• Saint Croix Island in middle of river

    Saint Croix Island

    International Historic Site Maine

Timeline

Champlain's 1613 Map of Saint Croix Island.
Samuel de Champlain's 1613 Map of Saint Croix Island
 

SAINT CROIX ISLAND THROUGH FOUR CENTURIES

1604
Dugua and his company depart from France for North America, outfitted for an ambitious endeavor involving a settlement (“habitation”) and trading post.

1604-1605
Saint Croix Island settlement. (For details, watch this short Flash presentation.)

1605
Settlers move to Port Royal. Dugua returns to France to defend his trade monopoly, never again to set foot on North American soil.

1606-1607
Samuel Champlain and Sieur de Poutricourt visit the island and note the gardens are still producing. Dugua’s monopoly is revoked. The settlers return to France, leaving the habitation in care of Membertou, chief of the Mi’kmaq.

1607
Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement, is founded in Virginia.

1608
Dugua’s monopoly is temporarily reinstated. Champlain explores farther west in North America and founds the city of Quebec.

1613
Captain Argall of Virginia carries out orders to drive the French from the coast. He destroys the remaining buildings on Saint Croix Island and sails to Port Royal, burning down the habitation while the French are working in the fields.

1620
Pilgrims arrive in Plymouth.

1700s
After 1632, the name Saint Croix Island vanishes from records. After 150 years of war, the French cede Acadie to Britain. The Passamaquoddy, Maliseet, Penobscot, Mi’kmaq, and Abenaki peoples form the Wabanaki Confederacy.

1783-1797
The Saint Croix River is designated as the boundary between Canada and the United States. The two nations disagree over which river is Saint Croix. Using Champlain’s maps and documents to locate the island, Robert Pagan of Canada finds ruins, French brick, and pottery, thus identifying both the island and the river and resolving the dispute.

1800s
The island is settled and quarried for sand, and a light station is erected. During this time it was said that French brick was visible and that visitors carried much of it away.

1949
Saint Croix Island is declared a national monument.

1950-1970s
Light station burns down. Historical and archeological resources on island are documented.

1984
The island is redesignated an international historic site in recognition of the “historic significance to both the United States and Canada.”

2004
400th anniversary of the French settlement on Saint Croix Island.

Did You Know?

French Huguenots and Catholics settled Saint Croix.

Saint Croix Island was settled by Huguenots (French Protestants) and Catholics, a rare example of religious tolerance between these two groups. The island is protected today as part of Saint Croix Island International Historic Site.