• 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 assist French settlers.

Native Americans helped the French adapt to life on Saint Croix Island. Several Native parties even made temporary camp on the island and assisted the colonists in various endeavors. The island is protected today as part of Saint Croix Island International Historic Site.