The last naval battle between France and England for the possession of the North American continent occurred in 1760 in the Bay of Chaleur. The French flotilla was made up of three ships: the Machault, the Bienfaisant and the Marquis de Malauze, sent from France with supplies and backup for their troops stationed on the St. Lawrence.
The English were on alert to prevent the arrival of supplies to Quebec and upon learning of the presence of French ships in the Restigouche estuary, the English prepared an attack. The battle that ensued is the subject of a national museum, the Battle of the Restigouche National Historic Site in Pointe-à-la-Croix. This archaeological site provides an important window onto the culture of 18th-century North America.
The Battle of the Restigouche National Historic Site is located at the mouth of the Restigouche River, at the far end of Chaleur Bay. An interpretation centre built in front of the battle site exhibits the remains of an 18th-century French frigate recovered during underwater archeological excavations. The site is managed by Parks Canada.
After resting for more than 200 years at the bottom of the Restigouche estuary, the wreck of The Machault has finally revealed its secrets.
Thanks to underwater archaeological excavations conducted from 1969 to 1972, a large collection of artifacts was uncovered, which have added to knowledge of the battle and the type of trade occurring between France and the colony during this period. A set recreates the interior of this ship and a film relates the events of the naval confrontation.
The most popular interpretation activity is the demonstration of loading of one of the cannons recovered from the wreck of The Machault.
A scenic lookout offers a view out over the Restigouche River and the site of the battle as well as Campbellton, a city in New Brunswick. A number of picnic tables have also been made available to visitors who wish to enjoy the area a bit longer.
Early June to mid October: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Reservations required during off season.
Commercial Group, per person: $2.95
School Groups, per student: $1.95
P.O. Box 359, Route132