Madawaska North: Fortin de Petit-Sault  LbNA # 34321

OwnerThe von der Insels    
Placed DateAug 19 2007
CountyNew Brunswick, CAN
LocationEdmundston, NBR
Found By blackwidow05
Last Found Nov 19 2009
Hike Distance?

This is a Letterbox. It is not a Geocache Hybrid!

Madawaska means ‘Land of the Porcupines’ in a native tongue. I’ve seen it said to be of Wulastuk-wick (Malecite – the ‘dwellers on the beautiful river’) or of Mikmaq origin, but it’s definitely Northern Algonquin. Despite the porcupines, the Acadians found the land to be both beautiful and generous for farming. The First Nations in the area – mostly the Wulastuk-wick – got along very well with this kind of European. The Acadians are a happy, family-oriented, music-loving, culturally-outgoing people.

Despite the Ashburton-Webster Treaty (or Webster-Ashburton Treaty, depending on who you ask), or our more recent border troubles, the border doesn’t separate the huge extended families ranging all through the St. John River Valley.

To find the northern half of the two boxes, go to Edmundston! Take US Route 1 to the Madawaska-Edmundston border crossing, or take the Canadian Route 2, exit 18 to the Fortin de Petit-Sault. It’s at the corner of Route 144 and Rue St. Jean, down by the confluence of the Madawaska and Saint John Rivers, not very far from the border crossing. Once in the neighborhood, look up. See the three-storey blockhouse (upper two stories are wood, bottom is well-built rock) up on a huge rock?

You don’t have to go inside to get the letterbox. Park in the lot and walk over to the two flagpoles. One flies the New Brunswick Provincial flag and the other flies the Republique Madawaska flag (but you can ask the guides about that). At the New Brunswick flagpole, look at the other flagpole, towards the blockhouse stairs. To the left of the pole, you’ll see a stone retaining wall just screaming out “Put a letterbox here!” Take five or six steps from the Republique de Madawaska pole to the embankment, kneel down and pull the box out of that lovely niche.

So while you’re here, aren’t you going to take the tour? The artifacts on display are neat, and the views are phenomenal. The tour guides will tell you about the Aroostook War and show you a short film about how the fort was rebuilt exactly like the original, which was destroyed by fire.

Then maybe go down the road for some good plogues et cretons before you go get the Madawaska South letterbox in Van Buren, ME.