The First Québec Settlement
Samuel Champlain was responsible for the construction of two Québec settlements between 1608 and 1628. He selected the location of the first settlement at the foot of Cap Diamont where the St. Lawrence River narrows. The name “Québec” is derived from the Algonquin language of the Native peoples who frequented the region. It means “narrowing of the river.” Champlain knew it would be a good site for fur trade. This 1608 engraving of the first Québec settlement was executed by Champlain and published in his The Voyages in 1613. The settlement consisted of three two-storey houses built in a U shape around a courtyard and a one-storey storehouse with a cellar. The first storehouse, used to store trade goods and furs, was a wooden structure and was replaced by a stone building between 1616 and 1621. A dovecote was used as a watchtower in the courtyard.