Across the river from Annapolis, this site was selected by explorer Samuel de Champlain and survivors in his company after spending the disastrous winter of 1604 on St. Croix Island between New Brunswick and Main. For 8 years the group lived here. To keep spirits up, they formed the Order of Good Cheer, a periodic feast designed to distract them during the long, cold winters. The buildings here are rustic shelters built with techniques the pioneers brought with them from France. This 1939 reproduction is convincing: costumed interpreters work away at traditional handicrafts like carpentry and cooking. Have the interpreters show you some of the techniques and tools (such as “rat-tailing” and “mortise and tenon”) used in construction. They'll talk about life in the colony during those difficult early years when the French first forged an uneasy alliance with local First Nations (demonstrations include ancient Mi’kmaw healing remedies).