Description - The National Park Service preserves Saint Croix Island International Historic site as a monument to the beginning of the United States and Canada. It was here that Pierre Dugua Sieur de Mons with his company of men established a French settlement in 1604-05. Picnicking, sight seeing and viewing scenery are enjoyed by 12-15,000 visitors annually.
- The National Park Service preserves Saint Croix Island International Historic site as a monument to the beginning of the United States and Canada. It was here that Pierre Dugua Sieur de Mons with his company of men established a French settlement in 1604-05. In cooperation with Parks Canada, the National Park Service educates the public about that heroic effort, its context and its consequences.
In 1604, Pierre Dugua Sieur de Mons, accompanied by Samuel Champlain and 77 other men, established a settlement on St. Croix Island. Preceding Jamestown (1607) and Plymouth (1620), Sieur de Mons' outpost was one of the earliest European settlements on the North Atlantic coast of North America. More specifically, it was the first attempt by the French at year-round colonization in the territory they called La Cadie or l'Acadie (Acadia). The settlement was short-lived, however, and in the summer of 1605, the French moved to a more favorable location where they established the Port Royal Habitation on the shores of the present-day Annapolis Basin, Nova Scotia.
The experience of the French on St. Croix Island taught them much about the "New World" environment and about interacting with the native peoples. From St. Croix Island, Samuel Champlain explored and charted the coast of Norembegue (Norumbega), including the Bay of Fundy and the Atlantic coast as far south as Cape Cod. The valuable insights gained from both the St. Croix settlement and further exploration formed the foundation for a more successful settlement at Port Royal, and an enduring French presence in North America continuing to the present day.
Recreation - The site is focused on establishing a quiet atmosphere of respect meant to promote contemplation of the heroism and suffering of the French colonists in 1604Ð05. A short walk to the interpretive shelter looking onto the estuary and St. Croix Island is recommended. Visitors are offered an interpretive panel, picnic tables and accessible vault toilet. Drinking water is not available.
The 400th anniversary of the 1604Ð05 settlement will be commemorated in the summer of 2004.
Climate - Visitors to the Down East / Acadia Region may expect to find daytime winter temperatures averaging above 18 degrees Fahrenheit (above -8 Celsius). Summer brings southwesterly winds and temperatures averaging above 68 degrees Fahrenheit (above 20 Celsius). The region receives an average of more than 44 inches (112 centimeters) of precipitation each year.
On U.S. Route 1 six miles south of Calais, Maine, reached either by Route 9 from Bangor or U.S. Route 1, the coastal route from Portland and points south.
(NOTE: Park employee stationed during Summer months..)