Halifax Nearby: Louisbourg
In 1719 the French began to construct a fortified town at Louisbourg, which was completed in 1745. While the fortress left the harbour well defended, the landward fortifications were close to (but not placed on top of) high ground, which turned out to provide excellent locations for enemy siege batteries. In 1745 New Englanders mounted an assault on Louisbourg, and within 46 days captured the fortress. The town was returned to the French by the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, but in 1758 Louisbourg was besieged a second time. The French lacked a strong navy and the British landed 13,100 troops supported by a 14,000 crew on board 150 ships, and captured the fortress in seven weeks. Determined that Louisbourg would never again become a fortified French base, the British demolished the fortress walls.
Development of coal mining in the 1800s, connected to Sydney by a network of railways, gave Louisbourg new life as a shipping centre. The lighthouse on the eastern side of the harbour is one of the oldest in North America, built 130-1733 by order of King Louis XV of France, but was damaged during the British siege of 1758.
Sydney and Louisbourg Railway Museum
7336 Main St
Located in a 1895 railway station, this museum includes the stationmaster's office and includes exhibits and models portraying railway and maritime history. A number of period rolling stock are behind the museum, including coach cars, a tanker, and a caboose. Open 8 am to 8 pm July-August, and 9 am to 5 pm in shoulder season mid-May to mid-October. Admission by donation.
Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site
259 Park Service Road
Louisbourg, NS B1C 2L2
(902) 733-2280, Fax: (902) 733-2362