Thursday, August 31, 2017

Meandering along Highway 2

August 2017 - Eastern Ontario

When we left Montreal on Monday morning we had a fuzzy plan about our drive home.

We first stopped into Iroquois, why? Because I needed a Canadian town that started with I for this week's Friday Finds, yes, John is a good sport!

We discovered that there is a lock here, part of the St. Lawrence Seaway.

The plaque reads:Impressive for its immense scale, organizational complexity, and speedy completion, the construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway from 1954 to 1959 was an outstanding engineering achievement. This project, which included hydroelectric power generation and water-level control, transformed shipping on the St. Lawrence River above Montréal by allowing ocean going vessels access to the Great Lakes. Acting in close cooperation, the Canadian and American governments coordinated the planning and construction needed to complete this remarkable undertaking on the world's longest inland waterway.

For most Canadians, a skirmish fought on November 7, 1813, near a little place called Point Iroquois, is often overshadowed by the decisive Battle of Crysler’s Farm, which took place on November 11, 1813.

Under the command of General James Wilkinson, 1,200 invading American troops attacked the 200 men of the 1st Regiment of Dundas Militia led by Captain Michael Ault. The American forces ultimately overwhelmed the dogged resistance of the defenders. The Point fell.

Yet the actions of the Iroquois militia on Nov. 7 delayed the main American advance, giving Lt.-Col Joseph Morrison, commander of the British and Canadian soldiers at Crysler’s Farm, the crucial time he needed to organize his forces.

The plaques (made by Liz McCooeye and Dale Crowder) have each been locally sponsored. The Iroquois-Matilda Lions donated one; the Friendly Brothers Lodge (Masonic) #143 gave one; and the Cardinal Masonic Lodge #491 (now amalgamated with the Friendly Brothers) gave one. The fourth memorial has been donated by Frank Ault. His family is descended from a man who fought in the 1813 Skirmish in Iroquois and also at the Battle of Crysler’s Farm.


Plaque is dedicated to William George Palmer who died in 1958 working on the Seaway.

Once we were on Highway 2 we decided to stay on it for a couple of hours as far as Belleville.

Highway 2 was known originally as the 'Trans-Provincial Highway". It was the first highway to span the entire province from the Windsor to the Quebec border near Montreal. Highway 2 was almost completely transferred to local municipalities during during the late 1990s. Only two short segments remain in the provincial highway network. Highway 2 exists concurrently with Highway 49 near Marysville, and between the Thousand Islands Parkway and Highway 401 near Gananoque. Sporadic Highway 2 signage exists in several locations across the province, particularly within former connecting links where the road has not been assumed by any county or regional government.

Map from Iroquois, Ontario K0E 1K0 to Picton, Prince Edward, ON

Highway 2 was bypassed by Highway 401 in the 1950's and 60's. The 401 has taken on many of the roles that Highway 2 once performed.

Town of Prescott was founded in the early 19th century by Edward Jessup, a Loyalist soldier during the American Revolution, who named the village after a former Governor-in-Chief, Robert Prescott.

In late August, 1812, Prescott received news that General Brock had captured Detroit, however in September, a surprise raid took place at Gananoque, which was poorly defended. The American raiders seized arms and ammunition, as well as set fire to a storehouse. By the fall of 1812, Prescott and Ogdensburg were maintaining friendly relations, however in September this changed when the Americans reinforced the town and fired at convoys of bateaux moving up river with British supplies. The British failed to retaliate at this time. A few months later, in February 1813, the Americans attacked the area again, this time at Brockville; American troops marched to the courthouse and freed the prisoners while taking prominent citizens of the city prisoner.

These attacks by the Americans angered the British troops of Fort Wellington, who decided to take revenge on the Ogdensburg troops for their raids of the area and other provocations. The garrison, led by Lieutenant-Colonel “Red George” MacDonell, set out across the frozen the St. Lawrence River on foot so the American troops would assume it they were performing a drill. Instead, the plan was for the Glengarry Light Infantry to attack the fort and barracks, while the Fort Wellington garrison attacked the flank. Initially the 500 men stationed at the Ogdensburg fort refused to surrender, however when British troops entered the fort the Americans evacuated the fort and retreated fourteen miles.

According to Mcdonell’s own account of the following events, the troops then burned the old and new barracks, as well as two schooners, the gun boats, guard houses, scows and a few houses. Overall, the attack was a success for the Fort Wellington soldiers. Prescott saw no further action, and the war ended soon after in 1814.

At first glance, this mural seems pixelated, however as you move closer you realize there are photographs, in total over 3,000!

The photos are of the people of Prescott, involved in all manner of activities: celebrating birthdays, riding horses, sitting with pets, playing baseball. The mural is titled The Prescott People’s Place and was unveiled on December 18th, 2010. It commemorates the 200th anniversary of the town of Prescott.

The Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge, 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) east of Prescott at Johnstown, connects the town with Ogdensburg, New York.

The land here was ideal for settlement during the 18th and 19th centuries as it was situated between Montreal and Kingston along the St. Lawrence River at the head of the rapids.

Driving through Brockville.

Brockville, formerly Elizabethtown, is in the Thousand Islands region.

Known as the "City of the 1000 Islands", Brockville is located on the north shore of the Saint Lawrence River opposite Morristown, New York, about halfway between Ontario's Cornwall to the east and Kingston to the west. It is located 115 kilometres (71 miles) south of the national capital of Ottawa. It is one of Ontario's oldest European-Canadian communities and is named after the British general Sir Isaac Brock.

We stopped and walked a bit in Gananoque. One way to remember its pronunciation is "The right way, the wrong way, and the Gananoque".

Canada 150 mural.

On September 21, 1812, a United States force of some 200 regulars and militia under Capt. Benjamin Forsyth attacked Gananoque. The village was an important forwarding point for supplies moving up the St. Lawrence from Montreal to Kingston and was garrisoned by a detachment of the 2nd Leeds Militia under Col. Joel Stone. After a spirited resistance, Stone withdrew his force comprising two subalterns and about forty soldiers, and the Americans seized the stores and burned the government depot. As a result of this raid, a blockhouse was begun in Gananoque the following month and completed in 1813.

This park sits on what was once an industrial site that occupied both sides of the Gananoque River. When the Jones Shovel Company ceased operation in the 1960's, the Rotary Club and the Chamber of Commerce developed a park which was dedicated on July 1, 1967.

"O Nature" Tony Stapells


La Montange

Wolfe Island artist Bruce Mellon’s two Blue Heron sculptures that are situated close by the river.

The tradition of worship in Half Moon Bay began in 1887. People came from neighbouring islands and from Gananoque to meet for a Vesper Service early on Sunday evening during July and August.
Situated on Bostwick Island in the Admiralty Group, the place is a natural bay of carved rock, compliments of the retreating glaciers. David Wallace, from Amesbury Massachusetts designated this land in his will "always for a place for the Worship of God and for no other purpose".
The mural depicts an actual fall church service at famous Half Moon Bay.
Eight faces have been purchased by local residents of Gananoque.

Do not confuse him with Sir John A Macdonald, our first prime minister.

This memorial is dedicated to the men of the town and district. It was erected by the citizens of Gananoque. It was rededicated in 2007 after the name of Corporal Randy Payne was added. Cpl Payne was killed in Afghanistan.



WORLD WAR II 1939-1945

KOREAN WAR 1950-1953




On the side of an art gallery, no description.

Just a quick drive thru Kingston, it deserves a day visit.

Penitentiary Museum would be a great start.

Fort Henry is also worth a visit.

John and I had spent time in Napanee, growing up, at different times so we were curious if the Chinese restaurant we both remembered was still there.


We decide to check out Picton as it is very up and coming.

In recent years, many artisans and artists have moved to the area and opened studios. In many of the local stores one can purchase local art and hand-crafted products. These products are beginning to play a more serious role in the local economy.

In addition, there has been a proliferation of small wineries in the southern half of the county. Properties listed for sale, especially defunct farms with the right kind of exposure, are often described as ideal locations for new wineries allowing a markup of their property values. Now with an official VQA designation, what role the area will play in the larger Ontario wine industry in the near future remains to be seen.

Picton is roughly 160 km east of Toronto. It is the County's largest community and former seat. Picton is located at the south-western end of Picton Bay, a branch of the Bay of Quinte, which is along the northern shoreline of Lake Ontario. The town is named for Lieutenant General Sir Thomas Picton, who served in the British army during the Peninsular War in Spain and Portugal. He also saw action at the Battle of Waterloo, where he was killed.

Picton is also located in one of Ontario's popular vacation spots, featuring camping, boating, wine making, and upscale lodging. The tourism industry is a primary source of revenue for many area residents, especially in the summer. Historic downtown Picton offers a wide array of shops and services. Sandbanks Provincial Park is located near Picton.

The historic Crystal Palace, (circa 1890) is one of the last remaining replicas of the original Crystal Palace, UK.