It is obvious after reading the account from Father Ragueneau and the one from the shoemaker Christophe Regnault that they were reporting on the same event one the same date from the same place, but what about the discrepancy in distances as they relate to Ste Louis. Father Ragueneau says that the village was less than 1 league from Ste Marie. The shoemaker says a short 1/4 league.
The current marked site for Ste Louis is about 2 miles as the crow flies from Ste Marie which would be just under a league. A short 1/4 league would be a 10 - 15 minute walk from Ste Marie or less than 3/4 of a mile. While these two reports differ in the distance of the closest village (Ste Louis) they both describe and agree in what they saw. Smoke, flame and the barbarians. They would also imply that they could see that it was the cabins that were burning, not the palisade. For these sightings to be true, there would of had to have been a clear line of sight to a location not far away. We must also remember that 2 seriously injured natives ran to Ste Marie from Ste Louis before the French were able to mount an exploratory force. For these reasons I have a tendency to support the shoemakers recollection of the distance of Ste. Louis from Ste Marie being a short 1/4 league over Father Ragueneau's estimate of a couple of miles. There is a documented site by AF Hunter (Tay twp site#4) that is on the hill at the entrance to Port McNicoll (SPCA area) that conforms far more closely in distance to match the events of the day than does the current marked site situated between the 5th and 6th Conc at Granny Whites SR. Hunter indicates that he thinks that this site# 4 is a likely spot for Ste Louis of 1649. It was palisaded, had about 20 lodges and trade goods to support that it was in the right time period. He also found evidence of another site (Tay twp#3) on what was the McDermitt farm in that same vicinity also on lot 15 Conc 4 Tay. This one however had no evidence of palisades and was smaller.
Why was the current marked site for Ste Louis chosen over this one or others that are also closer to Ste Marie? I guess that I will have to find other primary source documentation that describes Ste Louis. Anyone have any pointers? (others than road signs!)
I think St. Louis was called the Jesuit Field from early 19th century settlers because of the iron axes and other artifacts found there. Some even claimed todays St. Louis was St. Ignace II. I know Jury and Hegarty did an experiment where Jury lit a fire at St. Louis and Fr. Hegarty could see it from Ste. Marie (the smoke that is).
The answer to why St. Louis was considered to be the site is very simple.
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