Canadian Forts


Fort Amherst | Fort Augustus | Battery Island | Fort Edward | French Fort | Fort Germain
Post at Port la Joye | Prince Edward Battery | Battery at St. Pierre | Scotch Fort
Tignish Radar Station

Last Update: 12/NOVEMBER/2020
Compiled by Pete Payette - ©2020 American Forts Network

NOTE: Prince Edward Island was known by the French as Île Saint-Jean, as part of Acadia. The island became British in 1763 (de facto 1758), known as St. John's Island. Administered by Nova Scotia until separated in 1769. Briefly known as New Ireland in 1770. Renamed in 1798.

Battery at St. Pierre
(1740's ?, 1750's), St. Peter's Bay
A French shore battery was located here by 1758. The fishing settlement, founded in 1720, was considered to be the "commercial capital" of the island during the French Regime, considered by many to be more important than Port-la-Joye.

Fort Augustus
(1830 ?), Fort Augustus
A small village located on the Hillsborough River northeast of Charlottetown. Possibly named as such by Irish settlers (from Glasgow, Scotland) that arrived here in May 1830 on the ship "Corsair". No actual military type fort was located here.

Scotch Fort
(1772), Scotchfort
The landing place and initial settlement of the Glenaladale Scots emigrants from the ship "Alexander" in July 1772. Named in reference to the "ruins" of the old "French Fort" that were noticed along the way just downriver. No actual military type fort was located here. Now the home of the Abegweit (Mi'kmaq) First Nation Reserve.

French Fort
(1745 ?, 1758), Frenchfort
An unnamed French fort of some kind (or an Acadian settlers' blockhouse) was once located here on the Hillsborough River, the "ruins" of which were noted in July 1772 by the newly arived Glenaladale Scots emigrants, who initially settled just upriver at "Scotch Fort". An Acadian church was built nearby at "Bel Air" (a natural spring) in 1751. French soldiers and officials from Port-la-Joye did retreat up the Northeast (Hillsborough) River in July 1745 and made a brief stand after the British had captured that town.

Nearby on Battery Island (aka Rams Island, Glenfinnan Island, or MacNally's Island), across from Battery Point at Miller's Creek, was a French/Acadian gun battery which had engaged a British ship (October or November 1758) trying to enforce the expulsion of the Acadian settlers. A chain was used to block river traffic between Battery Point and Battery Island.

Fort Edward
(Victoria Park)
(1805 - 1871/1905), Charlottetown FORT WIKI
This was formerly Prince Edward Battery (1799), which was relocated from Tartar's Wharf on Great George Street in 1805. Renamed Fort Edward sometime later. Manned by British Regulars until 1864, then by the Charlottetown Volunteer Militia Artillery. The brick magazine was built in 1866-68. The three smooth-bore muzzle-loading guns currently on site were installed in 1866. Three rifled muzzle-loading guns were installed in 1901. The parapet was reworked in 1882 from embrasures to barbette gun platforms. The site became part of Victoria Park in 1873. The site was restored from 2001 - 2005. PHOTO from PEI Archives

Two supporting shore batteries (built 1801) were located on each side of the harbour entrance, at Blockhouse Point (Rocky Point) on the west (0.5 km southeast of old Fort Amherst), and at Battery Point (Stratford) on the east (1.5 km northeast of old Fort Amherst).

Fort Amherst
(Port-la-Joye / Fort Amherst National Historic Site)
(1758 - 1768/70), Rocky Point FORT WIKI
This was the province's first permanent European settlement. Port-la-Joye was founded by the French in 1720. A small garrison of French troops were posted here in 1726 (Post at Port-la-Joye), in a rudimentary log stockade with wooden barracks, Officers' quarters, and a stone powder magazine, but a true fort was never built, although a star-shaped stonework was later planned in 1749. British-American troops garrisoned the island during the winter of 1745-46 after the fall of Louisbourg, NS. The British captured the colony again in August 1758 and then built Fort Amherst here, immediately to the east of the old French stockade. Built for a 200-man garrison, the new 18-gun stockaded earthwork included the Commanding Officer's headquarters, Officer's quarters, soldier barracks, bakehouse, forge, storehouse and a prison. After it was abandoned, it was demolished and fell into ruin after the British troops left the island, and the land reverted to private ownership in 1773. Most of the guns still remained in the abandoned earthworks until taken away in September 1776 by the H.M.S. Lizard to Halifax, Nova Scotia. Several of the guns had been spiked by American privateers when they raided the island in November 1775, even though there was no local militia at the time to offer any resistance. See also Encyclopedia of French Cultural Heritage in North America

Fort Germain
(1777 ? - 1780/81), near Charlottetown
A new defence was planned for Charlottetown after American privateers raided the island in November 1775, and other such raids along the coast of Nova Scotia and present-day New Brunswick, in the early days of the American Revolution. Fortification plans to replace Fort Amherst were drawn up in late 1776 or early 1777 by Phillips Callbeck, the island's attorney-general and also the acting administrator of the island in the absence of the governor Walter Patterson (who was away on official business in London (UK)), which consisted of a square earthen fort (or citadel) enclosing several barracks and quarters and a powder magazine, with two supporting circular redoubts and two supporting shore batteries (Patterson's Battery and Spry's Battery). Callbeck submitted bills to the British Parliament amounting from 8,000 Pounds to 14,000 Pounds per year for military construction and for raising and supplying an 80-man company (later increased to 110 men) of local "Loyal Island of St. John's Volunteers", importing a five-company garrison force of New York Loyalists (the "Independent Companies of American Loyalists") arriving in November 1778 under the command of Major Timothy Hierlihy, and also a 200-man company of Hessians from New York that arrived in the fall of 1779 (leaving in June 1780). Apparently Lord George Germain, the Colonial Secretary for the American Colonies, did not sanction the fort being named in his honour, nor give approval for more than one company for the garrison, and Parliament initially rejected the payment of Callbeck's claims, but did pay them (or some of them) later. Construction was ordered to be halted (in late 1780 or early 1781) after Patterson finally returned to his position (in June 1780) from his five-year hiatus in London, who objected to the high cost and excessive troop strength for such a low value military outpost. It is unclear what, if anything, was actually built, and where exactly it was built. It may have been located at the site of Fort Amherst (incorporating the still-then existing square earthwork), or nearby, or possibly elsewhere.

Tignish Radar Station
(1942 - 1945), near Tignish
The Royal Canadian Air Force - North Atlantic Region (RCAF Group 1) operated several air defence radar stations in the Maritimes, employing the Chain Home Low early warning radar. Initially the stations were called "Radio Detachments" and in 1943 the title "Radio Unit" was adopted. The term "RADAR" was not adopted by Canadians until late 1943. The chain ceased operations with the war's end in mid 1945.

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