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Canadian Historic Sites: Occasional Papers in Archaeology and History No. 23

Blockhouses in Canada, 1749-1841: A Comparative Report and Catalogue

by Richard J. Young

Part II: A Catalogue


Part II is a catalogue of blockhouses in Canada, listed alphabetically, usually by blockhouse name; where several successive blockhouses were built in the same area, they are listed alphabetically by place name followed by blockhouse name. In addition each blockhouse is identified by date of construction, followed by a chronological list of relevant documentation.

This section of the report is intended to provide a documentary history of each blockhouse. This list of blockhouses is not a complete one, but is a preliminary attempt to organize the documentation, incomplete as it is. It is hoped that this arrangement of sources will supply the need for a quick and convenient reference tool and a coherent context from which future research can proceed.

Amherst Island Blockhouse, 1839?

[Notification of application from the Ordnance] for a steady non Commissioned Officer, or Private, to be permanently stationed at Amherst Island, (18 miles distant,) in charge of a Block House lately erected there, and which has hitherto been in charge of a man attached to the Militia.1

Amherstburg, Bois Blanc Island Blockhouse, 1796

The Block House and Battery on the Island of Bois Blanc is ridiculous in the extreme: a landing may be effected on different parts of that Island without molestation; an intelligent Enemy may without loss or danger turn the Battery against ourselves.1

Amherstburg, Naval Yard Blockhouses, 1797

The Estimates for . . . Covering the second floor of the right flanking Blockhouse . . . are approved.1

The following Estimates have been approved, namely, construct a picketing round the Blockhouse at the Naval yard.2

The sick at present occupy the lower part of the Blockhouse No. 2 which is improperly situated. A barrack room for 24 Men, and a building not in any manner calculated for the purpose . . . I should recommend to fit up the two blockhouses No. 2 and 3 situated near the naval yard with double berths on the new construction to accommodate the troops. The lower part of No. 2 is at present made use of for a hospital, the upper part as Quarters for 24 men. No. 3 is at present made use of for two officers quarters. If fitted up each blockhouse would contain 48 men.3

There are two small Detached Block Houses constructed as a protection to the Marine Arsenal they are occupied as officers Quarters and are contiguous to the Navy Yard.4

Amherstburg, No. 1 Blockhouse, 1796

The Expences for weatherboarding the Blockhouses and for inclosing the Timber and wood yards, being directly contrary to the General Orders of the 21st January 1795. His Excellency the Commander in Chief does not approve, nor will he authorize any Payment to be made for materials purchased or workmanship performed on account thereof.1

3rd [Estimate]. for plastering the partitions between the officer's and men's quarters in the Blockhouse opposite the Isle aux bois blanc and for adding a second partition to be also Plastered, amounting to Five pound, eighteen shillings, His Excellency is pleased to approve of.2

His Excellency has been pleased to approve the Estimate for weatherboarding the Blockhouse, amounting in workmanship to Forty three Pounds three shillings.3

The Estimates for . . . Lathing and Plastering officers quarters in the Ordnance Blockhouse — Building a Porch and making Partitions, shelves etc . . . are approved.4

The Estimates received in your letter of 15th May 1st for taking down the South Chimney of the Ordnance Blockhouse, and rebuild it with two fireplaces on the Lower floor . . . are approved —

The Removing of the fixed ammunition, from the Ordnance Blockhouse to the Temporary Magazine is approved.5

It is intended to throw a Picketing all round the Blockhouses, a sufficient quantity of Pickets may be cut by the Troops during the winter, as you propose — They must not be less than from Five to Eight Inches Diameter, and twelve feet long.6

The estimate for clearing round the Powder Magazine, and for fitting up Officers Quarters in Blockhouse No. 1 — and repairing others is also approved.7

The Estimate for fitting up additional quarters for Officers in the lower part of the North end of the Ordnance Blockhouse, amounting to £30:4—5/2 Currency is approved.8

The roof of the large blockhouse No. 1 within the Fort will require to be shingled, it is at present only covered with Boards very defective and admits to rain. It will also be necessary to paint the weather-boarding to preserve it.

There are not sufficient quarters to lodge troops at this post. I should recommend to convert the whole or greatest part of this Blockhouse into new quarters to be filled with doubleberths on the new construction. The upper part is 100 ft. long, 30 ft. wide contains at present 4 rooms, occupied by the commanding officer, two rooms soldiers quarters for 60 men. One room Sergt. Major, and 2 M. Serjeant. The lower part is 96 feet long, 26 feet wide contains at present two rooms occupied by the Commanding Officer — two rooms by the Adjutant, two rooms and a kitchen made use of by the Mess, and one room for Ordnance Stores. The two rooms made use of by the Mess are converted to Soldiers Quarters and the men are removed from the lower part of No. 2 Blockhouse into the fort. If converted into soldiers barracks, the upper part would contain 4 rooms for 100 men. The lower part the same. In all eight rooms for 200 men with great ease.9

The White-washing the rooms occupied by the soldiers in Blockhouse No. 1 within the fort must be delayed until the new double-berths are put up and repairs in plastering completed.10

The roof of the blockhouse also requires either being newly covered or at least undergoing a thorough repair as there is not a room either in the officers or Mens Quarters that does not admit the rain as fast as it falls.11

Fort Amherstburg: Situated on the East Bank of the River Detroit at the Head of Lake Erie. Is a Square Field Work consisting of four small Bastions faced with framed Timber, . . . and out of repair.

The Bastions are connected with a line of Picketting similar to Fort George in bad repair, and cannot be considered as capable of any Defence. The Troops are lodged within the Fort in a large Block House that contains Quarters for about three officers and 80 Men.12

Ash Island Blockhouse, 1814

I have made arrangements for the better defence of our frontier on Ash Island by increasing the strength of the Battery, and the building of a Blockhouse in its rear, and inclosing the whole with strong palisades.1

The present Battery on Ash Island, may be considered as efficient for the defences of the Western channel, when enclosed by the log Blockhouse, and palisade averting also the additional substance of parapet now forming.2

Baie Verte Blockhouse, 1756

[Estimate for repair to] Blockhouse at Bay Verte. 9 Square Shingling to be ripped & new laid by Agreement, £9.1

Bridge Island Blockhouse, 1814

Bridge Island is a good rendezvous for boats passing up or down; there is a Blockhouse for a Company here in which are mounted a 12 pdr. carronade & 6 pdr. iron and in a circular Battery an 18 pdr. on a traversing platform, There is also on the island a light 6 pdr. I found the officer endeavouring to put up a miserable picketting in hard frozen ground with a banquette to fire from, I directed him to secure himself from surprize, as the river freezes across here, by an abbatis around the island and informed him the battery and blockhouse are the proper places for defence with his small detachment; 30 of the 57th and 5 artillery.1

I have found that the Boats and Batteaux have been frequently under the necessity of stopping between Brockville and Gananoque on coming up from the Lower Province; a part of the Country infested by swarms of disaffected people who are constantly in the habit of communicating with the enemy in spite of all vigilance, and as Bridge Island which is situated about 15 miles from the former and 16 miles from the latter place, affords good shelter for Boats, and an approved site for a work of defence, I have directed Captain Morton to procure some person willing to undertake the erection of a Block House upon it by contract.2

The Post very cold & uncomfortable & if the Block House is not put into better condition it will be next to impossible for the Party to stay there during the winter — The Sergeant says that they could do tolerably well if they had two Stores allowed them & the windows Doors, & Partitions repaired and fixed. The Chimnies are the worst I think that I ever witnessed — I staid one night in the place & between the Smoke and the Cold it was intolerable . . . I could not determine the exact number of Panes of Glass as it is cut to fit the musket sashes.3

Report on the Situation and Post at Bridge Island, made . . . October 6th — 1815:

1st: Block House 43 feet by 24 feet, outside, of Hewn pine timber, white washed on the outside, covered with shingles. Entrance in, by strong double doors, of thick double oak plank — well spiked together, hung with strong Iron Hinges & fastened with an Iron Bar — The said entrance in the upper Story — by a Step Ladder & good Railings . . . No Door or Window, in the lower Story, except Musket Portholes.

2nd: Stack of Chimnies, in the Block House with two funnels, in good condition, in regard to repair, but extremely Smoky. —

3rd: Musket port Holes, on each side and ends of the Block House — above and below —

4th: Ports made for 5 pieces of Ordnance in the Upper part.

Present State —

1st: Doors, Ports, Step Ladders etc as above described.

2nd: 18 Musket port, window sashes . . . the Glass yet remains, in about half the number.

3rd: Hinges to the above sashes . . . taken away or broke.

4th: 2 Sashes of 12 lights each without glass. . . .

5th: 3 Window Shutters to Ports. . . .

6th: 1 Large Table in good condition. . . .

7th: 3-Arm Racks — one of which out of repair.

8th: 28, traps or port Doors, to the ports even with the upper floor. . . .

9th: Partitions, forming two Rooms of 14 feet by 11 each and a small Store Room — part of this partition is taken away, the remainder wants repair, & also two inside doors are wanted which appear never to have been fixed —

10th: Lock to the Store Room Door, taken away.4

Burlington Blockhouses, 1814

Burlington Outlet: a two gun battery completed, a Blockhouse constructing under the direction of Lieut. Ingaurville.1

Burlington: This Post in my humble opinion is of the greatest importance to the operation in Upper Canada; . . . I consider it to be capable to being made defensible by a very insignificant force, or of containing in Security a considerable one; with the necessary Depot of Stores in general; here is a Magazine, two Blockhouses & extensive Commissariat Storehouses in good preservation when I visited the Post.2

Burlington Heights: A blockhouse was constructed, and some earth works were thrown up on the heights, during the war: abandoned and in ruins.3

Châteauguay Blockhouse, 1814

Timber for two Blockhouses squared — and three Cubic Toises of Stone and Ten Bouviques of Lime on the Spot for 1st Blockhouse . . . If no Delay in forwarding the Required Materials, one Blockhouse will be erected by the Month of Septrt 1

I also enclose an Estimate for Châteauguay for the Expence of Cutting down and Squaring the Timber required for the Blockhouses, which has been charged to the Workmanship for raising them — with one for clearing the ground in front of the Blockhouse which is to be erected on Right Bank of the River; as contracted for, which is in my opinion a reasonable price the Wood being exceedingly thick and good sized Timbers.2

Foundation to Blockhouse dry. 13 Toises of Stone on the spot. waiting Lime to commence upon it. The timber required all squared.3

W. Hilton has returned from the Block House on the Chateau Gal River — and has brought over Sundry Barrack Stores (no Bedding) from that place — nothing now remains in it but some Rough Tables & Forms made on the Spot.4

Report and Estimate of the probable expense of repairing and whitewashing the Blockhouse at Châteauguay.5

Chaudière River Blockhouse, 1778

I have a Detachment of Loyalists, and a Company of the 34th Regiment upon the Chaudière, at the upper part of the Settlements on which we have Picketted Fort, and are building a Blockhouse.1

Chimney Island Blockhouse, 1814

I visited this island of which I enclose a Plan and Section, it is a spot of which the Americans would probably take possession to obstruct the Communication; as your Excellency may observe that with timber sufficient to secure themselves from shells, a little dressing and thickening the parapet and a few platforms they have already a work constructed for them. The current runs very strong here, above the Island is a ripple almost a rapid, at the lower end of it an eddy — & landing on both sides — with a view to occupy this Island at the shortest notice, Capt Gaugreben has been desired to prepare a Blockhouse and 10 Platforms, and as Johnstown is an open town and without any particular defensive advantages, the troops there seem very convenient for this purpose.1

Chippawa Blockhouse, 1794

The Blockhouse might be weather Boarded and the crevices of the Log Work pointed, this would preserve the building, and I should imagine make it sufficiently warm. I cannot recommend Lath and Plaister, Plaister, being very expensive, and liable to damage in rooms inhabited by Troops.1

The Village of Chippawa or Fort Welland, is situated on each side of a river of the same name, which here joins the Saint Lawrence. A wooden bridge is thrown across this stream, over which is the road leading to Fort Erie. The former fort consists only of a large blockhouse near the bridge, on the northern bank, surrounded by lofty pickets; it is usually the station of a subaltern officer and twenty-five men, who are principally engaged in conducting to Fort Erie the transport of stores for the service of the troops in the upper part of the province, and for the engineer and Indian departments.2

The Blockhouse will require to be weatherboarded and painted to secure the building. The upper Floor is 76 feet in length 28 feet wide 10 feet high, contains 2 Officers Rooms and One Soldiers Room for 36 men. The ground floor is 72 feet in length 28 feet wide, 10 feet high, made use of a Provision & Transport Store. The Soldiers Room will require to be plastered and White washed — The fireplaces repaired, nine new double moving Births to be made.3

Fort Chippawa: Situated on the North Bank of the River Chippawa about 16 Miles from Fort George. It is the termination of the carrying Place, 9 miles from the West Landing at Queenstown and 1-1/2 Miles above the Falls of Niagara. This Post can only be considered as a Transport Post for depositing, and forwarding public Stores to the Upper Lakes; it consists merely of a large Block House containing quarters for one officer, and 36 Men, and storeroom sufficient for the Stores deposited there. It is enclosed with a Line of Picketting very much decayed, and cannot be considered capable of any Defence.4

Chippawa: There is a Creek of considerable importance a Tete du Pont covers the Bridge & an Extensive line of Fieldwork is constructed (which requires improvement) to aid in Defending the passage of this Creek, one flank of the position lodges on the Niagara River, the other although somewhat strengthened by a Square Redoubt and inclosed Blockhouse in an advanced position where the creek forks, yet I consider it would require infinite precaution not to be turned on this flank & assailed in the rear, as there are roads of interior communication from Fort Erie, & the passage of the Creek might be effected at other places.5

27 Blockhouse and locks at The Narrows on the Rideau canal, 1841, by Capt. Thomas Burrows. (Public Archives of Canada.)

28 "Lock &c. at the Isthmus," 1841 by Capt. Thomas Burrows. (Public Archives of Canada.)

29 Kingston Mills blockhouse, Rideau Canal. (Public Archives of Canada.)

Coteau-du-Lac Blockhouses, 1779

There are two small Blockhouses, compleat, and a most excellent Storehouse capable to contain 3000 Barrels of Provisions, one side of this Post is well Picketed, and the other is so covered with Abbatis, as to be secure against any Attack of Musquetry.1

Two Blockhouses. Occupied as Barracks and Barrack Masters Quarters.2

Coteau-du-Lac, Octagonal Blockhouse, 1813

Coteau du Lac nine Miles above the Village of the Cedars is a most essential, and important position, which effectively commands the passage of the Rapids at this point. This Post should be strengthened, and occupied as soon as possible. I recommend to construct a Block House on the Point to contain 200 men, also to enclose and entrench the position; to be armed with two 12 Pdrs. and 2 brass 6 Pdrs to serve as moveable guns to take post on some very commanding, and projecting points between the Post, and the Cascades.1

Block-House — for 200 Men — Complete in every respect, except the Chimney, part of the stones to Back & Jambs[?] having fallen out, owing to the Quality, not being fire proof, which breach has caused a small rent to Masonry — its [sic] other respects it is substantial. The Jail[?] can be remedied by repairing Masonry & facing the Interior with Bricks.2

W. Cleghorne the assistn Barrack Master at the Post of Coteau du Lac has been ordered by Captain Park of the Royal Marine Artillery to deliver over the Upper Story of the New Block for a Garrison Hospital and is now Converted to that purpose, which being contrary to the original plan of appropriation Building having been fitted up as a Barrack for the accommodation of 148 Men.3

Octagon Block House . . . log building with a Stone Basement for Powder Magazine and Cellars for provisions, the Second Story is fitted up with Births as a Barrack and to mount a 24 pounder on traversing Platform on top 25 feet to Wall Plate and 35 feet in diameter.4

There is an old fort, containing three wooden blockhouses, barracks of stone, with roof composed of logs of wood, for 288 men, and a magazine at Coteau du Lac. Everything is in decay and ruin, and not worth the expense of putting in repair.5

The blockhouse being in a dilapidated state and not fit for any defence was ordered to be taken down or fired by Captain Phillpotts, R.E., and finding it not safe for men to take it down was set fire to and burned to the foundation to prevent the enemy making a lodgement behind it in their intended attack on the fort.6

Dartmouth Blockhouse, 1750

That the Alderneys People consisting of about 300 were settled on the other side the Harbour at the Saw Mill where there was a Blockhouse.1

Dartmouth: This Post is a line of Palisades about 3/4 of a mile round with Redans, Block Houses, and a Bastion to flank the Line, the Palisades are almost rotten and many of them dropt down. This Line was made for the Safety of some of the first Settlers who established there in a Township, but they have now all abandoned it.2

Digby Blockhouse, 1812

A Blockhouse has been built. There is a non-commissioned officer of Artillery in charge of stores at this place.1

Digby Blockhouse: The Blockhouse is on a hill behind and overlooking the town. Object of the work — to oppose any landing at this point and to annoy an Enemy passing the gut into the Basin of Annapolis. The wooden Blockhouse is in tolerable repair, the spare arms of the militia are deposited here.2

Plan 35: Above the town of Digby and nearly about the middle of it from East to West is a lot of One Acre on which a Block House stands. It was purchased from Mrs. Mary Hughes for £17-10. The deed dates 22 August 1837. It is perfectly useless to Government and should be sold, it will bring about £20.3

Digby Gut, East and West Blockhouses, 1812

Plan No. 38 On the Digby [sic] on Western side of the Gut of Annapolis, and within five Miles of the town of Digby are the remains of a four Gun battery and a Block House in a state of ruin. Four eighteen Pounders without Carriages are laying on the ground.

This property which consists of One Acre with a right of road to it was purchased of Dennis McGrath in 1813 — it is of no value being an entire bed of rock. It is a fine commanding situation about 50 feet above the level of the Water.1

[East Blockhouse]: It is a place of much importance commanding the whole entrance from the Bay of Fundy into the Annapolis River. There has been a similar battery, and there is yet a similar Blockhouse to those on the west side of the Gut. Four Iron 18 Pounders are still on the Ground. This Block House like the other is in ruins. It might be sold.2

Fort Anne, Annapolis Royal, Bastion Blockhouse, [1812]

[A] Blockhouse Stands in the North East Bastion the foundation was laid by French the lower Story is applied as a Guard Room, the Middle and upper Stories have been built within these few years. The first is pierced for 8 guns but has only 6-4 pounders mounted which with their carriages ammunition & stores are in a serviceable State the upper Story is pierced for four Guns Two 4 pounders only are mounted. A Corporal and ten Men of the Royal Artillery are Stationed here in charge of the Stores.1

There is likewise a Blockhouse in one of the Bastions near the entrance in tolerable repair.2

The Blockhouse at Annapolis Royal was pulled down, some fifteen years ago, to make firewood for its caretaker, one Mr. Hall, with the sanction of a barbarian, I mean a minister of the crown.3

Fort Edward Blockhouse, Windsor, Nova Scotia, 1750

I sent Gorham with his Company to Piziquid Monday last, with Orders to post himself in the most convenient place & build a Blockhouse.1

Capt. Rous will sail for Halifax in eight days. He brings no news from the Bay, but that Major Lawrence was erecting a Blockhouse upon a Point that commands the Entrance of the Rivers Gasparo & Canard.2

I ommitted to acquaint you that Major Lawrence is raising a Blockhouse and a Small Fort in a most advantageous situation upon Piziquid River.3

The next work I shall mention is Fort Edward, on the Windsor River, running into the bason of Mines: — This is a small square fort of 85 yards exterior front, with bastions, a ditch, and a raised counterscarp, and is composed of sods. Here are eight pieces of cannon mounted. This fort . . . was built early in the settlement of the Province, first intended as a place of security against the Indians, and repaired and improved in the beginning of the late war to protect the inhabitants of Windsor from the ravages of the American privateers. The situation of this fort, for present purposes, is ineligible; it does not answer for the defence of the river, and is commanded by different heights surrounding, some of which are very near. Here are wooden barracks for 200 men, but much out of repair, a blockhouse, a temporary magazine, and a good provision store.4

There is a wooden Blockhouse and wooden barracks, within what has formerly been a square Redoubt. The whole is in a very unserviceable state.5

Fort Erie Blockhouse, 1796

The upper part of the Blockhouse made use of as a Provision and Transport Store will require to be Weatherboarded and painted to preserve the Building. It is 54 feet long 30 feet wide 8 feet high in the upper floor projects two feet from the lower part which is built of Stone. — The Door and Window Shutters require some repair, and sliding Shutters for the Loopholes wanted.1

The old fort [Erie] on the west side of the entrance into the lake, consists of no more than a few houses, a blockhouse of logs, with some habitations for commercial people, and one or two store-houses. A new stone fort, in the form of a quadrangle, is now constructing on rising ground behind the block-house. A company of soldiers is usually stationed here, and the men are chiefly employed in assisting to conduct the transport of stores.2

30 Burritts Rapids locks and blockhouse in 1832, by John Burrows. (Public Archives of Canada.)

31 Section of blockhouse on Signal Hill, Newfoundland. (Drawing by S. Epps, from an original in the Public Archives of Canada.)

32 Floor plan of blockhouse on Signal Hill, Newfoundland. (Drawing by S. Epps, from an original in the Public Archives of Canada.)

33 Floor plan of blockhouse at Signal Hill, Newfoundland. (Drawing by S. Epps, from an original in the Public Archives of Canada.)

Fort George, Centre Blockhouse, 1796

The Estimate of the Expence of Materials for fitting the Partitions between the officers and men quarters in the Blockhouse at Navy Hall, with bricks, and supplying the quantity of Bricks exceeded in building the Powder Magazine, amounting to Twenty-Seven Pounds, one shilling and six pence Currency, . . . His Excellency has been pleased to approve of.1

As soon as the Powder Magazine at Fort George is reported to you fit to receive the Gunpowder, and the Store in the Blockhouse appropriated to the Ordnance Department is finished, the Commander in Chief desires you will give the necessary directions to move them from the Temporary Shed and other places where they are now lodged.2

I have the honor . . . to inform you that an Estimate for building two additional kitchens for the use of the Troops in the large Blockhouse at Fort George, . . . has been approved.3

The Four Blockhouses in the Fort all require to be Weather-boarded, to preserve the Buildings and to make them more secure against the weather they should also be painted. The Centre Blockhouse is 100 feet long 30 feet wide 9 feet high in the Upper Floor, contains four rooms for Officers Quarters at present occupied by One Captain and One Subaltern and two rooms for Soldiers Quarters will contain 80 men in a crowded state — 60 with convenience — The ground floor is 96 feet long, 26 feet wide, 12 feet high contains One large room filled with Ordnance Stores. . . . It would be adviseable to convert the whole of the Building into Quarters for Soldiers, and to erect a separate Building for Ordnance Stores — It would then contain 200 men with ease.4

Fort George, North and South Blockhouses, 1797

I am directed by the Commander in Chief to inform you, that it is intended to erect next spring, Two Blockhouses at Fort George, for the accommodation of about one hundred men — The Deputy Commissary is directed to provide the necessary materials, and the Engineer will receive by this opportunity the usual communications from Colonel Mann on the subject.1

The rooms in the Blockhouses will greatly relieve the present want of quarters and the General hopes they will be finished soon.2

His Excellency heard with much satisfaction that the Blockhouses are nearly finished; the present scarcity of Quarters for the Officers will be supplied in a certain degree when they are ready.3

The North Blockhouse is 44 feet long 24 feet wide 9 feet high in the upper part contains One Room for 36 men — The Ground floor is 41 feet long 21 feet wide 12 feet high One room for 32 men. The South Blockhouse is a similar building in every respect. New Double Births are required for these Blockhouses. The Chymnies to be repaired, all the Rooms to be painted and white washed and the Ceilings to be Battened.4

Fort George, Octagonal Blockhouse, 1798

A Plan for the constructing some other buildings at Fort George, has been approved by the Commander in Chief, Colonel Mann will furnish the Engineer with Instructions respecting them — An Hospital, Guardhouse and small Blockhouse to be placed near the Magazine, it is intended should be built first.1

The Octagon Blockhouse is 28 feet diam- in the Upper Floor & 9 feet high. The ground floor is 25 feet diam- and 12 feet high made use of for lodging part of the Ordnance Stores.2

£8.. 17.. 9 (in No. 1) for connecting the Picketting round the Octagon Blockhouse at Fort George, and which as Captn Nicolls reports, and as it appears to me, is essentially necessary for the security of that Building and the Ammunition etc. therein.3

Fort Lawrence Blockhouses, 1750

This morning Lt. Col. Lawrence marched from hence with Col. Lascelles Regiment & three hundred men of Col. Warburtons for Minas. There they will embark for Chinecto, They carry with them two blockhouses & three large barrack frames & materials of all sorts necessary for erecting them.1

Fort Sackville Blockhouse, 1749

This day Capt. Gorham with his Company is gone to establish himself at the Head of the Bay [Bedford Basin] in order to keep open in all Events the Communication with Minas & command the Bay.1

This is a Small square Palisade Fort with four Bastions, it stands upon a rising ground but is commanded by a Hill, towards the Town, the palisades are very small and almost Rotten. There is a Barrack for an Officer and 30 or 40 men under the same Roof, much out of repair.

There is a small Blockhouse for the party to retire into, in case of the palisades being forced.2

Fort Saint John Blockhouse, 1778

A small Work for the better security of the Block House on the East side of the River will I hope be completed in about a Week or ten Days, and effectually secure it against a surprise. . . . would therefore humbly propose that as much Timber as possible be felled round the Block House, to the distance at least of five hundred Yards, and at the same Time think it highly requisite that the several small Roads and Paths be rendered impassable as much as possible by felling Trees across the same where necessary, which will render the approach of any enemy with Cannon exceeding difficult to lodge themselves either to annoy the Block House, or any of the Works of the Garrison on the West side of the River.1

Block House . . . totally in ruins.2

Fort St. Joseph Blockhouse, 1797

As it is intended to send Mr. Russell, the master Carpenter to St. Josephs Island early in the spring to superintend the construction of a Blockhouse which will be erected thereon this summer.1

I am directed by the Commander in Chief to inform you, that it is intended to build next spring a Blockhouse for the use of the Troops stationed on the Island of St. Josephs which is design'd to be constructed in such a manner as to afford the necessary rooms for Military stores and Provisions also.

The Storekeeper General is directed to furnish you with a list of such materials as it is necessary to be provided for this purpose, . . . The object at present is merely to prepare the materials.2

Lieutenant Lacy of the Royal Engineers goes up to Island of St. Joseph, for the purpose of constructing a Blockhouse on the South extremity of that Island for the use of the Troops stationed there, and takes up with him a few Civil Artificers.3

I am now by Command of His Excellency General Prescott to inclose for your information, a Copy of the Approved Estimate of the said work [the Blockhouse], and to desire you will give every aid in your power towards the completion thereof, by furnishing all the Artificers you have at the Post, capable of being employed, and as many Labourers as can be spared, on the requisition of Lieut. Lacy of the Royal Engineers who is sent up on purpose to construct this work, . . . Mr. Lacy is furnished by L Colonel Mann with every Instruction necessary, and the Commander in Chief trusts the materials as enumerated in the List furnished by M: Craigie, will be ready on his arrival.4

I am very sorry to observe, that I am very apprehensive we will not be able to get into the new Blockhouse building near this post, This Season, as their [sic] are a Quantity of the Materials for Building & other Different Stores for this post, are yet to be sent from Amherstburg.5

The following buildings are to be constructed next summer at St. Joseph's, Vizt — A Wharf — Guard house — Temporary Powder Magazine, and strong Picketing round the buildings, as a security against any Insult from Indians — and the Wood round the Blockhouse to be cleared away.6

. . . Lieut. Landmann will be sent up in the course of a few days for the purpose of compleating the works ordered last year, to enclose the Post with a substantial picketing about Four hundred yards in circumference, to be doubled below the ribband, with Loopholes etc., and to erect four raised platforms for Guns to fire over the picketing.7

The Blockhouse and other Buildings, at the Post very much want Weatherboarding, outside, and Plastering within, as they admit the Wind rain and snow, through all parts of them, which will very much injure the Building's if not shortly done, besides, rendering it very cold and uncomfortable for the Troops, and there is not sufficient Quarters for the Officers in it, there being only three Rooms, and one of them, very small, to accommodate the whole, they are obliged to hire small Houses out of the Fort . . . the chimnies want repairing, the Blockhouse is Picketed in but not finished.8

The Blockhouse in the centre of the Fort is an excellent framed Building, but will soon be destroyed unless it is Weatherboarded to preserve it besides the Logs are so open, the Weather penetrates in every part of it, that the Troops suffer very much from the Cold. The side Walls of the upper Floor require to be Lathed and plastered in the inside, and the Rooms of the Officers Quarters to be Cieled. Above the upper plate of the Roof should be Beam filled to prevent the Rain and Snow beating in. The Shingles of the Roof are made of dry Cedar very dangerous in case of Fire, should be painted or covered with any cheap Composition . . . The upper part of this Building is 100 feet long 30 ft. wide 10 feet high contains 2 Rooms Soldiers Quarters for 60 men and 4 Rooms for Officer's Quarters occupied at present by the Commanding Officer. The lower part is 96 feet long 26 feet wide 11 feet high contains 1 Storeroom for Ordnance Stores 1 ditto Provision & Commissary Stores 1 ditto Stores Indian Department 1 ditto Regimental Stores, all in a very crowded state there not being sufficient room.9

I am of opinion that as the great Blockhouse is really a good and valuable building, no precautions ought to be ommitted [sic] for its preservation and as from the smallness of the Fort the buildings are necessarily nearer each other than could be wished, the Blockhouse can never be in security from external fire, until it is roofed with sheet Iron.10

The Blockhouse covered with Sheet Iron and painted. The masens are now employed in the Magazine and the Carpenters in Weatherboarding the upper part of the Blockhouse.11

The fort, which is one of the handsomest of the kind in North America, is situated at the southern extremity [of the Island], upon a peninsula about fifty feet above the level of the water, and connected to the island by a low isthmus of sand, about three hundred yards in breadth.12

34 Composite map of Halifax showing locations of batteries and blockhouses. (Drawing by D. Ford from an original in the Public Archives of Nova Scotia.) (click on image for a PDF version)

35The octagonal blockhouse, Halifax citadel, viewed from the south, 1780; this view also shows the blockhouse at Fort Massey in the middle foreground. (Public Archives of Nova Scotia.)

Gananoque Blockhouse, 1813

This is a good Post with a Company of Militia stationed under the Command of Col. Horne they are Building a Block House on a strong point of ground near the River; the lower Story is nearly raised, and the whole will be completed in about six Weeks.1

Gananoqui; The Blockhouse is placed in a strong situation above the River & the Road, and surrounded by a parapet of logs, and picketting, at this place are mounted, 2-12 pdr. carronades, 2-4 and 1-3 pounders. The site is too high and distant from the water to have a good command to the opposite Island.2

A wooden block-house was constructed for the protection of the mouth of this River during the war, but having been constructed on private property has been given up to the owner of the ground, Sir William Johnson.3

Grassy Island Blockhouse, Canso, Nova Scotia

Canso — the last where your Company's are quarterd, and is near Cape Breton, has no other Deffence [sic] than a Blockhouse built of timber by the contribution of the Fishermen who resort there and a few Inhabitants settled in the Place — to the repairs of which the officers have often been oblig'd to Contribute.1

Halifax, Citadel Blockhouse, 1776

Citadel Hill Redoubt. All the guns mounted, the — 2d. floor of the — Block House framed, the — Post Defencible and will Be finished in one month.1

The Redout enclosing the Blockhouse has a Parapet in Glacis, mounts Fourteen 24 Pounders in Embrasure; vizt three towards the entrance of the Harbour, three directly across the Harbour, five play in front of the Naval Yard lines distant about 1200 Yards and three towards the Country, so that this Work has full Command every way, and is itself perfectly protected by the Blockhouse within it which is an Octagon of three Stories for 200 men & mounts Eight 6 Pounders on the 2d floor.2

At the back of the town about 880 yards distance from the shore there is a very commanding height which is called the Citadel Hill, offering a very advantageous situation for a fortress. This height is at present occupied by an irregular field work composed principally of fascines, built and enlarged at different times, but mostly during the late war, and is at present in ruins, having nothing substantial in it excepting a large octagonal blockhouse, which will contain about 100 men.3

The following advertisement appeared in the "Royal Gazette":

Information for Masters of Vessels. The Blockhouse on Citadel Hill, which was a conspicuous object, is removed, having been in a ruinous condition. The flag and signal staff remain [1789].4

Halifax, Fort Coote Blockhouse, 1776

Advanced Blockhouse or Pedley's Hill. ready to raise.1

At the North West extremity of the Naval Yard, on a projecting Point, there is another Blockhouse with a Bank thrown up round it, called Fort Coote, on which there are three 18 Pounders, a situation where a good Battery would contribute somewhat to defend the Yard from an Enemy afloat.2

Halifax, Fort Needham (Advanced) Blockhouse, 1808

An Irregular pentagonal Redoubt of four Guns (with a Barrack proposed for sixty Men in its center has been raised over the ruins of a former one at Needham, lying little more than a Mile North of the Citadel, and about eight feet below it. . . . [he proposes a stone tower for Fort Needham] The General was pleased to express his approbation and regretted that the season of the Year prevented our commencing upon it [the stone tower], but in lieu thereof he has sanctioned my substituting a musquet-proof Blockhouse which is nearly finished situated 400 feet North of the Redoubt, which commands a great part of that irregular ground encompassing the Height.1

A Block House has been constructed in advance to Fort Needham to secure the Battery below and oppose an Enemy in his progress towards the edge of the Bason. On the Blockhouse the following Ordnance are mounted Carronades — 12 pounders 2 English.2

The Blockhouse . . . which has long been rotten and totally unserviceable, has recently been blown down, and that the materials of which it was composed were found as perfectly decayed as to be of no use whatsoever. . . . this has, for many years, only been a nominal Blockhouse, the greater part of it having fallen in.3

Halifax, Georges Island Blockhouse, 1795

Estimate for Erecting a Star Fort on George Island for 300 Men, with a Blockhouse in the Center, for an Officer and 40 men, and a Cellar under for Stores. . . .

[The Blockhouse:]

95 logs for Blockhouse, 12 by 9 Inches each 40 feet long . . .
4000 Feet 2 Inch plank . . .
Lime and Labour for 2 Stacks of Chimnies . . .
3 Outside Doors 4 inch thick . . .
4 inside do. . .
10 Ports Sashes and Glass . . .
Tar and Paper for Roof . . .
Labour Lime and Sand for Cellar Walls . . .
120 Nails for Roof and Floor.1

The work there [on Georges Island] is also of a temporary nature. It is placed on the top of the highest ground, where there is not enough Table Ground for it, and has many of the faults which the Work at Citadel Hill has, namely the want of a counterscarp, and its situation and construction leaving great extent of dead ground. — In the centre of the work which is adapted for 300 men, there is a Blockhouse only 40 feet square, which it is hardly necessary to remark is by no means sufficient for the several accommodations required for the number. It is Proposed to erect a Tower in place.2

Halifax, McAlpine's Blockhouse, 1808

[There] is one of a pentagonal form (shewn in the Sketch), nearly completed situated upon a Hill known as MacAlpans, disposed, so as to augment the difficulty of an enemy in their attempt to bring cannon along that part of the Windsor road.1

The situations most eligible to form a concentrated fire on the low marshy ground between the Basin and North West Arm, appear to be the Hill above McAlpine's on which there at present stands a Blockhouse.2

McAlpine's — On this hill at the further extremity of the Isthmus near Bedford Basin is a Blockhouse was erected by Order of Major General Hunter Commanding in the Spring 1808. There is intended for this Blockhouse the under-mentioned Ordnance Carronades 12 pounders 2 English.3

Halifax, Naval Yard Blockhouses, 1775

List of Cannon & Stores wanted for the Defence & Protection of His Majesty's Naval Yard at Halifax.

Cannon with carriages complete:

For the proposed Lines [twelve 9-pounders].

For the Blockhouse [forty 4-pounders].1

Naval Yards Lines. The three Bastions entirely finished the curtains and Branches to Enclose — the Naval Yard, finish'd, also a Double Stockade, musquet-proof, with — loopholes from the — angle of the — curtains constructed to scour the — Ditch of the flanks: The Blockhouses which are for guard Rooms to the — Bastions and as Secondary Defences of the Lines ready to raise.

The two Blockhouses at the Naval Yard Wall finished.2

The Lines for the Protection of the Naval Yard Consist of three Bastions, forming nearly a Crown Work, the Branches of which are broken to give a flank to the Faces of the right & left Bastions respectively, and terminate on the Extremities of the Naval Yard Wall, from whence they are flanked by a Blockhouse at each Angle, these Blockhouses mount Four 4 Pounders and contain Sixty Men each, the Lines have a Parapet of Six feet thick with a Ditch & Berm well fraised and a Gun in Each flank to Scour the Lines of Defence. In the Center Bastion is a Blockhouse of the same sort as those in the Naval Yard Wall.3

In one of these Bastions there is a Blockhouse equally useless . . . and in the Rear of the Naval Yard, against a Stone Wall that encloses it, are two other small Blockhouses.4

36 Fort Charlotte, Georges Island, Halifax, 1809; the blockhouse is located in the centre of the fort. (Public Archives of Canada.) (click on image for a PDF version)

Halifax, Naval Yard, Maugher's Blockhouse, 1762

This morning I have sent an Engineer to mark out and begin a Small Intrenchment on ye Top of rising ground whereon there is a little Blockhouse which is contiguous to the Dockyard for some security that way.1

Resolved that Mr. Mauger's Blockhouse be occupied by a Searjeant Corporal and twelve of the Newfoundland volunteers and that a small entrenchment be thrown up by them upon a rising ground behind the Blockhouse.2

Halifax, Peninsular Blockhouses, 1750

That your memorialist has delivered to the Government by Orders of Richard Bulkely Esqr. Eight Hundd and Sixteen Bushels of Charr Coals in Different Times from Sept: 1751 to July 1752, at the Peninsular Block House to Capt. Strasburger . . . for the use of the Smiths at said Block House & for Fireing for the Garrison of Rangers, and the Inhabitants then there, in which Time they had no chimneys neither in the Blockhouse nor Dwelling Houses.1

South Peninsular Blockhouse: This Blockhouse lodges an Officer and 25 men, it stands quite naked, without Ditch or palisades and wants some further Improvements.2

Halifax, York Redoubt Blockhouse, 1794

Major General Ogilvie caused a Battery to be formed of two twenty four pounders mounted on platforms, secured by a Stockade pierced for Musquetry. The situation appearing to me the very best possible for a Battery to annoy Shipping on their first entrance into the Harbour; on the late alarm I caused the Battery to be augmented to Six twenty four pounders and two Sixes, adding at the same time a double Block House in the salient angle of the Stockaded Work, looking towards the Country, in the upper Story of which there are two twelve pound Carrinades [sic] mounted on Carriages, particularly calculated for the Service.1

The Redoubt at Point Sandwich, the first on the Western shore at the entrance of the harbour, is in the completest order possible for every purpose of defence. The Battery mounts eight twenty four pounders towards the harbour, exclusive of Carronades and small guns in the Blockhouse, to prevent an assault from the Land side, The Magazine is entirely finished also.2

Kingston, Murney's Point Blockhouse, 1813

Murney's Redoubt. A Roof put on the small Blockhouse but cannot be covered in or shingled for want of board.1

I request you will acquaint his Excellency the Commander of the Forces that my endeavours to effect an equitable arrangement with the persons holding the property on which Murney's Point Battery and Blockhouse, as likewise Blockhouse No. 3 and the Line Barracks are constructed, have hitherto proved unsuccessful.2

Kingston, No. 1 Blockhouse, 1813

No. 1 nor No. 2 Block Houses not being yet ready — [to receive the companies as proposed].1

The Births in the lower part finished; the upper part fitted up with Posts and [illegible] for Hammocks.2

Kingston, No. 2 Blockhouse, 1813

Blockhouse No. 2. Laying the 2nd Floor to mount Guns immediately; going on with the frame work.1

The rubbish occasioned by Building the Block House No. 2, has never been removed from the School Lot, and that the Ground in consequence of quarrying stone for the foundation of that work, is left so rough as scarcely to be passable.2

This Blockhouse has been for some years occupied by the Female Benevolent Society as a Hospital permission for which it is understood was obtained from the Governor, but being built by government during the war and standing on a Small triangular spot at the junction of two streets it is supposed to be Government Property — the other Blockhouses built on Private property during the War were given up to the Proprietor with the exception of No. 5 Blockhouse erected on the Clergy Reserve.3

No. 2 Blockhouse: a small triangular space bounded by Grass and School streets and by Murney's lot, on which is a Blockhouse house similar to No. 5. The space contains about 1/10 of an acre.4

Kingston, No. 3 Blockhouse, 1813

The Masonry of the Blockhouse [No. 3] raised three feet above the level of the Terreplein; the first row of Beams laid.1

With regard to Blockhouse No — 3 — Mr. Murney and Mr. Earl both Claim a portion of the ground on which it stands, tho' neither admits the other's validity; — this circumstance therefore precludes the possibility of coming to any agreement on the part of the Public.2

Kingston, No. 5 Blockhouse, 1813

Blockhouse No. 5 — A Log Building on a Stone base 30 x 30 2 stories high and shingled roof capable of containing 45 men in Iron bedsteads. In good repair. . . . This Blockhouse is not on ordnance Land being situated near the S. W. end of the Clergy Reserve.1

Kingston, Point Frederick Blockhouses, 1813

Also to erect another Block House on Point Frederick which will effectually protect the Dock Yard.1

The Blockhouse is roofed and shingled, all the Births and Officers Quarters done, the frames for windows and loopholes are now making, so that the Carpenters work is nearly finished; the weather proving unfavorable for Mason's work the foundation wall and the Chimney are not began [sic], however I shall now commence on them as the Bay from whence the Sand is procured is now open. This Blockhouse will hold three or four officers and one hundred and forty men. Ninety six Privates and 1 or 2 Officers in the upper and forty four Men and 1 or 2 Officers in the lower.2

Blockhouse Barrack — A squared Log Building 48 x 48 with a shingled roof and Standing on a Stone base work — It is two stories high and capable of accommodating 80 men in Iron Bedsteads.3

Kingston, Point Henry Blockhouse, 1813

I have directed the Block House on Point Henry to be raised and improved.1

Kingston Mills Blockhouse, 1831

I herewith have the honor to forward to you the accounts sent into me by Mr. Burrows the Clerk of the works at Kingston Mills — Lieut. Coll. [sic] Bonnycastle, the Command. Engineer in Upper Canada, approved of the alterations & the fitting up the Block House for some Militia in the Winter at the time Kingston was threatened by the Brigands & Rebels in this neighbourhood.1

Kingston, Snake Island Blockhouse, 1813

I beg leave to inform you the Block House at Snake Island is so much out of repair as to be uninhabitable during the Winter Season — To put it in a State of thorough Repair it will require Carpenter for Two Days, Two Bushels of lime — Twenty Panes of Glass, and Putty —1

The Repairs to the Block House on Snake Island to be performed immediately.2

I also think a Tower and heavier battery ought to be substituted as soon as possible for the present Blockhouse & Single Gun battery on Snake Island which overlooks the channels for large Ships.3

Snake Island a low rocky Islet containing 1-6/10ths Acres on which there is a Blockhouse in ruins. It is about Seven miles from Kingston to the S. W., and in the middle of the opening of Lake Ontario.4

Labrador, Fort York Blockhouse, 1767

Captain Shuldham Governor of Newfoundland, having in his letter to me of the 17th Instant represented that the Blockhouse called York-Fort in Chateaux bay on the Coast of Labrador, which is garrisoned by 20 Seamen & Marines belonging to His Majesty's Ships employed on the Newfoundland Station, has hitherto been supplied by the Storekeeper of the Ordnance at Newfoundland.1

The King having signified His Majesty's Pleasure that the Garrison of Seamen and Marines now doing duty at the Blockhouse called York Fort established on the Coast of Labrador should be withdrawn. . . . in case you shall be of opinion that the Continuance of an Establishment of this kind at York Harbour may be of public Advantage, you do upon the present Garrison being withdrawn place in the said Fort a Non-Commission Officer and a few private Men of the Detachment now doing duty on the Island of Newfoundland.2

I have thought proper, My Lord, to cause the people who composed the Garrison of the aforementioned Blockhouse to be withdrawn, the small species of Ordnance stores which remained in it to be brought to St. John's, and. . . . the cannon with their Carriages, together with the Building, to be secured in the best Manner possible during the ensuing Winter.3

37 Plan of Kingston by Lt. Renny, RE, 1816, showing locations of the six blockhouses and palisades built to defend the town. (Richard Kingston before the War of 1812 [Toronto: The Champlain Society, 1959], p. 226.)

LaColle Bridge Blockhouse, 1814

Building a New Chimney & repairing Foundation of the Blockhouse.1

The present defences at LaColle Mill might be considerably strengthened by the adoption of the following measures. By removing the two small carronades in the Fort, looking to the front, and placing two long 18 pdrs. on traversing platforms. One to prevent an approach by the road from Brisbane's and scanning the ground to the right of the mill; the other to see the whole of the ground on its left, and also to aid in the defence of the ground communicating with the Battery at the mouth of the River.2

The roofing of the Blockhouse barrack at LaColle Bridge, waits for planks from LaCadie.3

LaColle Mill Blockhouse, 1781

At La Cole we have built a new Blockhouse to protect the Saw Mill, and to lodge the several Workmen employed there.1

Lawrencetown Blockhouse, 1754

The spot where the Town is to be is so situated as to be defended with a very inconsiderable Force it being on a Peninsula the neck of which the Proprietors have already Picketed in at their own Expence, . . . As the place had been formerly a great Rendezvous for Indians I sent two Hundred Troops with some Rangers for their protection under the Command of Captain Stone of Lascelles Regiment. . . . The Troops marched there by Land from Dartmouth and on their March cut a Road. . . . the Blockhouse they have erected within the Picketing, which Blockhouse Your Lordships will perceive by the minutes of Council we did agree to give them for their Encouragement.1

His Majesty's Council having taken the affairs of Lawrence Town into Consideration, have come to the Resolution of withdrawing from thence the few Inhabitants that remained. . . . This has accordingly been done, and the troops and Blockhouse brought away.2

Liverpool Blockhouse, 1813

There is a Blockhouse and a Battery barbette at this place on which are mounted 3 iron twelve pounders, and 2 brass 3 pounders. There is no magazine of any description here.1

On a point at the Eastern entrance to the town is the Battery, with a two-storey blockhouse in its gorge. Blockhouse and barbette Battery not kept up.2

On the Royal Engineers Returns the following places are stated to belong to the Government vizt. Block House and Battery Point; Black Point; and Wreck Point, one at each place; but on searching the several records of the County etc. I find that to only the first named "Block House on Battery Point" have they any title. . . . The Block House is on private property and I would recommend its being Sold — The foundation is falling and the logs of which it is built are fast decaying, if allowed to remain much longer it will be totally worthless.3

Louisbourg, Citadel Blockhouse, 1761

Mn. Geo. Bastide writes of the 3d. of February that the weather has been remarkately moderate and fair and hoped if it continued, to set up [the blockhouse] by the end of the month but mentions nothing of setting up pallisades.1

I find by the letters I have received from Mn. Bastide at Louisburg dated the 2d. Inst. the Blockhouse was finished and a small guard kept in it, but that the Intention of a palisade Fence was Lay'd aside.2

Lunenburg Blockhouses, 1756

Pay of 30 German settlers employ'd as Soldiers at the new Blockhouses on the back of the Township of Lunenburg and to clear a Road of Communication from La Have River to the head of Mahone Bay on a Line with said Blockhouses — at 6¢ per day £273-15-0.1

Lunenburg, Jesser's Point Blockhouse, 1813

There are two Blockhouses here [Lunenburg] . . . one upon a point of land running out into the water some distance lower down the harbour. There is a Battery in front of each blockhouse.1

Two Blockhouses of two stories each with batteries in front, not kept up.2

Battery on Jesser's Point is situated about 1-1/8 Mile from the town of Lunenburg. One acre of land was reserved at this Point in a Grant of land to Dutlief Christoper Jesser dated 12 June 1773 and is the only land which actually belongs to Government at Lunenburg. Upon it, built on a Stone foundation, is a Block House in a dilapidated state, which might be sold before becoming entirely worthless.3

Lunenburg, Peninsular Blockhouses, 1753

[Friday, 8 June 1753] Then fixed wt Capt. Morris, ye Surveyor, the Situation of the Town, and also of ye. blockhouse for the defence of it; . . . Then fixed wt. ye. Captains to have 120 men on shore at 3 o'clock the next morng. in order to carry up ye. blockhouses, . . . [pp. 9-10].

[Saturday, 9 June 1753] The Settlers carried up on ye. shoulders the timbers of one blockhouse, (the distance being near half a mile) by 10 in ye. morning, during wc time ye Carpenters set up nearly ye. first story . . . after wc ye. settlers were employed till night in opening a large avenue from ye. Blockhouse to ye. Waterside at ye. back of ye. hill, . . . [pp. 11-12].

[Monday, 11 June 1753] The carpenters continue to work on ye. blockhouses but have done very indifferent days work since ye first. [p. 23].

[Friday, 15 June 1753] About 8 o'clock sent on shore ye. guns wt. Ordnance stores. Was obliged to draw ye. Guns up to ye. blockhouses wt. soldiers, not being able to get more yn 8 or 10 settlers. [p. 32]1

We ys day got out guns into ye Blockhouses, but are much at a loss for ye. new bolts & hooks wc. shd. have been sent wt. ye. gun tackles to work ye. guns. . . . We are in want of 4 pr. of iron hinges for ye trap doors of ye blockhouses, wc were forgotten as were ye doors ymselves.2

I have prevailed on between three & 400 tago [sic] to work. They are employed in digging the trench and cutting ye. pickets . . . and upwards ys evening, wc. according to our calculatn. will be sufficient for ye line from water to water.3

As I suspected fin. ye. situatn. of one of ye. blockhouses & one a storehouse, yt. yre. was a necessity for underpentg. yin. I consulted wt. ye. Carpenters & oyrs. thereon who all agree yt. wth. it they wd. be in great danger of fallg. I should yrefr. be glad to know in wt. manr. you wd. have yt. done, whether wt. brick wt. stone or wt. both as may be cheapest & speediest as to a cellar under ye. Blockhouse, unless we go to a great expe., it cannot be worth makg.4

Yesterday came in ye. Biddeford Donnell, and ye. Meddford Nichols wt. provisions, part of ye. blockhouse for ye East end of ye. Town, and some other articles.5

Colonel Monckton has sent back most of the Troops [from Lunenburg], . . . In his Instructions I found it absolutely necesary to give him a Power of leaving as many Troops there (not exceeding Forty) as he should think sufficient to possess the Blockhouse the Militia had heretofore mounted Guard in.6

Lunenburg, Windmill Hill Blockhouse, 1812

Near the town, a Blockhouse and Battery mounting 3 Iron 12 pounders, 1 iron 9 pounder, and 2 brass 6 pounders.1

There are two Blockhouses here . . . one placed upon a small eminence near the town . . . there is a battery in front of each.2

Two Blockhouses of two stories each, not kept up.3

Above the Western part of the Town of Lunenburg stands a Block House upon Windmill Hill — The boundaries of One Acre of land, in the center of which the Block House stands, . . . The Block House is used for the storage of two brass Field pieces and their stores which were supplied to the Militia some years since by the Board of Ordnance and the expence of keeping it in order is defrayed from the town or Provincial funds.2

Madawaska Blockhouse, 1841

A stout wooden bridge of one arch spanned the Madawasca over the Falls, and conducted to a square blockhouse on a rocky ridge, which overlooked the surrounding country.1

The building, which has the advantage of attaining a good fire in any direction, is 30 ft. Square, inside dimensions. . . . Three stories . . . basement story of rubble masonry, 3 feet thick, which contains a Magazine & Artillery Stores and provisions for 100 men, the whole of which are [sic] perfectly ventilated by Air holes through the Masonry. The two upper Stories are composed of pine logs, 15 Ins. Square dovetailed together at the angles, and secured with Strong hardwood dowels. The first Story is Secured to the Masonry by 16 Strong Iron Scrub bolts, the end formed into a "t" & built into the wall, the Upper Story is secured to the lower by Strong jagged bolts drawn through the logs at their intersections.

The roof of projecting Angles are composed of the same timber as the walls, and are boarded and covered with [illegible] tin.

The basement Story will be laid with 16 Cedar beams Squared to 12 ins. and the two upper Stories with 13 x 10 inch pine at 18 ins. from center to centre & securely framed to the sides of the building and the 3 floors laid with three inch pine plank grooved and tongued and secured with dowels. Four portholes are framed in the Upper Story and 8 horizontal loopholes and the lower Story with horizontal loopholes, the openings filled with 2 inch Pine glazed sashes and pine Stoppers hinged under the loopholes to reduce the opening where required.

The floors are also supported by 5 Strong posts secured in the rock, the centre one of which carries a brick chimney 2 ft. 6 ins. Square. The Middle Story will be fitted up with two tiers of standing berths for 40 Men in Single beds and an apartment for an Officer.

Shelves and pin racks will be fitted round the interior of the walls of both Stories and also the Magazine and Artillery Store. The whole of the pine Walls to be calked with hacklings of flax, the interior lined with 1 inch boards grooved and tongued and the exterior and interior limewashed throughout. The communication from one Story to another will be by 2 inch pine Step ladders through the floors as shewn on the plans, and the entrance to be by Means of a Moveable Stepladder with the upper Story and a Rope ladder to use when necessary — The Masonry is made 3 ft 11 ins. at the bottom and 3 feet at top which is perhaps better. The loopholes are continuous with a blank in the centre of the sides where I have caused the berths to be placed in lower floor instead of round the chimney which would have been too close to Stovepipe and soothole. The upper Story of berths only. There will be room for berths also in lower floor in Case of need. 8 woodenberths are headed against the posts supporting floor; Making in all 24 berths.

The exterior communication has been made by a Stair which may be cut away if necessary about 2/3 of the height and a Short Moveable ladder at top. The rope ladder is on hand.2

4th Octbr 1841 [Submits estimate] for the construction of a blockhouse at the Little falls of the Madawaska at its junction with the St. John's River, in the disputed territory: which has been built by order of the Comdr. of the Forces; [2 plans, 2 sketches and detailed estimates].3

The Blockhouse is calculated to contain 50 men by putting 24 of them in berths and slinging hammocks for the remainder. Also there is Accommodation for one officer.4

Relative to the destruction by Fire, of the Blockhouse, Madawaska [by lightning, Aug. 1855].5

Oromocto Blockhouse, 1814

Oromocto Blockhouse: 22 miles below Fredericton right bank of the St. John River. Built to command the [illegible] and other roads branching out to St. Andrews, Grant Mills, and Magaquadic. The Blockhouse is out of repair.1

Parrsboro Blockhouse, 1812

There is a Blockhouse here [Parrsboro] and the following Ordnance for the gun boat service: Guns, 3 brass 6 pounders, which with their carriages, slides, and ammunition are in good order and complete. This post has been supplied since the war with the United States of America.1

Parsborough Blockhouse: on a Height of land to the town of Parsborough and near the Basin of Minas, which it overlooks, for the security of the Basin of Minas and the protection of the Town and Harbour of Parsborough. Present State, two strong Blockhouses of wood, not kept up.2

This property at Parsborough on the Basin of Minas, and near Partridge Island is no doubt private property. It appeared to have been surveyed by Oliver Igman on 26 September 1786, and sold by James S. Morse to James Ratchford on 9th October 1829 and described as the Lot No. 2 on which the Blockhouse stands.3

38 Plan, elevation and sketches of the blockhouse at Kingston, 1823. (Public Archives of Canada.)

39 Old blockhouse at Kingston, from a watercolour by J.R. Drummond, 1907 (probably no. 5 blockhouse). (Public Archives of Canada.)

40 Point Frederick blockhouse, from a watercolour. (J. Ross Roberton Collection, Meropolitan Toronto Central Library.)

Penetanguishene Bay Blockhouse, 1814

Major Cockburn will be accompanied by fifty Expert Axe Men from the Canadian Fencibles & a Detacht of Sappers & Miners in moving forward for the purpose of being employed by Captain Payne of the Engineers in the construction of a Block House at Penentanguishene Bay.1

Placentia, Castle Hill Blockhouse, 1762

We are in great want of . . . Timber, & Plank to erect a Blockhouse on an advantagious spot which perfectly secures the new Fort.1

Whoever possesses this eminence commands both New and Old Forts. Here it is we are making our greatest Efforts for Defence, on its Summet [sic] in the Ruins of a little Square Fort with half Bastions stands a Block House lately Erected. This little Fort we are busy upon in Picqueting the Ramparts and Mounting Cannon on Wooden Platforms.2

[Request for materials to complete the works at Placentia] . . .

30th July 1762 [included are timbers for completing blockhouse].

Pine Timber 20 feet long 1 foot square pieces — 50 Ditto of the same scantling 24 feet long each piece — 4.3

On The top of a High Hill, stands Castle Graves, a small work Consisting of four Demy Bastions, on which are mounted Twelve Guns Vizt: Four Twelve Pounders, Four Nine Pounders, and Four Six Pounders. — The Ramparts of this Castle are faced round with a Stone Wall, on which there is placed an Earthen Parapet, and a Row of Palisades; the whole is surrounded with a narrow dry Ditch Bordered with Pickets. . . . The Blockhouse, the Guard Room and Magazines within This Fort are in good order and may be serviceable for many years.4

Prescott, Fort Wellington, First Blockhouse, 1813

Lieut. de Gaugreben . . . to erect . . . a Block House [at Prescott].1

Fort Wellington, A great mass of earth badly put together; a work here may be an object as near the head of the Rapids and commencement of using small vessels, in other aspects, the site is not judicious as concerns the land and the breadth of the river is too great to prevent the passing of boats; . . . It will be necessary that the Parapet should be regulated to cover as much as possible the guns from the surrounding high ground, also a Parapet on the top of the Bombproof Blockhouse to bring a fire on the Parapet of the work; . . . The Blockhouse should not be crowded as at present unless in time of necessity.2

If an Entry was gained by assault, The interior Defences of this Work would probably disconcert a very Superior force if well maintained as the Blockhouse is on a very large Scale, Extremely well constructed & forms a most capacious & commodious Barrack both for officers & men.3

Fort Wellington is a Square earthen redoubt having a blockhouse of wood within it, capable of containing 196 men with their officers. There is a magazine built also of wood, but damp and unserviceable. Everything is in decay at this Post.4

Prescott, Fort Wellington, Second Blockhouse, 1838

Specifications for Building a Stone Blockhouse within Fort Wellington . . . 13th August 1838.

The earth, Rubbish, gravel and old foundation to be dug and removed as may be required.

The foundation of the Blockhouse is to be built of good solid rubble Masonry, each stone to be laid on its natural bed, bedded and jointed with mortar made of lime and sand in such proportions as shall be approved by the Commanding Engineer of the District.

The Walls all round above the foundation to be built of the best grey stone to be found in the neighbourhood, to be hammered and dressed, or rather picked in the front and laid in courses of from 8 to 12 inches as the stones can be procured the largest courses at the bottom, but not to be less than 12 inches or more & half the height in the bed: End joints to be squared back at least 9 inches, headers not to be less than 3 feet in the bed & not more than 8 to 10 feet apart, the remaining thickness of the walls to be good substantial rubble masonry well bound in with the courses and sufficiently straight to receive plaster on the inside, the inside walls to be good solid rubble masonry and straight on each side for the reception of plastering.

The whole of the stones to be laid on their natural bed, and the mortar mixed up to the satisfaction of the Commanding Engineer both as regards the proportions of the sand and lime and care in mixing, and to be grouted every second course.

The Corbels to be solid lime Stone or Granite 9 inches thick projecting as shewn in the plan, and their tails extending through the Walls as shewn by dotted lines, the covers of Corbels to be of solid stone not less than 10 inches thick and 2 feet broad.

The Loopholes to be formed agreeably to plan with cut stone and good Arises, Moulds and working plans of which will be given in the progress of the works.

The Corners of the building to be rounded as shewn in the plan to correspond with the Courses of the other parts.

Brick Work
The Arch of Magazine to be turned with two thickness of Brick; of good quality and unexceptional [sic] workmanship, the Contractor to find Centering.

If it should be found necessary to line any part, or the whole of the interior of the building with Bricks, they must be carefully bedded and jointed and laid Flemish bonds.

The interior of the air flues will be formed of Bricks according to the plan.

The interior side walls when required, will be plastered with two coats, Hard finished, the mortar to be well mixed up and a sufficient quantity of hair introduced, ceilings where required to be plastered, will be two coat work on split laths, mortar carefully mixed and haired with not less than one pound of clean washed hair to a Bushel of Lime.

Cellar floor — the whole of the flooring beams to be of white cedar flattened on one side, the small end not less than 8 inches, when flattened and well supported by dwarf wall when required. The flooring to be 2 inch pine plank tongued and grooved and well nailed.

1st Floor — The whole of the flooring beams in the first floor to be 3-1/2 inches thick x 12 inches deep of pine. The flooring to be 2 inch pine plank, tongue and grooved and blind-nailed, in Magazine Room: planks not more than 9 inches broad, and laid broken joint, sufficiently nailed with wrought nails.

Stairs to be Oak tread 1-1/2 inch thick and constructed as shewn in the plan, with oak hand rail, ballasters and Newel posts.

The doors of Store rooms &c to be 2 inches thick, and flush and bead, hung on oak frames, with strong strap or T hinges, and ten inch Iron rimmed dead Locks The magazine door will be made and mounted by the Royal Engineer Department.

The outside doors to be four inches thick of Oak plank and loop holed, hung with strong hinges and double Locks.

2nd Floor — Flooring beams to be 3-1/2 inches thick by twelve inches deep of pine, and laid one foot apart, the flooring plank, pine 2 inches thick, tongued and grooved not more than 8 inches wide, and cedar seasoned stuff free of sap and laid broken joint, small frames and sashes to be put into each of the loopholes, and well fastened with iron hold fasts — stairs similar to those on the first floor.

Upper Floor — Flooring beams to be 3-1/2 inches thick and 13 inches deep and laid one foot apart, Flooring the same as in the 2nd floor.

The Windows to be in the English or French style as the Commanding R. Engineer sees proper and 2 inches thick glaized, with English Glass and well primed previous to glazing, and finished complete with strong fastenings. Doors flushed and bead 2 inches thick, frames Oak, hung with Strong Strap or T hinges, 10 inch iron rimmed dead Locks and strong latches and catches.

Roof. Framed Roof. One principle Rafter in the Centre, with tie beam, Kingpost &c well strapped with Iron — in the usual manner, principal Rafter, — 8 x 9 —, Kingpost 12 x 12 — Struts on braces 6 x 6 — small Rafter 6 at one end 4 at the other and 4 inches thick, covered with 1 inch pine boards reduced to an equal width, with straight edges and good 18 inch shingles laid 4-1/2 inches to the weather, or with 1-1/2 pine grooved [illegible] & covered with tin if reqd. Wall plates 6 x 12 inches.

The whole of the Space between the Tie beams and roof to be filled in Solid with Cedar poles of at least 9 inches diameter, and crossing each other alternately, for the purpose of making the Building splinter roof.

The whole of the Sashes, Sash Frames, Doors, door frames, both in the interior and exterior of the building to be painted 3 coats with the best white lead and linseed oil.

The passage over Corbels to be enclosed all round the building, with 3 inch Oak framework loopholed and well bound in the angles by being let into 6 inch Oak uprights.

All work to be executed in the most substantial and Workmanlike manner, with the best materials, and which be subject to the approval, alteration or rejection of the Senior Royal Engineer or any person deputed by him at any time during its progress or after completion and in any case of any workmen or materials being objected to by the same for any reason whatever, the Contractor hereby binds himself to discharge immediately such Workmen, and remove and replace such material for what will be considered good and unobjectable.

The Contractors shall conform minutely to all instructions in Writing and shall not execute any work without authority in writing. Any extra expense incurred beyond the prices specified in the Contract, owing to the neglect or omission of the Contractor is to be deducted from any sum that is or may be due, or he may be called upon to pay such extra expences to such person as may be appointed to receive the same.

The Contractor shall perform such measured work as may be required within such time as shall be allotted, by Senior Royal Engineers, and if the Contractor fails to complete the first or any subsequent proportion within the time stipulated, that officer shall be at liberty to desire the Contractor to discontinue the work and employ other persons to complete the remaining proportions — any extra expence to be defrayed by the Contractor or if the progress is not deemed sufficient he may hire as many Workmen in addition as he may think necessary at the Contractor's Cost, also the same of materials if not provided in sufficient quantity or of the required quality All materials to be packed and laid down in convenient places, so as not to interfere with any other work that may be required to be performed. No work to be underlet or let by Task work without permission in writing. No work or foundations shall be covered or laid without permission in default thereof it shall be uncovered and examined and made good at the Contractor's expense — who shall be responsible for all Settlements, defects, etc. in the Superstructure. If the Walls or other parts are discovered not to be upright or level any extra work required in consequence shall be at the cost of the Contractor.

No allowance will be made for hammering Walls, Bed and joints.

Such quantities of Lime and grating shall be used in the masonry as may be required by the Superintending Officer.

The backs of all Arches shall be smooth and the flues of Chimnies parquetted, fair and smooth and bored and left clean. The Engineers Department, to be at Liberty without vitiating the Contract to employ Men or supply Materials where thought expedient.

The Contractor to send in his bill when required and to supply without extra charge, the requisite number of persons to assist in the measurements of his Work, also to remove any material or rubbish without delay, that may result from the execution of works performed by him. Prescott, 13th August 1838.1

41 Blockhouse on Point Frederick, Kingston, 1823. (Public Archives of Canada.)

42 Plan of Fort Howe, 1779, by W. Spry, RE. (Public Archives of Canada.)

43 Plan of Saint John, New Brunswick, showing the location of Dorchester Battery and blockhouse, Mortar Battery, Graveyard Battery and Prince Edward Battery. (Public Archives of Canada.)

Prison Island (Coteau-du-Lac) Blockhouse, 1780

We found the Coteau Island extremely well arranged for the accomodation, and security of Prisoners of War, and I think your Excellency will not hear of any making their Escape from thence: the buildings as they now stand have Births for 216 Men, with a separate Room for an Hospital, and another for the Surgeon's Mate, each room has a Fire Place, and contains only 12 Men, . . . these Buildings are commanded by a Blockhouse, and Guard House, . . . I judge the distance from the Coteau to the Island to be about 500 yards.1

Prison Island (Coteau-du-Lac), Second Blockhouse, 1814

It will be further necessary to occupy the upper end of Prison Island immediately opposite the Coteau with a Block House to contain 40 Men, and a small battery in front for two [illegible] Pdrs. to command the Channel. The Present Blockhouses, and buildings on this point, are totally decayed and unserviceable.1

Quebec Blockhouses, 1778

From hence [Hotel Dieu Battery] to Montcalms Wall a Line of Palissades covered with Boards with loop Holes for musquetry, and a small square Redout [sic] in the middle, in which there is a Block House. In this Redout are one 8 & one 7 pounder mounted to scour the Brow to the Right and left. . . . From the North Point of the St. Lawrence Polygon a Line of Palissades goes in a Zig-Zag manner to the Brow of the Cliff, within which stands a Block-house situated too high to fire upon people passing below. . . . There is a Blockhouse before La Glacerie Bastion, another below St. Louis's Gate to keep an Enemy at a Distance. They answer well enough to prevent a surprize.1

Quebec, Cape Diamond Blockhouses, 1797

Estimate of the expence. . . . To Mining & sinking two Pits with Drains for Necissaries to the Blockhouses on Cape Diamond — Repairs to the Roof, Floor and Windows of No. 3 Blockhouse — and to repair, fit up and secure No. 1 Blockhouse for the reception of the Ordnance Stores.1

[Estimate] To repair the Roof & stairs of No. 1 Blockhouse at [Quebec, approved].2

[Estimate approved:] To repair & fit up the lower Rooms of No. 3 Blockhouse on Cape Diamond as Quarters for Troops; making & fixing stove pipes for it.3

We have examined the state of the old Wood Block Houses contiguous to the Powder Magazine on Cape Diamond. We beg leave to report to you they are in so ruinous and dangerous a state that it is indespensably necessary to take immediate steps that they may be removed as soon as possible as any accident by Fire would most probably cause the destruction of the Magazine and Store House adjoining them.4

Quebec, Peninsular Blockhouses, 1759-60

As intelligence had been brought in, that the Enemy had some thoughts ot Stirring about Christmas, in order this winter to regain the honor & advantages they had lost last Summer, to disappoint their designs, as there were no Outworks, I resolv'd to Cover the Fortification of the Town with a Chain of Blockhouses which were according begun upon this day. . . . this measure has put us a L'abre d'un Coup de Main.1

The disorder spread from the left to the Right & the whole Retreat'd, under the Musquetry of our Blockhouses, abandoning their Cannon to the Enemy.2

The damage done to the Blockhouses by the Enemys Cannon, Quite repaired.3

Montresor tells me you seemed surprised at the Precautions I had taken in building Blockhouses in the Winter, but you will not be so, when you hear the designs which were formed, and partly attempted against me in the winter, and when you see the place.4

This Intelligence was brought by Lieut. Montresor. . . . that Brigr Murray had taken post at St. Foix & Lorrette, Whereby his Wood Cutters were perfectly secure as were also his Garrison from a Line of Blockhouses he had Caused to be erected on the outside of his Works. . . . with the Chain of Blockhouses, Quebec is now much more respectable than ever it was.5

Quebec, Point Lévy Blockhouses, 1760

Resolv'd to erect two blockhouses, in Order to Command the High road [at Point Levi] & landing Places, one of them to be a Large one, & two Pieces of Cannon to be put in it.1

Begun also to send over the Timber, for the Two Blockhouses at Point Levi.2

Begun to put up the Blockhouse at Point Levi.3

The large Blockhouse at Point Levi being finish'd, a guard was this day put into it, and Two Guns Mounted therein.4

Began a Blockhouse at Point Levi, to cover the Landing of any Troops I should find necessary to throw over, to Support that Post, or secure their Retreat.5

Finish'd the Blockhouse begun the 13th.6

Begun another small Blockhouse at Point Levi.7

The two small Blockhouses at Point Levi being now finish'd put guards into them.8

I could not think of keeping Post at Point Levi any longer, and orderr'd [sic] the Officer Commanding there, to burn the Blockhouses, Spike the guns destroy the Provision's, and come off with the first tide, wch was effect'd.9

Quebec, Ste Foy Blockhouse, 1760

As I received information the Enemy had reinforc'd some of their advanced Posts, sent a Subaltern & 30 Men to St. Foix, Blew up a Mill in the front of the Town in Order to Erect a Blockhouse on the Spot.1

Queenston Blockhouse, 1814

Queenston: On the mountain above it a Redoubt has been built with a Blockhouse therein for 100 men, another on the opposite side of the Road could much strengthen the Position and has been recommended to Lt. Gen'l Drummond.1

Estimate of the expence required for repairing the Blockhouse and Picketing Queenstown Mountain . . . £64"7"3


Six Hundred feet of Scantling 6 x 4 for Rafters . . . Two Thousand five Hundred feet of Inch Boards for Roofing Twenty Thousand Shingles — Two Hundred feet of Ribbon for Picketing . . . Two Hundred and fifty Pickets not less than 6" diameter Three Hundred four Inch Spikes. Two Hundred Pounds of Shingle Nails.2

The Blockhouse Redoubt is unfinished.3

Queenstown: This Post is about Six Miles from Fort George consists of a Square Redoubt & Blockhouse in the Centre with an advanced Battery — here are likewise very temporary Barracks for the Officers & Men of the Royal Artillery ill adapted to the Nature of their duties, especially as the Field Ordnance are lodged at Fort George — the ground is high & partially commands the Anchorage & Landing place also the roads of communication on either Side as well as into the interior.4

At Queenstown there is a wooden blockhouse and some earth works, thrown up during the war. A range of temporary wooden barracks was also constructed here, but which are now perfectly useless.5

Rideau Canal Blockhouses, 1831

[Merrickville, Kingston Mills, The Narrows, The Isthmus, and Burritts Rapids. For history and structural details of these blockhouses, see R. Laverty, "Report on the Narrows Blockhouse." Manuscript on file, National Historic Parks and Sites Branch, Parks Canada, Ottawa, 1967; and Canada. Department of Indian and Northern Affairs, National Historic Parks and Sites Branch, "Historical Assets of the Rideau Waterway." Manuscript on file, National Historic Parks and Sites Branch, Parks Canada, Ottawa, 1967.]

River Raisin Blockhouse, 1813

River Raisin: At the mouth of this River there is a small Blockhouse at present without Artillery, there should be 2 — 12 Pdr. Carronades in it. It commands the road and bridge, to make a defensive Post of it works in addition would be necessary, but with a view to strengthen the communication it seems of minor importance to other Posts higher up the River.1

There was a blockhouse, and a wooden building consisting of three rooms occupied by a detachment during the war, at the mouth of the River Raisin. The blockhouse has been burnt lately by accident.2

St. Andrews, East Battery and Blockhouse, 1813

East Block House and Battery. Is situated on a point of land at the Eastern extremity of the Town, in the Block House is mounted one 4 poundr. Iron gun on a Standing Wooden Carriage, it will contain 30 men, in front of it is a Breast work to which it is connected by a line of Palisades, inside of the work is a platform on which are mounted 3 eighteen pounder Iron guns mounted on traversing platforms to fire en Barbette. Outside the work are two nine pounders on standing Wooden Carriages, . . . The Block House and Breast Work are in want of repairs.1

East Battery; occupied by a Battery & Blockhouse [2 acres].2

St. Andrews, Fort Tipperary Blockhouse, 1808

I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter informing me of your arrival in this province and I have now to desire you to prepare to set out for Saint Andrews as it is proposed to erect a small work in that neighhourhood for the defence of the frontier.1

Fort Tipperary Is a Star Work situated upon a hill about 700 Yards from the Town, which it commands as well as the Harbor and part of the adjacent Country. It contains three 18 poundrs. and Six 12-poundrs. Iron Guns on Standing wooden garrison Carriages, to fire through Embrasures: it is yet unfinished, but when complete will admit several more guns; here is also a block House which will contain 70 Men, a Bomb-Proof Magazine is constructing, its completion is much to be desired, as the ammunition etc. is far from being in a [illegible] of perfect Security, being deposited in the [illegible] of the guard room within the Fort.2

There is a good wooden blockhouse, calculated for 200 men at St. Andrews. This work was meant as a keep to a large Redoubt, but which was never finished. A stone bomb proof magazine was constructed for the proposed work. It is in good order.3

Fort Tipperary: on a hill in rear of the town of St. Andrew's and close to the Barracks. This Blockhouse was to have been enclosed by an earthen redoubt, but was discontinued at the peace with the United States.4

Tomkin's Hill occupied by a Blockhouse Barrack, Artillery & Comm't Storehouses, Magazine, Fuel Yard etc. [9 acres freehold].5

St. Andrews, Joes Point Blockhouse, 1813

Joe's Point Block House. This work is about one mile from St. Andrews, at the mouth of the River [illegible] opposite the American Post at Robbinstown it will contain about 30 men, and has one 4 pounder in the second story, mounted upon a standing wooden carriage, in front of it was planted a 24 pounder gun upon a standing wood carriage capable of Firing upon the American shore, it has lately been dismounted.1

About a mile from St. Andrews at the mouth of the River Schoodiac and opposite Robbins Town in the United States 1- 24 pounder dismounted. For the defence of the passage and ferry across the river St. Croix. The Blockhouse is in tolerable repair.2

Joe's Point; occupied by a Blockhouse & Battery [1 acre freehold].3

St. Andrews, West Blockhouse, 1813

West Block House and Battery. Is situated at the opposite extremity of the Town, for the protection of the western entrance of the Harbor it is constructed on the same principals as the former [east battery and blockhouse] contains the same number and nature of Ordnance and wants similar repair. The two Blockhouses are about a mile apart.1

There are three batteries, one for four 24 pounders, and two others for 3 each, supported severally by wooden blockhouses. The blockhouses are out of order, and the guns withdrawn from the batteries.2

West Battery: occupied by a Blockhouse, Battery, & Storehouse [2 acres freehold].3

Saint John, Blockhouse near Fort Howe, 1778

I have enclosed an Estimate of the expence of rebuilding the Chimney of the Block-House near Fort Howe which was destroyed by the effect of a heavy Gale of Wind on the 18th Ult. and on account of its being occupied as Barracks. The General judged it indispensably necessary to be immediately replaced which has accordingly been done by our Department.1

In consequence of being oblidged to raise the East & West Parapet of the Work enclosing the Blockhouse adjoining Fort Howe ten feet, I have calculated the Brestplate [sic] to be made with facines owing to the impossibility of giving sufficient firmness to the epaulement of that height formed by the Barrels.2

Saint John, Dorchester Blockhouse, 1793

I will thank you to send me the Lieut. Generals commands respecting the enclosed Estimate for the repair of the roof of Dorchester Block House.1

We have not yet attempted The Roofing of the Block-house at the Lower Cove and I think it most expedient to defer it till the Spring.2

Dorchester Battery. Is a small Earthwork and Blockhouse situated upon the South Extremity of the Peninsula of Saint John containing two 18 pounders and one 8 Inch howitzer.3

Dorchester Blockhouse and Battery: Southernmost point of the peninsula; to defend the entrance to the harbour, and act in concert with the Mortar Battery in defending the beach; Parapet of sodwork enclosed with pickets.4

44 Plan of Fort George, 1799. (Public Archives of Canada.)

45 The three reconstruted blockhouses at Fort George. (Photo by author.)

Sketch of the post at Amherstburg in 1800, by Gother Mann, showing the original large blockhouse within the fort ("a") and the two blockhouses at the naval yard. (Public Archives of Canada.)

Saint John, Fort Drummond Blockhouse, 1812

The new Block House on Carleton side, is well situated to command the Road leading to Musquash, by which an Enemy must March, in the event of a landing either at Musquash or Maquagonish Bay.1

The men who engaged to build Drummond Blockhouse have most positively asserted that they are not to bound to make a porch to that building as they conceive the one at Dorchester Blockhouse (by which they have been governed) is by no means part it — for myself I am of opinion they have an undoubted right to complete the porch, as they are invariable attached to all Blockhouses occupied as Barracks, nor can they be said to be properly habitable without.2

To James Seely and Joseph Clark builders for erecting a Blockhouse 20 ft. Square upon the height above Carlton, for the defence of the Western side of the Harbour of St. John New Brunswick as per accompanying contract approved by Mjr. G. Smith.

In building & completing a Blockhouse 20 feet square — £300-0-0.3

We beg leave to make a tender of our services to your honor to build and complete . . . a Blockhouse in every respect similar to the one built in Dorchester Battery at St. John for the sum of Three hundred pounds.4

Drummond Block House and the adjoining well are finished. May I be authorized to purchase a stove and fix it up.5

Fort Drummond Block House is about 1400 yards in front of Fort Frederic — situated upon very commanding heights which if enclosed (as proposed) with few works would present a very formidable obstacle to the enemy, upon this work are mounted 1-Six Pounder and 1-four Pounder which are Serviceable the Carriages are of wood and Serviceable — their [sic] is 100 Rounds of Ammn. prepared for each of these Guns which is deposited at Fort Frederic, there being no place for them at the Block House.6

Saint John, Fort Frederick Blockhouse, 1812

I should wish to be furnished with the under written Plans and report from you, with as little delay as possible.

1st. — A Plan of Fort Frederick, as it now stands, specifying what buildings there may be on any part of the Parapet; which ought to be immediately taken down. A plan and Estimate of a Blockhouse of one Story, for the centre of Fort Frederick for the additional strength of the work and to contain a detachment of thirty men.1

Estimate of the Expenses of a proposed Blockhouse with a room for an officer adjoining to be built in Fort Frederick one story high and to contain 30 men.

Military Carpenters Work£25-0-0
Labourers do£ 8-0-0



Twenty six Tons of timber . . .
One Thousand feet of 2 Inch Plank . . .
Thirty Pounds of Spikes . . .
Two Pairs of Hooks & Hinges . . .
One lock and Key . . .
One Barrel of Tar . . .
Five Thousand Shingles . . .
One Hundred and eighty Pounds of Shingle nails . . .
One Ream of Paper . . .
One Thousand feet of Boards . . .
Twenty five Pounds of large nails . . .
[Total £103-19]2

Commence on the Blockhouse at Fort Frederick.3

I have sent you a plan and Estimate of a Block House of one story high proposed to be erected in Fort Frederick for your consideration, and which with regular Assistance may be completed in a Fortnight.4

Fort Frederick. Is situated on Carleton Point on the Western side of the Harbor opposite of City it mounts 2 twelve pounders on Standing Wooden Carriages to fire through Embrazures this work is of a Square figure, within it are quarters for a Subaltern and twenty men, and a small magazine built under the parapet to contain all the ammunition for the guns mounted on this side of the Harbor.5

Saint John, Fort Howe Blockhouse, 1777

Lieutenant Governor Arbuthnot & I, formed a plan for taking Post at the entrance of Saint-John's River. I ordered from this place a framed Blockhouse ready to erect, and sent four Six Pounders, with a proportion of Stores.1

There is only one small irregular field work at St. John's Harbour, not far from the mouth of the river, . . . This little work was erected in the course of the late war, in preference to repairing a small square fort [Fort Frederick] thrown up during the former war, . . . the ridge upon which the new fort stands was offered by them, and a work in which there are eight pieces of cannon, barracks for 100 men, and a small blockhouse, were accordingly erected, together with a larger blockhouse at the other end of the ridge. The blockhouses remain but the work which was composed of fascines and sods, is falling down, and the ridge upon which it stands is too narrow to admit of any useful works being constructed upon it.2

I send you the Estimate for . . . repairs to the Palisades which surround the Fort, and a new Porch to the Block House, as the Men of the 29th Reg't. suffer very much for want of a necessary. Brigdr General Hunter has given orders for one to be erected immediately.3

Saint John, Johnston's Blockhouse, 1811

Johnston's Battery is a work constructed at the back of the Town, on a height, in Continuation of a Chain of Batteries for the Protection of the Harbour — an unfinished Block House Stands thereon — the expence of which has been defrayed from the extraordinaries of the Army — four platforms have been ordered by the Honble. Board of Ordnance, Two of which have been laid here capable of Mounting Two Pieces of Ordnance each — without any breast works or picketting surrounding them.1

I have to desire you will with as little delay as possible transmit to me an Estimate for putting Johnson's Block House in sufficient repair to be occupied as a Barrack and specifying therein the number of men it will contain, as also a plan shewing the mode you intend for introducing the Chimneys, you must not omit the expense of a Picket fence inclosing the whole Building at about 40 feet distance from the Blockhouse.2

Your own Estimates of the Block House must be made over again in order that you may include the necessary out houses and well, which will be indispensable upon that building being occupied as a Barrack.3

I am not so satisfied that the four guns, 4 pdr. only which are mounted upon Dorchester and Johnson Blockhouse and which afford the only protection to the Cove and the Back of the Town are of themselves a sufficient defence, the intermediate space upwards of a mile & intersected with such broken ground as to promise a favorable approach to the enemy. Johnson Block House I conceive to be a most important situation having immediately under its command the principal roads and heights in the neighbourhood, lying either the range of cannon shot, and from this importance I am led to recommend its being inclosed with a strong brestwork [sic] not only to secure its safety from fire but to make it a rallying point for the troops in the event of their being pressed by superior numbers.4

To Messrs. Hutcheson and Hemagar, for the undermentioned work performed to Johnson Block House, situated on the heights in the rear of the City St. John New Brunswick. . . .

For Laying new floors, making and hanging the door, port shutters, raising a new Chimney and shingling the outside of the whole building. — £100-0-0.5

The erection of the Chimney in Johnston's Blockhouse has been unavoidably delayed for the want of bricks.6

Johnson's Battery and Block House, is a Small work constructed in rear of the City it consists of 2-9 Pounders, with 2-4 Prs. in the Block House, all of which have 100 rounds of ammn. each with side arms, and Small Stores, complete this Work covers the main road leading into the Town, and also connects the chain of Batteries for the Defence of the Harbor.7

Johnston's Battery and Blockhouse: On the Eastern side of the town, on a height in continuation of a chain of batteries; for the protection of the Eastern side of the city, and to command the Inslet [sic] of the sea on that side named Courtney Lake.8

Johnston's Blockhouse: Freehold occupied by the Blockhouse only and including half of King's Street.9

Ground vested in the Crown by Act of General Assembly of the Province of New Brunswick 3rd March 1813 whereon Johnson's Blockhouse stands [one acre freehold].10

Saint John, Partridge Island Blockhouse, 1812

Your are to proceed immediately upon making the two lower floors of the Lighthouse on Partridge Island musquetry proof and placing births therein for 60 men also building an officers quarters for a Captain & 2 Subalterns with a Cook House for the men. Also to inclose the level ground on which the Light House stands, (about 200 feet by 100) with a parapet 5 feet 6 In. high complying with the shape pointed out, as nearly as the ground will admit, it is proposed to place Six 24 pounders on Traversing Platforms in this work as shewn in the sketch.1

The Block House comprising the Officers Quarters and Cooking house for the men, I have placed in the center of the other half of the Curve which will tend to support the Light House in any attack that might be made upon it within the Work.2

On Partridge Island at the mouth of the harbour there is a battery for seven 24 pounders, supported by a wooden blockhouse capable of holding 60 men, but out of order. This Island we think ought to be occupied in a more permanent manner by a strong tower surrounded by heavier battery.3

A circular work with a Blockhouse in the interior.4

Partridge Island at the Mouth of the Harbor: Battery, Magazine, and Blockhouse Barrack thereon. . . . The Island granted by Charter to the City Corporation within right of entry to the Crown.5

Signal Hill Blockhouse, 1795

[For the history of this area and a thorough structural report see A.J.H. Richardson, "History of the Signal Hill Area St. John's, Nfld." Manuscript on file, National Historic Parks and Sites Branch, Parks Canada, Ottawa, 1962; and George Ingram, "A Structural History of the Fortifications and Military Buildings at Signal Hill, Nfld." Manuscript on file, National Historic Parks and Sites Branch, Parks Canada, Ottawa, 1964.]

Sorel Blockhouses, 1781

Two Blockhouses, each may Contain 30 Men.1

Directions being given to Captain Humfrey, to fix up the Blockhouse and house adjoining, as Quarters for a Company in addition to the present Barrack at this Post, . . . you will furnish upon Captain Humfries requisition, with all practicable expedition, the necessary Materials for the same, which will consist chiefly of 1/2 and 2 Inch Pine Plank, and some small Pine Scantling.2

Sydney Mines Blockhouse, 1759

I have had a Number of Miners Employed thro' the winter at the Colliery, which is about ten Leagues Distance from Hence: In the Autumn I had a Blockhouse Built and have keep'd [sic] an Officer and party of Fifty Men there to Serve not only as a Safe Guard against the Indians . . . but also as Labourers.1

Sydney Mines, First Blockhouse

I have made the most diligent enquiry of persons who have been on the Spot and employed in working them [the coal mines], and find that there is a Blockhouse, Barracks, and Storehouses for lodging the Workmen, Tools, and Provisions.1

The only place on the Island [Cape Breton] in any respect defencible, is a small Blockhouse at the mines, capable of containing fifty men, and on which there are four four pounders (but ought to be nines). There are the ruins of two or three batteries, which have been ill-constructed or ill-placed.2

I arrived [at Spanish River] on the 14th Day of May [1778] and continued there doing everything in my power for the good of His Majesty's Service by digging and preparing Coals to load Transports which were continually sent to take them away, also fortifying a Post which was absolutely necessary for the protection of the people employed in the Mines and to save the Coals prepared for Exportation from being burned by the Rebels in case of an attack.3

Sydney Mines, Second Blockhouse, 1795

I have given orders to the Commanding Engineer, Captain Straton, to carry into execution the immediate erection of Blockhouses in the two Islands [Cape Breton and Prince Edward Island] as pointed out to him by Major General Sir William Green, in his letter of the 28th March.1

The Blockhouse; the Roof to be repaired, and the whole Building to be painted also the Platform on the lower Floor to be taken up and relaid. The Picketting Round the building to be repaired. — There are four, Iron 4 Pounders mounted on Garrison carriages with Wooden Trucks within the Blockhouse all serviceable, but wants painting. The Battery to be repaired — There are mounted on this battery, Four 12 pounders, on Traversing and Garrison carriages.2

In the rear of the battery is a Blockhouse with the following Ordnance mounted thereon: Ordnance Guns, Iron — 4 English 12 pounders. The carriages and traversing platforms are serviceable. A sufficient proportion of ammunition in readiness for each piece, the station being out of the probable line of attack (except for a Privateer) it is not necessary to keep a large proportion of ammunition there.

An N.C.O. of the Royal Artillery and six Gunners are stationed there in charge of the Ordnance and Stores.3

Coal Mine Battery at Sydney is situated on the Spanish River three Miles below the Bar and about nine from the Town of Sydney. It is a Barbette Work and mounts the following Artillery viz Guns Iron 12 Pounders 4 English. . . . In the rear of the Battery is a Block House with the following Ordnance mounted thereon Guns Iron 4 Pounders 4 English Which with their Carriages are in a good State and a sufficient proportion of ammunition ready for each piece.4

On the north side of the Spanish river, 3 miles below the bar, and 9 miles from the town of Sydney. For the defence of the Harbour and the protection of the mining establishment. State: The Blockhouse out of repair, the Battery in Ruins.5

Turkey Point Blockhouse, 1814

Lieutenant Wilson with a few of those men, to Turkey Point, for the purpose of erecting cover for the Wing of the 37th Reg't. at present there. Capt. Payne has recommended this cover to consist of Four Block Houses, connected by a strong stockade; as being easiest erected, both as cover and defence, at this season of the year.1

When Lieut. Gaugreben of the Engineers was here he commenced a Log Redoubt, which Capt. Payne intends finishing immediately as it will answer as a Defence in case of attack and at the same time make an exceeding good Barrack for Three or Four hundred men he hopes to have it finished in three weeks when I trust more troops will be sent to assist him in his works.2

Winter Cantonment [of troops] at Turkey point and Long Point for the purpose of being employed . . . in the construction of Blockhouses on the Site intended for a Dock Yard.3

I left 5 sappers & miners with Lt. Willson at Turkey Point, by Lt. Gen'l Drummond's advice...The high ground at Turkey Point presents a fine feature for a work; and I had laid down on paper a Fort, with the intention of commencing it in the spring; and for the present had commenced a Block House, lined with earth, having a ditch palisaded, and a covered way; and which could contain about 400 Men.4

Turkey Point: A Blockhouse is in forwardness here which it was proposed to cover by a glacis etc, but as the Plan seemed to look only to defense, without combining convenient accommodation for the Troops, and the necessary appendages to such a Post, I have with the approbation of Lt. General Drummond directed it to be altered to answer these purposes.5

Turkey Point: There is a fine Blockhouse for about 300 men in considerable progress, which I beg much to recommend should at least be covered with a slight roof to preserve it as much as possible: it would be a great barrier against the incursion of an Enemy who attempted to land near it, & inspire confidence amongst the inhabitants in that neighbourhood, but I do not apprehend it would immediately protect the naval Establishment that I understand was once proposed near this place.6

A blockhouse and some wooden buildings were constructed here many years ago, now perfectly in ruins.7

Welshuns Point Blockhouse, 1814

A Redoubt has been thrown up and a Blockhouse built within it for 100 men — they are neither as yet complete.1

Worden's Blockhouse and Battery, 1813

Worden's Battery and Block House. This is a small work erected on the bank of the River Saint John, at a narrow passage abut 30 miles above the City, the Battery mounts three 10 pounders on standing wooden Carriages to fire over the parapet. The Blockhouse is upon a height 150 yards in the rear of the Battery, and is constructed so as to contain two four pounders in the second story, the guns of the Battery have lately been dismounted and the carriages put into the Block House.1

Worden's Battery and Blockhouse is erected on a narrow passage of the River St. John's, about 30 miles above the city, the guns in this battery have been dismounted. The carriages have been put into the Blockhouse which is situated about 150 yards in the rear of the battery on a commanding height.2

Built to defend the passage from the right to the left bank of the St. John River, and to command the roads along the left bank from Fredericton to St. John. Blockhouse out of repair. Battery not kept up.3

Yamaska Blockhouse (Lower), 1778

I likewise visited the new Post on the River Yamaska, and found the Guard very attentive, this Post is at the highest Settlement, and very near the great road leading from St. Charles; they have an advanced Guard of four men at the first Fork, which is about Six Leagues above the Post.1

A party of 14 Men will be quite sufficient for the Summer, but that such a Party is very necessary, because the Indians have been accustomed to go from this River into Mississque Bay at most Seasons, and the Post is very near the Cart road leading from St. Charles: besides there are from 50 to 70 Inhabitants, who are all exceedingly well armed, and certainly were by no means Friends to Government, as well as very disobedient to the Captain of Militia.2

On the 15th we proceeded to the lower Blockhouse, which is nearly in the same state of defence as last year, tho' the Officers Appartments were newly fitted up last Fall.3

Yamaska Blockhouse (Upper), 1781

No Endeavours of mine shall be wanting to fulfill your Intentions in cutting Timber, for a New Blockhouse on the [Yamaska] river.1

From the Situation of the New Blockhouse at Yamaska, I wish to preserve it a frontier Post, therefore permanent, which you will consider in the construction of it.2

I have visited the situation proposed for the Block House just below the Rapids of the River Yamaska; its distance from the present One, is about 7 Leagues on the Ice. . . . The Situation proposed is very advantageous, being on the West Shore, at the foot of the Rapids, on a rising Ground, which is about 30 Feet above the level of the Ice, and higher than any part of the adjacent Country: just under it, lies a small Island, called Isle a L' Aille. . . . they are squaring some excellent Timber for the Blockhouse, and will continue to do so, and to clear the Wood for the distance of 250 yards from the Post, until the Season permits them to dig the Cellar, (which I propose shall be Proof against small Shells,) and to proceed with the other Works, necessary for forming the whole into a permanent advanced Post.3

We walked to the upper Blockhouse, which is at least 21 miles, — . . . the Work is exceedingly well finished, and by having a Bomb Proof Cellar, and being surrounded with a Picketing and glacis, may be considered as a Post of considerable Defence. . . . The Woods round the new Blockhouse are cut down for about 200 yards, and the Island before it, is almost cleared.4

Yarmouth Blockhouse, 1812

There is a Battery and Blockhouse at this place [Yarmouth]. There are mounted the following ordnance Guns

— 12 pounders — 2 iron
— 4 pounders — 1 iron
— 3 pounders — 2 Brass1

On the southwest point of Bunkers peninsula, in the rear of the battery stands a Blockhouse. Purpose: for the defence of the town and harbour, and to protect the coasting trade. There is a two storey Blockhouse surrounded by a parapet with a 4-gun battery in front, also a wooden magazine and guardhouse, not kept up.2

On Bunker's Peninsula there can be traced the site of a Block House and a four Gun Battery. 3 Iron Guns, and 2 Iron carriages quite unserviceable are still on the ground.3

York, Coast Battery and Blockhouse, 1814

In advance of this Work [2nd Fort York] there is an old Blockhouse on the main road leading to Burlington bordering on the Lake about half a mile distant, also a Battery about the same distance on the coast, inclosed & defended at the Gorge by a small blockhouse.1

The blockhouse in the rear of the battery in advance of the fort [400 yards], as also the battery itself, are very much out of repair.2

York, First Town Blockhouse, 1798

A Block or Defencible Guard House in the Town of York. This House was built as a Guard House for the Militia of York, should the Indian War with which we were threatened in the Winter of 1798, have required their being embodied.1

The Kitchens at the Block House in Town have been long finished, but . . . I have not yet been able to obey the Generals directions, to send a Party to occupy them.2

I beg leave to suggest, for the information of His Honor the General, — that one of the Companies now going into the Garrison of York, should be sent to the Blockhouse on the East end of the Town, in order to cover the same; and to prevent surprize from a landing on the peninsula, should it be attempted, for before a detachment could March from the Garrison to defend either of the passes of the River Don, the Town might burnt, [sic] as the Company therein, have few or nor Arms of defence, & therefore could not make resistance, and I must beg leave to observe it would be then too late [to] Arm, or rather before the Company could receive Arms and Ammunition, the attempt might be effected.3

York, Fort York (First) Blockhouse, 1797

I shall in consequence move the Council for their concurrence to my erecting a Blockhouse for the Accommodation of part of the Queen's Rangers, and to be an occasional shelter to the Inhabitants, should any sudden Irruption of Indians break in upon them, and I shall be obliged to your Excellency if you permit the Engineer Lieut. Pilkington to give directions for laying out the ground here to the best advantage for answering that end, and to draw out an Estimate of the probable Expence.1

Before my receipt of your Excellency's Letter of the 21st: I had requested the favor of Lieut. Pilkington of the Royal Engineers to go over to York; and after viewing the ground occupied by the Queen's Rangers, to recommend such a disposition of it as may supply the Regiment with comfortable winter Quarters at the least possible expence to the public. I gave him leave at the same time to make use of the frame of a Blockhouse, which had been prepared there under General Simcoes Orders, but never raised. Upon Mr. Pilkington's return the day before yesterday he showed me the Plan he had formed with the assistance of the Blockhouse for providing a Barrack for Seventy Men, which with a little repair to the Huts within the Stockade of last Winter will amply accomodate the whole Regiment.2

Garrison of York, A large Block House Barrack occupied by the Kings Troops.3

A spot called the garrison, stands on a bank of the main land opposite to the point [Gibraltar], and consists only of a wooden block-house, and some small cottages of the same materials, little superior to temporary huts.4

Abstract of Expense incurred for Materials furnished for the building of a Blockhouse . . . at York, between the 10th of September and 24th of December, 1797....

1. For Four Tois of Stone furnished for building a foundation to the Blockhouse — £16.

2. For nineteen thousand bricks delivered for building a Chimney the new Blockhouse and for repair of Barrack chimneys at York — £24-7-6.

3. For Boards and Plank furnished for erecting a Blockhouse and Repair of Barracks — £62-15-9.

4. For squared timber furnished for a Blockhouse erected as a Barrack for the accommodation of the Troops at York. To four hundred feet running of Pine Timber 12 by 14 inches . . . £3-10-0.

5. For Fatigue men employed in the Transport of Materials for erecting a Blockhouse — £9-14-3.

6. For Materials furnished for a blockhouse . . . 7000 shingles . . . £13-2-6; 60 Barrels of Lime . . . £29-0-0.5

York, Gibraltar Point Blockhouses, 1798

To the Corps of Queen's Rangers [illegible] for Fatigue men and Artificers employed in . . . filling up with Earth and Banking round the Blockhouse — Storehouses on Gibraltar Point, at York, between 1st January and 30 June 1800 . . . £3-17-1/2.1

Gibraltar Point. Two Block House, [sic] Store Houses, — and a Guard-House. These two Houses are built of square Logs and Weather-boarded, and have Loop-holes in the second Story; they were erected for the purpose of containing the Government Stores shipped at London in 1792 on the Scipio, and are now employed for that Service. The Guard House was built for the accomodation of the Guard necessarily required for the protection of the Guard Stores.2

A long and narrow peninsula, distinguished by the appellation of Gibraltar Point, forms, and embraces this harbour, securing it from the storms of the lake, and rendering it the safest of any, around the coasts of that sea of fresh waters. Stores and blockhouses are constructed near the extremity of this point.3

York, Second Blockhouse on Gibraltar Point, 1814

Blockhouse & Glacis at Gibraltar point completed.1

47 The two blockhouses at the naval yard, Amherstburg, 1796. (Public Archives of Canada.)

48 Plan of Fort St. Joseph, 1800. The blockhouse is marked "a." (Public Archives of Canada.)

York, Second Fort York Blockhouses, 1813

The Commanding Engineer has received my Orders to Erect two Capacious substantial Blockhouses at York in part of a Plan for the better occupation of that post.1

I have directed Lt. Col. Battersby to detach 100 men to reoccupy York. I am glad to find your Excellency has decided to erect Block Houses there in order to render the place tenable.2

The Blockhouses on account of the badness of weather and the want of materials have been delayed however they are raised to the second floor and should the weather prove favorable I have every reason to believe that one of 60 feet by 40 feet and one of 40 feet square will be roofed and shingled by the 30th Instant.3

I am concerned to say that the defences of this place are still incomplete; neither of the two Block Houses already began being as yet roofed in, and as the site upon which they have been erected is much exposed to be battered from shipping. I have given directions, that the third be placed in a more retired position, and built of much more substantial materials, the timber of the other two being too slight to admit of guns except of small calibre being placed in them.4

In consequence of a Draft of 50 men to join the Head Quarters of the 79th Regt from Europe and it being ascertained that a reduction in the accomodation of the other Buildings which were found too crowded must eventually be made, a sum was therefore inserted in the annual estimates for 1833 to repair and put Block House No. I into thorough order so as to render it fit to contain the overplus. . . . Major General Sir John Colborne was pleased to order that this Block House should be immediately fitted up as a Barrack which has been done with the exception of Shingling the Roof.5

Workmanship and Materials — In lowering the floor of the 1st Story, & raising Ceiling Joists in Upper Story to give Sufft. head room, taking up and relaying the floors in the Lower & Upper Rooms, repairing the Chimneys, Loopholes And Windows in Upper Story, altering the Communications to Upper and lower rooms by Cutting out and Completing a Door in the lower Story, forming an interior Porch and Stair Case to communicate with the Upper Story, taking down old Step Ladders & closing up the former entrances, also Whitewashing the Interior, and performing temporary repairs to the Roof.6

Block House No. 1 is the next complained of, and altho' not being wanted as a Barrack, was for some time used by the Barrack master as a Store, it was never condemned, and when the cholera broke out in 1832, the medical officer having recommended that the number of men in each Barrack should be reduced, it was repaired and fitted up at an expense of £140 to afford the additional accommodation then required, in doing which, the floor of the lower Room having a useless cellar under it, was lowered to render the room more lofty and comfortable, and the Joists and Boards which were perfectly sound were relaid and although not grooved and tongued the Boards were fresh joined and battened under the joints and is [sic] as close as any floor of the kind. . . . Both this Block House and also No. 2 appear to me to be very good Barracks and in a very good State; but the rooms being very large those in No. 1 being 38 feet square affording accommodation for 35 men in each, and one Room in No. 2 being 58 Feet by 38 Feet allotted for 60 men, they require a proportionate quantity of Fuel to warm them.7

There are also two wooden blockhouses within the fort, very much in decay.8

The work on the site of the late Government House is in an unfinished state; the ditch in front excavated and parapet about 8 feet high, there are Quarters within it for 11 officers, and 2 Blockhouses and splinter proof Barracks which will contain together 668 men — also 1-24 pr., 3-18, 1-9, & 2-6 Mounted and 2-24 pr. for carronades.9

York, Ravine Blockhouse, 1814

I approve, however, of your having directed the third Block House to be constructed upon a more retired position — & of more substantial materials.1

Surrounding Ravine Blockhouse with a Palisade . . . also a glacis.2

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