The 1000 Islands & St. Lawrence River Region is steeped in history. European settlement of our entire area dates to the earliest days of Upper Canada, when our population was bolstered by Loyalists who arrived from the newly independent United States. Growth here coincided with that across Canada through the entire 19th century leading to Confederation in 1867, which makes our area an ideal new home for history buffs.
Brockville, for example, boasts Canada’s Oldest Railway Tunnel, the iconic Leeds and Grenville Court House. Prescott has Fort Wellington National Historic Site, a fortification that overlooks the St. Lawrence River and was in full use by our military right through the First World War. Battle of the Windmill National Historic Site is just east of Prescott. This beautiful and recently restored windmill dates to the early 19th century and was the scene of an attempted invasion of Canada in 1838 following the Upper Canada Rebellion.
The village of Maitland in Augusta Township features many stone homes and churches, along with a stone tower overlooking the river that may well be the remains of the oldest windmill in Canada. Augusta is also home to the Blue Church and its accompanying cemetery, which dates to 1809 and is the burial site of Barbara Heck, the founder of Methodism in Upper Canada. Rockport and Seeley’s Bay in Leeds and the 1000 Islands are some of the original homes for boating in Canada, with the latter still providing access to the historic and UNESCO-recognized Rideau Canal.