Below is an article submitted to a staff newsletter at the fortress of Louisbourg about my volunteer experience in the summer of 2015.
MEET ONE OF OUR VOLUNTEERS
Elizabeth Struthers has been in communication with various staff here at the Fortress of Louisbourg for close to three years. Elizabeth or Liz as she prefers to be called is from the province of Manitoba. Liz, an amateur writer, has been writing a novel which is based on her research of 18th century Louisbourg and, in particular, that of a servant during that era. Liz also holds a Master’s degree in Social Work with a major in family studies. She presently works as a social worker for the province of Manitoba focusing on adults with disabilities.
Her first trip to Atlantic Canada was with her parents in 2003. However, it wouldn’t be until early in 2013 that she would call to arrange for a tour at the Fortress. Liz, accompanied by her parents arrived during the summer of 2013. She would take in as much as possible during this first initial visit but would vow to return. In the fall of 2014 she and her parents booked a cruise that was to take them to the port of Sydney and from there take a taxi to the historic site of Louisbourg. However, this was not to be as a storm at sea would see their ship go no further than the port of Halifax.
Disappointed but not one to give up Liz would reach out to us once again. This time it was a request to be a volunteer. She had a great desire to put herself in the shoes of her character’s and was excited to spend her two week vacation here with the Fortress of Louisbourg team. She would fulfill a dream while providing us with feedback on the many areas she was able to volunteer including feedback on programs, accessibility, etc. Liz has a visual disability but saw lots and provided valuable insight to the many of us who were fortunate enough to spend time with her during the two weeks she spent here.
On a foggy and damp day in July Liz would finally see her wish come true as she would for the first time put on the costume of a servant and step into the past.
Liz continues to communicate with staff members and has found an even greater connection to the past and present here at the Fortress of Louisbourg.
Submitted by K. Pink
Did You know that pockets were not part of women's clothing in the 18th century?
A pocket, in French, is called a poche. It was an accessory that was tied around a woman's waist and worn under her skirt. She would reach into a slit in the skirt to fetch small items, such as a handkerchief.
The picture above is a framed reproduced 18th century woman’s pocket. It was a gift I received from a costumed interpreter when I was a volunteer at the Fortress of Louisbourg. The embroidery design is similar to designes of the 18th century and the stitching was done using techniques of that time period. This lovely piece of work inspired me to include a description of a pocket in the novel. Read Therese’s story to find out how she came to own an embroidered pocket.