Day 743: St. Croix Island NHS, Canada’s St. Andrews Blockhouse NHS and Carleton Martello Tower NHS

Today we said goodbye to the Lubec Airport.  Morning and Evening fog for our entire stay prevented any flying, unfortunately.

We drove north along the shore of Passamaquoddy Bay, then along the shore of the St. Croix River to the US visitor center for Saint Croix Island International Historic Site.  The island itself is in the center of the St. Croix River, just off shore from the visitor center.  The site interprets the history of the island, location of the first permanent French settlement in North America, built in 1604.

The ranger presented the fascinating history of French and English colonization of the area:



We walked the short trail from the visitor center to the shore of the St. Croix River:



Would Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Mons approve of this mockery?  Methinks not.


St. Croix Island is faintly visible through the fog:


The kids completed their Junior Ranger books and received their patches:



As we were leaving, we met a military family from Virginia whose older daughter has completed 135 Junior Ranger sites, roughly the same as what we’ve done.

We drove north to Calais, Maine, and crossed over into Canada.  Thankfully, our border crossing this time didn’t involve a half-hour strip search of our RV like it did last summer.

We drove south to Saint Andrews, New Brunswick, home of Canada’s St. Andrews Blockhouse National Historic Site.  The blockhouse was built during the war of 1812 to defend the river-facing canon battery that protected the town from American privateers who might try to raid the town:


Ahoy, Yankees!  Actually, no Americans ever tried to raid the town, probably due to the presence of these canons:



We’re still on the Bay of Fundy, so all the brown land is underwater at high tide:


The block house is appointed with period furnishings:


Upstairs, a small canon peers out over the main battery and the river:



Driving East, we stopped at the St. John information center, where we failed to find a Nova Scotia visitor’s guide but stumbled onto the onsite dump station and water spigot, which we used:


In St. John we visited Carleton Martello Tower National Historic Site.  One of many Martello Towers built around the world, this tower was built, like the St. Andrews Blockhouse, during the war of 1812 to protect the town of St. John from American naval attack.  During World War II, the roof was removed and a two-story concrete structure was added to allow the tower to be used as an observation post to direct fire at enemy ships:


The visitor center was well done:


The entrance to the tower is on the second floor, where the soldiers lived and slept:



One level down was the powder magazine, as well as musket ports to repel an infantry attack:


Looking out through the musket ports:


The kids practiced the maneuvers they learned at Minuteman National Historic Park two weeks ago:




The powder magazine:


We took the stairs to what used to be the roof:


This level originally had a parapet with canons, but in World War II two more concrete stories were added:




Heading back down:


The kids completed their Parks Canada Xplorers workbooks and received their dog tags:



This is B’s second Xplorers tag, having earned her first tag at the SS Klondike historic site in Whitehouse, Yukon Territory last summer.

We continued east to overnight at the Walmart of Sussex, New Brunswick.  See the trip map for today’s drive and our current location.

Day 742: Quoddy Head State Park
Day 744: Fundy National Park

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