Orélie's blog - The Petit-Sault Blockhouse
Par Orélie Albert
The Petit-Sault Blockhouse; Peaceful Colossus
The Appalachians, one of the wisened matriarchs of mountain ranges. They predate terrestrial dwellers, although conceding their seniority to marine life. Despite this, in no way does it undermine their glorious tales and the rich human history they have witnessed.
Tucked away within a valley of these elderly sages, a historic city was established, whose land’s dominion has been contested for generations. One particular relic of these conflicts watches over the surrounding neighborhood, clashing strongly against its contemporary architecture. Solemn, the structure observes our daily activities atop its stone pedestal, as peaceful as in its golden days.
The Petit-Sault blockhouse was erected in 1841 in anticipation of a border war between Britain and the newly freed Americans. The Aroostook war took place between 1838 and 1839, but hopefully, concluded without shedding of blood following the signature of the Webster-Ashburton treaty on the 9th of August 1842.
As the years went by, the structural integrity of the buildings related to said war crumbled as well. Among its many brothers put up for the same occasion, the Petit-Sault blockhouse is one of the few having resisted the onslaught of the ages. Or maybe should I say it’s “technically” still standing?
No, it is not a figment of your imagination, but its resilience is based on a small technicality. I’ll let you find that out by yourself when you visit the site whenever you feel like it.
Since I wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise, I won’t elaborate on my experience. Though, I won’t leave you completely in the dark about what to expect.
The fort is three floors tall, not accounting for the root cellar. Its design is eye-catching, with its perpendicularly oriented last level. The cubical stronghold was built onto a strategic hillside, offering a great vantage point over the town as well as a segment of Madawaska Maine.
Should you prefer to discover this piece of history from the inside, all stories are replete with artifacts found on site, along with scale models crafted by local artists. A guide will gladly offer more insight into them if you do pass by. That being said, I’m inclined to dedicate to them the responsibility to elaborate on more facts they deem interesting. As is the case with any other tourist attractions, the true essence of the experience is felt in the present moment.
I hope to have captured your interest! As mentioned above, it would be better to tell you only the bare essentials and only hint at what’s in there. Visits are free, from Tuesday to Saturday, 12 to 4p.m. Look for 14, St-Jean Avenue in Edmundston, or if you prefer orienting yourself with the good old method, a big brown building on a hill near the green bridge. You can communicate with the people in charge at (506) 735-2450, and as always, the Visitor Information Centre is always happy to assist with your research when it comes to planning your trip to Edmundston, if you’d like.
Hoping that my next contribution to this website will catch your eye once more!
Merry Meet Again!
Edmundston Visitor Information Center