Appropriately, the logo for the Placentia Area Historical Society (PAHS) is based on the icon that identifies the location of Vieux Fort on a 17th century French map. To mark its location, the cartographer had used what, by the fifteenth century, had come to be the ideal fort — a structure in the shape of a star.
Over time, forts (sometimes referred to as fortifications although not all forts are fortified or militarily strengthened) had changed to reflect and adapt to the steady evolution of battle and its various implements. Primarily, with the development of gunpowder and the ability of cannons to readily decimate a wall, besieging it with direct fire, a star-shaped fortification evolved as a defence. In so doing, additions such as bastions or demi-bastions (structures that extended from an enclosed fort) could guard one another and also allow defenders ready access to individuals who sought to assail or undermine the fort. Additionally, the structure was further fortified with a surrounding ditch. These became the required features of a fort.
Hence, it is not surprising that the 17th century cartographer would choose such a shape and structure to represent Vieux Fort. As indicated by Fort Royale, now a part of Castle Hill National Historic Site of Canada, and its four demi-bastions, by this time, a star-shaped fort was the preferred architecture chosen in the art of warfare.
And given the deep history of the Placentia area, one that is enriched and distinguished by its many forts, the PAHS chose this icon as the inspiration for its logo.
(text by Lee Everts)