of the largest buildings in North America. Visit Chapelle St. Louis, Louisbourg's garrison chapel. See artifacts found during 20 years of archaeological excavation. Talk to a soldier. You'll find them happy to tell you about guard duty, living conditions, armaments, security, food and a soldier's life in general.

Theme Centres and Exhibits

These modern areas offer a variety of activities relating to specific aspects of the Louisbourg story. At the De la Plagne House, watch a film about Louisbourg as the capital of Île Royale. Guided tours start here. At the Ordonnateur's Residence, learn about Louisbourg, the seaport and see paintings by Lewis Parker that portray the Louisbourg of 1744. Watch Compagnies Franches de la Marine, a 15-minute video about a Louisbourg soldier's life, in DuHaget House. At the De la Perelle House, dress up in 18th and 20th century costume and have your picture taken at our costume photo studio. Children (ages 4-10) will enjoy an entertaining and educational experience at the Children's Activity Room located in the King's Bastion. Puppet shows in the Bigot House run through out July and August. At Carrerot House, discover period building techniques. Visit the Museum and see a scale model of the Fortress and some of the Site's earliest artifacts.

The Sydney & Louisbourg Railway Museum consists of an 1895 station and freight shed, both designated Provincial Heritage Properties. Artifacts and exhibits tell the story of the S&L Railway. The freight shed houses a model of the S&L Line as it existed in the 1940/60 period. Nearby, a modern “round-house” houses a quilt exhibit, a Marconi wireless exhibit and evenings of local entertainment.


Beryl Markham

the British socialite who made the first east-to-west non-stop solo trans-Atlantic flight in 1936.

Beryl Markham was born Beryl Clutterbuck, an aristocratic (though the family was not wealthy) British name, in 1903 and was raised in British East Africa – now Kenya. She was smitten by flying when she was in her late twenties, soon logged a thousand hours and worked as a bush pilot out of Nairobi.  Twice married and twice divorced, Markham was a woman with social graces and noble bearing, though she was a sportswoman and anything but snobbish. Having flown, by her won calculation, hundreds of thousands of miles over the African jungle, she decided to fly a new Percival Vega Gull, which she named the Messenger, from England to New York. The flight west-ward over the North Atlantic was more difficult than a flight in the opposite direction because of the prevailing easterly winds of the jetstream. Markham made it to Nova Scotia, and when the engine cut out she landed the plane nose down in a bog. It was not the most elegant crossing of the Atlantic, but it made her famous nonetheless.

Markham also showed a real talent for writing about flight and her works are still considered some of the most inspiring aviation literature ever written. Though they had very different personalities, Johnson and Markham shard one very important quality – they competed and flew on equal terms with men, Johnson having the technical expertise and Markham the flight experience. Even Earhart, as accomplished as she was, could not match either of these aviators for sheer flying ability or know-how. It is inconceivable, for example, that either Johnson or Markham would have agreed to be only a passenger on the Friendship, as Earhart had. The next generation of woman aviators (such as Jena Batten) would look more frequently to Johnson and Markham as role models than to Earhart, Quimby,
or Nichols.

Treasure hunter Alex Storm             SeaWeed and Gold


Another Scottish colony is started at Port Baleine on Cape Breton by James Stewart, Lord Ochiltree, with 50 colonists. Lord Alexander’s son dropped the group off on his way to Port Royal. Three months later, Captain Charles Daniel, a Frenchman, captures and sacks the colony. The settlers are deported back to Scotland.

Sir Alexander’s son arrives at Port Royal where 30 colonists had died. Of the remainder, a number had left for the south shore fishery or for New England. A number of Scots remained to carry on with the work of colonization. When the Scots were deported, it was reported that 46 were dropped off in England on February 11, 1633.

Current day visitors may enjoy the beautiful harbour at Baleine.

The best of Cape Breton talent performs here each night (in season). Enjoy an evening of Celtic song and dance with complimentary oatcakes and tea during intermission. An on-site gift shop offers a wide range of music and keepsakes.