Monday, June 19, 2006

Ste Marie Revisited

I when to visit Ste Marie with a new set of eyes this past weekend. For the past 20+ years I have visited as a tourist, an educator and a guest at numerous events. This time I went as a student of Huronia.
Why is the site we see not the site as seen and excavated people like Kenneth Kidd?

Why is the outline of the mission different than that seen by Hallen or Martin?
What did Wilfred Jury find or know that the others didn't?
I do understand that Jury may have spent more time on the site when he was asked to interpret the work of Kidd and others in order to reconstruct the site as an educational site for the Ontario Government but I do not understand the reasons for ignoring the work of Kidd and others when I came to the clear outline of the walls and blockhouses that were documented and exposed by others. The double fireplace worked on diligently by Kidd sits in the courtyard but has not been incorporated into a structure. Why?
I have read a number of accounts of the excavations and reconstruction work at Ste Marie and as I have noted elsewhere in this blog I question the interpretation of the Canals, trenches and ditches that were found in and around the site. In this regard I have also questioned the water levels of 1639-49 that might suggest a different interpretation for these structures.
To help further my knowledge of Ste Marie and it's current interpretation I hope to meet with the curator of Huronia Parks, Karen Nunnikhdom (hope that's' the right spelling) and see what light she can shed on my questions of interpretation. I may try to have her participate in this blog if she has the time and interest.

1 comment:

Steve said...

When I worked at Ste. Marie as an interpreter, we use to do a first person and the date was September 8th, 1648- so the buidlings were " under construction" as it were. I think Jury "envisioned" a lot of things in the reconstruction. He wanted the North Court area to be nice and open- to great the visitor. Another aspect of the reconstruction of Ste. Marie we have to consider is that there were no costumed interpreters at the site, so the buildings had to tell the story of the mission. ie.-the Church with the fireplaces- see how the Jesuits accomodated to the Hurons? etc...
There is a wall in the museum with various archaeological maps of Ste. Marie- including Galbraith, Kidd, Hallen add Jury (even the reconstruction does not follow Jury's map). I would like to see Fr. Hegarty's map since he worked with Jury and continued working until 1964- when Jury asked that he be removed from the site.