• Saint Croix Island in middle of river

    Saint Croix Island

    International Historic Site Maine

The Beginning of a Permanent European Presence in Northern North America

The winter of 1604-1605 on Saint Croix Island was a cruel one for Pierre Dugua's French expedition. Iced in by freezing temperatures and cut off from fresh water and game, 35 of 79 men died. As spring arrived and native people traded game for bread, the health of those remaining improved. Although the expedition moved on by summer, the beginning of French presence in North America had begun.

Did You Know?

Native Americans inhabited Saint Croix.

Saint Croix Island was originally called “Muttoneguis” by the Native Americans who had used it for many years before the French arrived. The island is protected today as part of Saint Croix Island International Historic Site.