Friday, November 28, 2008

A Trip to Kinsgston, ON

On Wednesday I decided a bit of travel around the area was in order. On tap was a visit to Kingston, Ontario and the Maritime Museum located there. Rather than take the four laner, I decided to travel via the Loyalist Parkway -- a route that gave me the opportunity to ride the Glenora Ferry.

According to the local archives, the Glenora Ferry has long been one of the lifelines of Prince Edward County. Glenora itself became the heart of community and industry, and Van Alstine's mill (site of the ferry) was often the first view of the County for early settlers. Through the years, several people managed the vital ferry link with the mainland, until it became a government-operated, 24-hour, year round service in recent years. This in-depth article examines the roots of the Glenora Ferry. --

The Loyalist Parkway follows the course of Loyalist settlement which commenced in 1784 following the American Revolution. The history guide provides the following information:

The Loyalists
Following the American Revolution of 1776, individuals who had supported Britain or had wished to remain neutral on religious and ethical grounds were persecuted, deprived of property and often their lives. Survivors fled to areas of British protection around the globe. Those who had fought with the British joined the exodus. The first legal British settlement in Canada other than military establishments took place in western Quebec and what is now eastern Ontario. The settlers were made up of soldiers from volunteer regiments , European mercenaries and civilians. Many were from lower New York State and the Mohawk Valley and included many Mohawk Indians. They suffered terribly from cold, starvation and disease but persevered to become major participants in the formation of Ontario and ultimately Canada. The Loyalist Parkway is a commemoration of their loyalty and determination.

I packed a lunch, loaded the GPS with my destination address, and took off.

The ferry was my first stop. The ride was short. Had I listened to the voice from inside my GPS it would have been even shorter as it advised me to leave the ferry about half way across the channel. Being a geek but not a slave to technology, I ignored the voice and stayed put until the ferry had docked and the gate had been opened.

The drive north was uneventful and not too informative as all the historic signs were covered with snow. The Maritime Museum looked promising but it when I got inside I learned it was closed for the season. After snapping a few pictures and talking a quick walk around the neighborhood and area park, I asked the GPS what other historic sites were nearby. Fort Henry topped the list so I headed off to my new destination.

By now it was really snowing and the wind was brisk. The weather was noticeably worse on top of the land spit that is the site of Fort Henry. Closed for the season was the message on the parking lot sign. Still, I was there and determined to see something. Up the hill I went. Big fort. Through the big gate to the inside of the big fort. Snapped one picture and a big guy asked if he could "help me." Just checking out the fort, I said. $5.00 said he. Bye, said I.

Back to Picton and Camp Ability. The closer I got, the less snow until everything was just wet.

Photos of the day can be viewed at

The photos above are stock pictures of Fort Henry and the ferry, both in summer.

More history on the loyalist can be found at

Thanks for joining me on my travels.

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