Founding of Quebec

Searching for a place suitable for the settlement, Samuel de Champlain arrived to the place called the point of Quebec by the natives, on the 3rd of July.

The site was covered with nut-trees. Champlain at once employed a group of workmen in cutting them down, that the colonists might construct a fort. The first fort, called “habitation” was composed of three buildings of two stories. Each one was three fathoms long, and two and a half wide.

A fine cellar six feet deep was built. Champlain had a gallery made all around the buildings, on the outside, at the second story, which proved very convenient. There were also ditches, fifteen feet wide and six deep. On the other side of the ditches the founder of Quebec installed several spurs, which enclosed a part of the dwelling, at the points where the colonists placed a canon. Surrounding the building, lovely gardens and a public place were established.

Most of the materials were prepared on the spot but the glazed windows were brought from France. The work was delayed by a mutiny, but after the crisis the work resumed through September. Some land was cleared and planted with winter wheat and rye. The first winter however was severe. A harsh frost descended in October. Snow came in mid-November. Eighteen colonists afflicted by scurvy, and ten of them died.

Log through roofs: From the earliest days of French settlement in the East to relatively recent times in the west, roofs of hollowed half logs were used. The bark was left on and it is surprising how long they lasted without cracking or becoming non-water shedding.

 

A house in Quebec City. Photo : © ProvinceQuebec.com

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