83 populace is relieved through outside help. Louisbourg was no exception at either the first or second British siege. After the British had captured Louisbourg in 1749 (after the 2nd siege), British prime minister William Pitt ordered it destroyed so that it could never again be a thorn in the side of the British Empire. Therefore, the buildings were razed, the stonework torn down and often sent as far away as Charleston. Nothing remained above ground on the site for 200 years — gradually even the foundations of the buildings, walls and fortifications were buried under the sands of time as well as the encroaching ocean which claimed several meters of Louisbourg land. When historical and archeological interest in the site was first piqued in 1937 (the site was then designated a National Historic Site), several important roads, walls & building foundations were actually under the ocean. These lands had to be reclaimed in order to rebuild Louisbourg in its exact location in 1744.
Today, the site is amazingly graphic and the reproductions of the structures are excellent and fascinating. The interpreters on site wear costumes specific to those important years (1744-45) and try to “ stay in character ” when interacting with visitors. Other folks take groups around on guided tours explaining the history, sociology, and commerce of the town. One whole building is dedicated to an exhibit outlining the importance of the Sisters of Notre Dame & all their contributions to the “ civilizing ” of the rough commercial city of many more men than women.
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