Touring Glengarry: Williamstown

June 26, 2012

At various times during my tour, I explored Williamstown.  At the corner of Bridge St. and John St. in the heart of the town you can find your way easily.  Just read the sign post. 

Williamstown’s sign post

Hwy #17 and Hwy #19 cross in the center of the town.  Hwy #17 goes east to west, while Hwy #19 is north to south.

The Raisin River

The Raisin River meanders through the town and you cross over it at the McDonald Bridge.

McDonald Bridge

You can shop in the A. L. Macdonald Grocery.

Shopping anyone!

If you are hungry you can have good comfort food at the Ye Old Bridge Cafe and chat with the locals, which is on the left in the photograph above.

Are you hungry?

You can wander the streets and enjoy the houses.  

Love the color!

Yes, that is the surname McDonell on the sign.

Another lovely home

Visit St. Mary’s Church on Hwy #19 south of the bridge.

St. Mary’s Church, Williamstown

You can wander the cemetery next door to the church. 

Notice the celtic tombstone symbol

UPDATE 7/8/2012: Here is a link to more photographs of this cemetery. These are overview photographs to give an idea of what the location is like.

 

St. Mary’s RC Church & Cemetery

You can get a little nostalgic when you see the old municipal building for the Township of Charlottenburgh empty.

The empty township building

This is the historical marker that is located by the Nor’Westers & Loyalist Museum.  It tells of the history of the Township of Charlottenburgh.  (Click and it will enlarge, just hit your back button to return to this blog.)

Historical marker for the Township of Charlottenburgh

Or visit the Glengarry Celtic Music Hall of Fame  http://www.glengarrycelticmusic.com/index.php

Sign for the Glengarry Celtic Music…

Of course there is one more location you must visit and that is the Bethune-Thompson House.  I did not find it the first day I was there so when I returned the following day I was prepared.  I give thanks to a nice person at the Glengarry Pioneer Museum who drew me a map on college rule paper. This house is set back so it is not visible from the main road.  To get to the house you drive down this road that is much like a driveway.  I did this and came to one of the two historical markers and stopped.  I didn’t want to invade the privacy of the people who currently live there.  http://www.ontarioplaques.com/Plaques_STU/Plaque_Stormont35.html  Yup, I backed up till I could turn the car around. 

The Bethune Thompson House, privately owned

Before you leave Williamstown you should stop and look at the Raisin River one more time:

The Raisin River again


Touring Glengarry: The Nor’Westers and Loyalist Museum

June 26, 2012

The Nor’Westers & Loyalist Museum

The Nor’Westers and Loyalist Museum is in Williamstown.  I visited this museum on Tuesday June 5, 2012.  I had emailed them to make an appointment and they were gracious enough to give me an open time frame for that afternoon.  Please visit their website and enjoy the pictures.  You cannot take photos. 

Here is their website: http://www.norwestersandloyalistmuseum.ca/NWLM/Welcome.html

I knew where they were in Williamstown because I went looking for them after my visit to the Glengarry Archives.  They are located on Hwy #17 which crosses Hwy #19.  You go west along John St. almost to Bethune St. and they are on the corner of John and Bethune. 

A Plaque about the Northwest Company

I parked the car and was walking around to the front when I found two individuals, a woman and a man.  I introduced myself and the woman recognized me and told me that the young man would be leading my tour.  I gave her a printout of the descendancy of my family since I really don’t know if they were Loyalists. 

The young man started the tour with the Loyalist history of the area.  It is on the first floor.  He told me that Sir John Johnson landed in Cornwall near the Civic Center on Water’s Street.  So that is why I have been trying to find that plaque and I did.  See my post “An Overview: Dundas, Stormont and the city of Cornwall, Ontario.

They had the most amazing map showing the lots and names along the St. Lawrence.  I recorded the information on my cellphone’s voice recorder:  Map dated 1786 created by a Patrick McNiff

This website has a listing of the names on that map. http://my.tbaytel.net/bmartin/eastern.htm  Apparently this is a very popular map.  

The United Empire Loyalists Association of Canada:  http://www.uelac.org/

The docent lead me up the stairs to the 2nd floor were he began to talk about the Nor’Westers or the North West Company.  So far I have avoided digging into the fur trade but I just might have to.  So this was a good way to give me a shove.  Here are some links for more information:

http://www.canadahistory.com/sections/eras/britishamerica/northwest.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_West_Company

The fur trade is not new to me.  I live in Washington State and it was a big part of our history.  Fort Vancouver is a living history museum and it is really very well done.  It makes you open your mind to a different way of life.  At this museum the amount of fur pelts was not as much as was presented at Fort Vancouver.  http://www.nps.gov/fova/index.htm 

My tour was complete and I found a book in their gift shop for $20.00:  Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry, A History 1784 to 1945,  by John G. Harkness, K.G.  Yup, it will weigh a ton to take home but I am pleased.

I enjoyed my special tour very much and the docent did a great job.  Go visit it is worth it.

A full front view of the Museum


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