Ephrem Boudreau was born in River Bourgeois in 1905. After his classical studies from 1922 to 1928, he spent three years at agricultural school. There he earned bachelors’ degrees in arts and one in agricultural science. In addition, he acquired a diploma in Social Sciences from l’Université de Laval in 1935.
He also authored Riviere Bourgeois from which this history is taken and translated.
Around the time the Fortress of Louisbourg was being built or perhaps even before that, there was, midway between Port Toulouse (St. Peter’s) and River Bourgeois, a factory manufacturing bricks called “La Briquerie.”
The Brickyard was established out of necessity, partly because the Fortress of Louisbourg required bricks, and also because bricks were necessary for the construction of chimneys for Louisbourg and elsewhere. It can be assumed that the kind of clay needed for the manufacture of bricks was not available at Louisbourg, and with a favourable wind, Port Toulouse was only a day’s journey from Louisbourg.
Where exactly was The Brickyard? It was situated on the northwest shore of St. Peter’s Bay. Its position, geographically, made it part of the River Bourgeois parish. The area was characterized by two small headlands quite close to one another and extending only a short distance into the bay. Modern maps refer to these headlands as Brick Point and Sutherland Head.
Guided by certain older residents, we later found in The Brickyard a cemetery and old foundations. Thus, there were some people who lived there. This confirms Sieure de la Roque’s census of 1752. When he made his tour of the region, he noted the old inhabitants of The Brickyard who were settled there and which were given to them verbally by Mr. de Saint-Ovide and the Norman… situated on the coast of St. Peter’s.
There were four families and their children, plus one servant, Thomas Nolen (a native of Ireland). The names of these families included: Honoré Prejean, 40 years old, married to Marie Brossard, and their children Foelix, 11; Ciprien, 5; Julien, 2; two other boys, two-and-a-half months; Marie-Anne, 9; Félicité, 7; Madeleine, 2.
Another family included Marguerite Dugas, 46 years old, widow of Joseph Boudrot and her children: Louison, 19; Charles, 14; and Marguerite, 16.
Joseph Boudrot, 20 years old, was another inhabitant. He was married to Judict Fougère, 19 years old, and they had a child Jeanne, who was four months.
Another resident was 25-year-old Pierre Boudrot, married to Josette Dugas, 19 years old.
Today’s Acadians, at least the older ones, still speak of The Brickyard. It is amazing that this name continues to be remembered for 250 years.
In the book Les Derniers Jours de l’Acadie (The Last Days of Acadia) an allusion was made to “La Briquerie” in a footnote.
After a discussion of soil samples on Cape Breton, it was stated: “What we know for certain, and what will be of advantage to the colony, which I have explained in other reports, is that the soil will be of great benefit to the bricklayer.
“Without doubt this will be a great advantage to the colony both for its own particular use and to supply our American islands. But, before too much enthusiasm, we must determine if it will succeed and at what price. We have for a long time had such a facility at Port Toulouse and therefore are obliged to abandon this settlement.”