The 1724 floor plans bear witness to changes in elite colonial lifestyle and new social codes to which the colonial administration was expected to adhere. Rather than entering a guardroom, visitors to the new and improved château Saint-Louis found themselves in a salle, a multipurpose space that translates literally to "room" but is likely the salle de compagnie, or public entertaining space, documented in Pierre de Rigaud's 1771 inventory. Adjoining this space was a salle à manger (dining room). In a society where most people ate wherever they could find a seat, having a room designed and designated for dining purposes was extremely fashionable and harkened to metropolitan innovation. Access to the governor's bedchamber, reserved for important guests and used for business as much as sleeping, was buffered by an antichamber.
Philippe de Rigaud was the first governor-general of New France to inhabit the château with his family. Forty-seven years of age when he married an Acadian-born noblewoman, the seventeen-year old Louise Élisabeth de Joybert de Soulanges et Marson, in 1690, Vaudreuil fathered nine children who were raised within the walls of the château and in various religious institutions in Québec. Like the king and queen at Versailles, noble couples typically occupied separate chambers in elite homes, a fact underscored by the 1724 floor plan of the château Saint-Louis. Relegating the earlier kitchen, pantry, and larder to the cellars, Chaussegros de Léry designed a new southern pavilion (outlined in pink) to house the marquise's apartments, consisting of a suite of three bedchambers and a cabinet. This smaller, discreet space could be used as an office, a dressing room, for devotions and prayer, or for quiet study and intimate conversation.
Period correspondence reveals the important role played by the marquise de Vaudreuil in renovating the château in the early eighteenth century. Although Frontenac launched the major renovation and reconstruction of the château, I'm interested in learning more about the marquise's requests for rooms, servants, and a personal apartment.