I have been asked once again for my opinion on the location of Ste Ignace II and here is my reply copied from a recent email.
As to Saint Ignace II – Its purported location in the NW ¼ of lot 5 Con 9 of Tay township that was dug by W Jury is still given little to no credibility by the archaeological community here. The Shrine still maintains its authenticity but they appear to stand alone in their opinion. They continue to take pilgrims there, do Mass on the site and hold relics at the Shrines Museum that have come from the site. There is no longer any Federal, Provincial or other historical markers or signage related to the site.
"I believe that the site is much closer to Ste Marie – perhaps on the Newton site (W 1/2 lot 11 Con 6 of Tay) as argued by A F Hunter in his report. This is now marked and supported by many as the site of St Louis but Jury’s report is also suspect here in my opinion.
In conclusion – if you ask me, a well documented, archaeologically supported location for the Saint Ignace site of March 1649 has yet to be determined."
Any further insights that our members or other readers of this blog may with to add would be greatly appreciated.
In support of my argument as to the location of the villages known as Ste. Ignace and St Louis will add here a quote from the shoemaker who worked at Ste Marie and witnessed some of the events of the day when the priests were captured.
"FATHER Jean de Brebœuf and Father Gabriel L'Alemant had set out from our cabin, to go to a small Village, called St. Ignace, distant from our cabin about a short quarter of a League, to instruct the Savages and the new Christians of that Village. It was on the 16th Day of March, in the morning, that we perceived a great fire at the place to which these two good Fathers had gone. This fire made us very uneasy; we did not know whether it were enemies, or if the fire had caught in some of the huts of the village. The Reverend Father Paul Ragueneau, our Superior, immediately Resolved to send some one to learn what might be the cause. But no sooner had we formed the design of going there to see, than we perceived several savages on the road, coming straight toward us. We all thought it was the Iroquois who were coming to attack us; but, having considered them more closely, we perceived that they were Hurons who were fleeing from the fight, and who had escaped from the combat. these poor savages caused great pity in us. They were all covered with wounds. One had his head fractured; another his arm broken; another had an [page 25] arrow in his eye; another had his hand cut off by a blow from a hatchet. In fine, the day was passed in receiving into our cabins all these poor wounded people, and in looking with compassion toward the fire, and the place where were those two good Fathers. We saw the fire and the barbarians, but we could not see anything of the two Fathers."
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