Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Rebuilding the Port Royal Habitation

A few years ago I recieved a package in the mail. This was a fairly typical package in a rather nondescript brown paper wrapping. Not expecting all that much, I opened the package to see what was inside. What I found was a treasure for those interested in the history of the Annapolis Royal / Port Royal area.

When I opened the package, I found a black coloured photo album. It took me a few minutes to realize what I was looking at. I flipped through the pages to see some interesting and obviously local images of men building a structure. There were men squaring timbers, men making bricks and men erecting walls. The more complete the structure became, the more excited I got. About halfway through I realized that this was an album chronicling the 1939 reconstruction of the Port Royal Habitation. As I continued to look, I realized that this was in fact an album compiled by Kenneth D. Harris the chief architect of the reconstruction. This was actually the architect's personal record of the progress of the project.

As I was driving past the Port Royal Habitiation earlier today, my toughts turned to this album. This photo collection documents the construction of Canada's first historic reconstruction. It also documents the effort which local citizens have put into commemorating their heritage.
The Port Royal Habitation will soon be opening for its 70th season. Over the next few weeks I will post a few more images from this reconstruction project as well as providing some of the background behind the reconstruction itself.
All for now,
RGS

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