Saint-Louis Mission National Historic Site of Canada
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Saint-Louis Mission National Historic Site of Canada lies on a tableland beside the Hogg River, 3 kilometres inland from Georgian Bay, near Victoria Harbour, Ontario. This 2-hectare archaeological site was an open field when it was investigated in the first half of the 20th century. Since that time the field has been left fallow, while part of the site area has grown into a mixed hardwood forest and the rest has been planted with pine trees. There are mounds and surface depressions indicative of past archaeological investigations. Official recognition refers to the limits of the village and mission as defined by the palisade on the south and west sides, and by the riverbanks on the east and north sides.
Saint-Louis Mission was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1920 because:
- the 1649 destruction of Saint-Louis and Saint-Ignace II sealed the fate of the Huron / Wendat confederacy;
- the missionaries Jean de Brébeuf and Gabriel Lalement were captured here when the village was attacked by the Iroquois on March 16, 1649.
In the 1640s, Saint-Louis was the name given by the Jesuits to the stockaded village of the Ataronchronon tribe of the Huron-Wendat. On the morning of 16 of March 1649, the Huron-Wendat village and Jesuit mission of St. Ignace II was attacked by the Five Nations Iroquois. Once St. Ignace II was captured, the Iroquois continued west and that same morning attacked the village and mission of St. Louis, capturing the Jesuit missionaries Jean de Brébeuf and Gabriel Lalement. The raids made it clear to the Huron-Wendat that they were not safe from destructive attacks in their homeland, and it began a chain of events that led to the abandonment of Huronia in 1650.
Source: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, October 2005.
Key elements contributing to the heritage value of this site include:
- its location on a tableland beside the Hogg River, 3 kilometres from Georgian Bay;
- its natural setting and relationship to the river;
- any above ground or subsurface archaeological remains, including hearths, longhouses, middens and palisades, in their current location;
- the integrity of any surviving or as yet unidentified archaeological remains which may be found within the site in their original placement and extent;
- its relationships with the Mission of St. Ignace II National Historic Site of Canada and Sainte-Marie Among the Hurons National Historic Site of Canada.
Government of Canada
Historic Sites and Monuments Act
National Historic Site of Canada
1640/01/01 to 1649/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Peopling the Land
- Canada's Earliest Inhabitants
Function - Category and Type
- Historic or Interpretive Site
- Battle Site
- Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec.
Cross-Reference to Collection