La Fountain is located to the west of Castle Hill and north of Placentia Roadstead. Come visit the boardwalk built along the water’s edge to stroll along the area where throughout history many stopped to avail of the cool free flowing and refreshing drinking water.
To the early French settlers it was Lafontaine, literally translated as “The Spring” or “The Fountain”. The name, Lafontaine, refers to a focal point, the brook which, from its upcountry source, meandered and cascaded along sloping ground to Freshwater Cove. For centuries many have thrived by and drank from its once salubrious waters. Among these have been the French military leader, Sieur Pierre Lemoyne d’Iberville; the Abenaki Indian chief and notorious scalper, Nescambiouit; Captain James Cook, the great English cartographer; and of course, early settlers such as the Kellys and Murphys.
When Commodore Williams attacked Placentia in the fall of 1692, the greatest threat to the French was that the English would take command of the heights above the fort. To prevent this, the Baronde Lahontan marched to Freshwater Cove with 60 Basque Fishermen to provide resistance to any attempted landing. After this attack, a permanent battery was installed at La Fontaine Battery. Several canons were placed on the site and were manned from Artillery watches from Fort Louis.
Lafontaine was important for two reasons. It afforded a ready supply of fresh water and it presented a strategic location. A permanent battery was installed at La Fontaine as the result of an incursion by the English is 1692.
This area is the focal point of the Freshwater Travelers Loop Trailway. Signage is erected showing a map and photos of highlights along the trek. This site has been dedicated to the memory of John McCue and Isabel Roche for their untiring efforts to have this location duly recognised for its historic significance. Take advantage of the gazebo on site to rest and the spectacular viewpoint to take photos of this notable location. Parking is available on site.
GPS Location: N 47° 15089, W 53°58455