Before beginning your walk on beautiful Fort Point, imagine that today's date is
May 8, 1604. Look southwest across Dublin Bay toward the Atlantic Ocean. Beyond the
islands you may see the good ship Le Don de Dieu as it drops anchor for the first
time in the New World. Samuel de Champlain, the man who would change Europe's understanding
of this vast continent, stands on the foredeck sketching the first of his famous
maps. Do you see him waving to you?
His mission soon took him onward but he was so impressed with the LaHave area that
he was instrumental in it being chosen by King Louis XIII to be the site of the First
Capital of New France.
In 1632, Isaac de Razilly, French General and Viceroy, landed at Fort Point on the
beautiful LaHave, the largest river in Nova Scotia, and carried out the command of
The view. To the east, across the river, you see Ritcey Bay and the lovely village
of Riverfront. Farther south along the far shore are Oxner’s Beach and a grassy saltmarsh.
This area served as a meadow for Razilly's cattle.
To the south, across Dublin Bay, are East and West Spectacle islands. Behind them
is the much larger Mosher Island with its pleasant beach and ever-vigilant lighthouse.
Farther away, a little to the west, are the LaHave Islands, part of the cluster of
islands that shelter the mouth of the LaHave River from the pounding force of the
Fort Ste. Marie de Grace. To see the fort, you must rely more on your imagination
than your eyesight. As you stand on the bluff on the southern edge of the property,
you are near the northern wall of the fort. At low tide, look for a rocky triangle
extending into Dublin Bay that may have been part of the old fort's foundation.
Inside the sturdy brick, timber and stone walls that protected Razilly and his garrison
were a well, a powder magazine, and various residential, storage and administrative
buildings. A wooden cross rose high above the walls.
The fort was destroyed by fire in 1654 and lay in ruins for many generations. Over
time, its fine stones were probably carted away to become part of the foundations
of various structures built on Fort Point and the west bank of the river.
More devastating was the slow grip of the sea relentlessly eroding the point itself,
drawing the remnants of the fort to its sandy bottom. Some of the old bricks found
on the shore are on display in the museum. Finally, in 1991, the great boulders you
see were put in place as a sea wall to stabilize the site.