Saint John — In a startling example of history repeating itself, descendants of the Acadian military say that they are responsible for property damage at Fort La Tour that took place early Wednesday morning.
While recreating a long-forgotten battle that took place almost 400 years ago, the pretend-soldiers say that they accidentally set the landmark fort ablaze.
“Well, we were just trying to have some fun là, but we didn’t mean to cause le damage or anything,” said one re-enactor, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “We got a bit carried away and things just got out of control.”
The descendant explained that Fort La Tour was a flashpoint in the Acadian Civil War. Two rival French commanders battled fiercely for control of the colony of Acadia — known today as the Maritime provinces. Saint John was the headquarters for Charles de Saint-Étienne de la Tour, for whom the fort is named. While La Tour lost control of the fort in the Siege of Saint John in 1645, he eventually returned as governor of Acadia in 1653 after his former rival died. The British attacked in 1654 and seized control of the fort, and the area remained under British control.
“I come from a long line of Acadian Civil War reenactors,” said the descendant. “My grandfather always wanted to re-create the Siege of Saint John at Fort La Tour…he was obsessed! Mon Dieu, I think him and his friends spent too long talking about this at the tavern, non?
“Anyways, on his deathbed he made my mother swear that she would make his dream come true someday. She has been bugging me about ‘taking back the fort’ since she heard there was an $1.8 million restoration! I’m like, ‘Maman, what do you expect me to do? I’m not an actor or a soldier!’ but I figured we’d go up there and take some selfies to make her happy.
“We showed up really early in the morning on Wednesday, no one was around. Me and my cousins decided to just relax and boil some lobster to celebrate our ‘conquest,'” he said making air quotes, “but, the propane burner fell over in the commotion and started a fire. We might have had a few too many Alpines…we’re very sorry!
“I sent the pictures to my mother though…now she thinks we took the fort and she’s moving in there! Did I mention she’s crazy?! Mon Dieu.”