Description of Historic Place
The Visitor Centre/Museum at Fort Beauséjour National Historic Site of Canada (NHSC) is a striking one-storey Chateauesque inspired structure. It is now an H shaped building constructed of stone and dominated by a steeply pitched copper sheet roof. It features gables, dormers, chimneys and flared eaves. The exterior is clad in random-coursed rock faced ashlar with the exception of detailing of dressed stone. The off-centre door and the casement windows on the main floor are set beneath segmental arches. Constructed as a museum in 1936 and situated at a scenic location on a high spur of land, the building is the dominent structure in Fort Beauséjour NHSC. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Visitor Centre / Museum is a Classified Federal Heritage building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
The Visitor Centre / Museum is a very good example of a structure built to present and commemorate Canadian history, particularly the theme of French-British conflict. Additionally, the museum is one of the very best examples of the type of project implemented with funds made available by the Public Works Construction Act of 1934 which was designed to provide relief in the form of spending on Public Works. The museum is associated with Dr. John Clarence Webster was a historian and chairman of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board from 1945-50 and under Dr. Webster’s direction, the museum became a repository for material related not only to Fort Beauséjour, but also of regional civilian life.
The Visitor Centre / Museum is a very good example a building derived from simplified Chateauesque design principles and influenced by French vernacular architecture as exemplified by the flared eaves. The building’s design is functionally good, the Visitor Centre/Museum’s value resides in its simplified Chateauesque design, symmetrical massing, and the very good quality of its materials and craftsmanship.
Prominent and highly visible, the building is the dominant structure in Fort Beauséjour National Park and reinforces the present character of the area. It is a familiar landmark to both residents and to visiting tourists. The Beauséjour Museum is situated within a historically important area of the spur built on by the British after 1755.
Margaret Coleman, Visitor Centre/Museum, Fort Beauséjour National Historic Park, Aulac, New Brunswick. Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 90-069.
Visitor Centre / Museum, Fort Beauséjour National Historic Park, Aulac, N.B. Heritage Character Statement 90-069
The following character-defining elements of the should be respected, for example:
Its Chateau inspired design and good quality materials and craftsmanship as evidenced in:
- the one-storey H shaped massing with copper clad cross-gambrel roof and
- the random coursed stonework of the exterior walls.
- the eavesline corbelling of dressed stone.
- the main entrance.
- the dressed stone segmental arches over the windows and the main door.
- the off-centre door and the casement windows.
- the dressed stone string course below the windows.
The manner in which the building reinforces the hilltop site within the dramatic open landscape of the area as evidenced in:
- Its scenic location on a high spur of land within Fort Beauséjour National Historic Site of Canada.