• Saint Croix Island in middle of river

    Saint Croix Island

    International Historic Site Maine


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


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

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

Pilgrims arrive in Plymouth.

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.

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.

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.

Saint Croix Island is declared a national monument.

Light station burns down. Historical and archeological resources on island are documented.

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

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

Did You Know?

Aerial view of Saint Croix Island.

There are no visible traces of the early settlement left on Saint Croix Island, today part of Saint Croix Island IHS. When the decision was made to move the expedition to Port Royal, most of the buildings were dismantled, put onto the ships and moved and erected at the new site.