The National Park Service preserves Saint Croix Island International Historic site (IHS) as a monument to the beginning of the United States and Canada. In 1604, Pierre Dugua, Sieur de mons, accompanied by Samuel Champlain and 77 other men, established a settlement on St. Croix Island. Preceding Jamestown (1607) and Plymouth (1620), Pierre Dugua's outpost was one of the earliest European settlements on the North Atlantic coast of North America. More specifically, it was the first attempt by the French at year-round colonization in the territory they called La Cadie or l'Acadie (Acadia). The settlement was short-lived, however, and in the summer of 1605, the French moved to a more favorable location where they established the Port Royal Habitation on the shores of the present-day Annapolis Basin, Nova Scotia.
The experience of the French on St. Croix Island taught them much about the "New World" environment and about interacting with the native peoples. From St. Croix Island, Samuel Champlain explored and charted the coast of Norembegue (Norumbega), including the Bay of Fundy and the Atlantic coast as far south as Cape Cod. The valuable insights gained from both the St. Croix settlement and further exploration formed the foundation for a more successful settlement at Port Royal, and an enduring French presence in North American continuing to the present day.
St. Croix Island IHS has units in both the U.S. National Park Service and Parks Canada. It includes St. Croix Island, as well as two parcels of land on the U.S. and Canadian mainlands