The Fort de l'Île Sainte-Hélène, an historic site on Saint Helen's Island
that belongs to the city of Montreal
, was constructed in the early 1820s as an arsenal in the defensive chain of forts built to protect Canada
from a threat of American invasion.
Although not heavily fortified, it served an important purpose as the central artillery depot for all forts west. These included Fort Henry and Fort Lennox. The red stone used to build the Fort is a breccia quarried on the island, which is situated in the St. Lawrence River between the island of Montreal and the south shore.The Levis
Tower, contrary to popular belief, was not part of the fortifications on the island. It was built in the 1930s to house a water tower.
Today the Fort is also home the David M. Stewart Museum, an institution founded in 1955 to collect, store and display historical artefacts from Canada's colonial past, particularly that of New France
. The museum collections include artefacts dating from the 16th century through to the 19th century. Both the Fort and the museum are open year-round.
David M. Stewart Museum
The museum, housed inside the garrison features a permanent exhibition and an annual one, usually opened in the spring months. During the summer months, the museum plays host to reconstituted 18th century regiments that perform daily military maneuvers. The regiments, the Olde 78th Fraser Highlanders and Les Compagnies Franches de la Marine perform daily musket drills, fife and drum and bagpipe shows.