Touring Glengarry: Kirkhill

June 29, 2012

So far I had visited the historical townships of  Charlottenburgh, Kenyon, Lancaster but not Lochiel.

According to the locals it is pronounced “Laheel.”  It is the best way I can present it to you.

Remember that Charlottenburgh and Lancaster are part of the The South Glengarry municipality and their website does have some history of the area.  http://www.southglengarry.com/  Click the link “Visitors.”  They also feature their communities.  Kenyon and Lochiel are part of the North Glengarry site: http://www.northglengarry.ca/en/

I headed up Hwy #34 passed the sign for St. Raphael’s and through Green Valley and Alexandria and kept going north till the road started to curve at McCrimmon to the right.  I was still following Hwy #34.  The highway started to curve left and I turned right onto Lochinvar Rd.  I came to the Old Military Road and went south to the Laggan-Glenelg Rd. or Hwy #24. Apparently this highway has a jog in it because it was the same one for Dunvegan.

A view of Lochiel

Off in the distance were two spires and two churches.  It was…WOW!  My heart started to pump.  I am so glad I decided to tour more of Glengarry.  This was worth it.  Absolutely lovely.

Can you see the spires?

When I was in Pembroke and at the Upper Ottawa Valley Genealogical Group library I found a family history in which the writer wrote about the Roman Catholic and the Presbyterian Scots.  He two columns of names listing the Presbyterian Scots on one side and the Roman Catholic on the other.  Then he had arrows pointing to intermarriages.  It really hit home to me that you do need to consider both of these religious groups when you do your genealogical research in Canada.  I learned that Rev. Bethune did marry and baptize children in the Roman Catholic faith for he was the only one in the area for a great while.

St. Columba Church and the modern world

St. Columba Catholic Presbyterian Church is on the south side of Hwy #24.  I turned off Old Military Road and headed west turning left into the parking area.

St. Columba’s welcome sign

The church and cemetery.

UPDATE:  Please note that I mispelled the name St. Columbia.  It should be St. Columba.

St. Columba and its cemetery

The cemetery surrounds the church from the left around the back to the right.  A wooden stand located in the front of the church holds a copy of the St. Columba Cemetery Register publication inside it protected from the elements.  It is there on the honor system so please leave it for others to use.

The book of the cemetery inside this!

Many of the stones say things like this one.

All Natives of Glenelg, Invernesshire, Scotland

UPDATE 7/9/2012:  Below is a link to more photographs taken on this trip to this cemetery.  They are emphasizing McD*’s in the various spellings of the surname.  Most are overview photographs to give a sense of the location.  UPDATE:  1/9/2013 – I fix the title of the Picasa web album removing the RC from it.

St. Columba Church & Cemetery

Across the highway and a little further east is the Kirkhill United Church.

The Kirkhill United Church

A closer look at this church.

Kirkhill United Church

An overview of the cemetery.  They also have a stand that holds a copy of the cemetery book.  Please use it and leave it there for others.

Kirkhill United Church cemetery

I have more photographs of each of these cemeteries and will upload them when I finish posting about this trip to Ontario and Quebec.

UPDATE 7/09/2012:  Below is a link to more photographs of this cemetery.  These are overview photographs and some stones emphasize the McD* surname.

Kirkhill United Church & Cemetery

St. Columba in the distance from the Kirkhill United Church.

St. Columbia in the distance


Touring Glengarry: Lancaster

June 28, 2012

While I write this post, I am munching on Lankaaster, aged Vieilli cheese and crackers.  I purchased it at the Glengarry Fine Cheese store north of Lancaster.  http://glengarryfinecheese.com/

Fine Cheese in Glengarry

These are the experiences that make a trip so worthwhile.  To enjoy the local products.  I would have purchased more but travel can make it difficult.  My little brick made it home and through security and to the USA.

The road in to and the sign – Lancaster

It is very flat around Lancaster. 

A Lancaster view

I was going in search of the Lancaster Library.  It is actually a branch of the S.D. & G. County Libraries. 

The Lancaster branch of the S.D.&G. County Libraries

The library is situated on the main street of Lancaster. The website gives a listing of the locations of the S.D.&G. Libraries with hours and more.   http://www.sdglibrary.ca/index.cfm?Title=Hours  

The main street in Lancaster

I just stumbled onto this today: 

 http://www.facebook.com/pages/SDG-County-Library/250998401616550 

There is a S.D.&G. Branch in Cornwall.  It is apparently the Administrative Offices and they are on Facebook. I also found that there are a lot of Video Tutorials on You Tube for this library system. 

My goal in this library was to see what it had in genealogical sources.  I entered the library and much to my surprise I saw Penny.  She is the person I met at the Glengarry Archives.  I was very happy to see her.  We chatted happily. 

The Local History section of this library is in a little room off to the left as you enter.  It is not a very big library but it was comfortable. 

This the section for genealogy at the Lancaster Library

 I finished up at the Lancaster Library and headed out.  here are some views of the area around Lancaster.  

One of many farms in the Glengarry area

Green and flat


Touring Glengarry: St. Raphael’s

June 28, 2012

“Oh ye tak the high road, and I’ll tak the low road, and I’ll be in Scotland afore ye, for me and my true love will never meet again on the bonnie bonnie banks of Loch Lomond.”  (Steven McDonald, CD “Sons of Somerled” and “Stone of Destiny”)  Mr. McDonald and are displaced Scots.

St. Raphael’s is surreal.  I walked the ruins and the cemetery and visited twice to make sure it will always be a part of my memory.   I approached the ruins from both directions.  My first visit was going west and all of a sudden you come out of the trees and there it is before you.  Following the road from the east you see what the photograph below shows you.

Facing east toward St. Raphael’s

The website for the ruins is filled with interesting information about the history of the site, photographs of the ruins being used for events, how to give or become a member, music and more.  Take a moment or two to study it before you look at my photographs. 

http://www.saintraphaelsruins.com/

My first visit I turned left off of Hwy #34 and headed west on Hwy #18.  The second visit was up Brookdale in Cornwall to Hwy #138 and turned right onto Hwy #18 at St. Andrews West.  Hwy #18 is very nice going east to west and you can go through St. Andrews West, drive through Martintown and come to St. Raphael’s and then to Hwy #34 which can take you north to south.  Along the way you can turn down Hwy #19 to Williamstown.  It is a beautiful drive to St. Raphael’s along Hwy #18.

When you first see St. Raphael’s, from the west, you are stunned by its stately manner. St. Raphael is on a ridge, at least that was my feeling.  There is a U-shaped driveway in front of the ruins so you can park easily. 

The front of St. Raphael’s rises so…

You cannot get it all in your photograph so you have to try various angles. 

From the eastern side – St. Raphael’s

I was so fortunate, both days I visited it was warm and sunny. 

From the side, it is so tall

This man in a truck parked and went into the interior of the ruins.  I waited till he had his turn before I entered.

Through one of the wrought iron gates.

Once he had finished his visit, I entered from the front.

Entering St. Raphael’s Ruins

I felt like I should whisper but instead I gently sang “Loch Lomond.” 

A very nice video of the song and lyrics is presented here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbb9aRSQpsY 

The other song was “Auld Lang Syne.”  Forgive me, but you must have some music when you visit.

Looking back to the front entrance, St. Raphael’s

To document my visit to St. Raphael’s I took a timed picture of me in the front of the church.

I really was there at St. Raphael’s

This is the functioning part of St. Raphael’s and the present part of the Parish of St. Raphael’s.

The church of today attached to the right side of the ruins as you face them

There are many plaques out in front one of which is commemorating the Glengarry Immigration:

The Glengarry Emigration of 1786

 A plaque in both English and French sharing information about Bishop Alexander Macdonell 1762-1840. It is on the brick pillar right in front of the church ruins.

About Bishop Macdonell 1762-1840

The plaque that features a brief history of the ruins.  There is a photograph of the church before the fire in the book:  Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry A History, by John G. Harkness on page 126 and a picture of the Bishop.

About the Ruins

This plaque is attached to the walls of the ruins and one is in French and the other in English: 

Attached to the wall of the ruins

The cemetery wraps around St. Raphael’s dominating the area behind the church. 

The cemetery behind the church ruins

The cemetery is also on the left side as you face the front of the church.  

Looking east toward the road and the cemetery

From the east looking west the cemetery spills down the hill much farther than I had expected or noticed on my first visit to the ruins. 

Looking west to the ruins and cemetery

 The welcoming sign of St. Raphael’s Parish and the cattle who were lowing as I visited.

The cattle were lowing during my visit

Remember to click on the photograph and it will open up in a bigger window.  Then click your back button to return to this blog.  I will upload more photos from my visit when I finish posting for this trip.

UPDATE 07/09/2012:  The link below includes additional photographs of the ruins and the area around it.  These are overview photographs.

 

St. Raphael’s Ruins & Cemetery

Touring Glengarry: Alexandria “The Centre of Glengarry”

June 27, 2012

Alexandria is spread over each of the four historical townships of Kenyon, Lochiel, Charlottenburgh and Lancaster.  It is now home to the North Glengarry Municipal Hall as of 1998.  You will not find any history at their website.  You will not find individual city identities.  There is other useful information however like a list of churches in the area.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Glengarry,_Ontario  Somehow I feel I have not really found the essence of Alexandria! 

Maybe some Christmas lights will help:  http://www.alexandriafestivaloflights.com/index.html

I left the Glengarry Pioneer Museum and headed east on Hwy #24 – Dunvegan Road.  The road was straight as an arrow meeting up with Hwy #34.  I turned south.  It was a good highway, my kind of highway.  The traffic was light and it gave me time to enjoy the scenery.  It is very beautiful, green and lovely.  I wanted to stop and take photographs but that might have been dangerous because of the trucks.  Trucks are good they mean commerce.  

Welcome to Alexandria

According to Yahoo Answers there are 40 cities in the world with the name Alexandria and others think that there were 70 at various times throughout history.  I usually think of the one in Eygpt.   Alexandria once named Priest Mills was given that title after the Right Reverend Alexander Macdonell according to John G. Harkness in “Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry, A History, pg. 285.”

A proper water tower

I drove past the Sacre Coeur Catholic Church which is right on the main avenue through the town.  Someone was doing some maintenance on one of the bright red doors.   There is suppose to be a cemetery associated with this church but I did not search for it because of limited time concerns.  The church is lovely and amazing.  The spires in Ontario just make me pause with wonder. This is very nice: 

http://www.alexandria-cornwall.ca/diocese_sept_032.htm

Sacre Coeur Catholic Church

Across from it is the St. Finnan’s Catholic School but no sign of the church of the same name.  This confused me but then I did find the St. Finnan’s Catholic Church and cemetery at 70 St. Paul St.

St. Finnan’s Roman Catholic Church

This church is impressive. 

A side view of St. Finnan’s

A plaque of tribute to Harriet (Kennedy) MacMillan 1756-1839 in St. Finnan’s cemetery. (Click and it will open larger, then click your back button to return to this blog.)

In Memory of…

Broken stones by the side of the church, yet the grounds are so well kept.

Broken stones

The cemetery is very large so you need to have help in finding a tombstone like a transcription publication. 

The St. Finnan’s Cemetery

I will upload more photographs of this cemetery when I have completed my posts for this trip.  I will let you know when.  I was touched when I visited this cemetery. 

The cemetery at St. Finnan’s

UPDATE 7/9/2012:  The link below is to additional photographs for this cemetery.  Some are overview others are individual tombstones. 

 

St. Finnan’s RC Church & Cemetery

The entrance to the branch library that is in Alexandria.  It is part of the S.D.&G. County Libraries and is in the western part of the city over in an industrial complex. 

Alexandria Branch of the S.D.&G. Libraries

It is very nice inside.  The website for the S.D.&G. Libraries for the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry:  http://www.sdglibrary.ca/   When you use their online catalogue you cannot ask for a specific location when you search, so you have to click on the Availability button under the title.  Once you do it will open and tell you where that particular book is housed and in what branch of this library system.  Some genealogical books are circulating books other are not.  I would start at the Cornwall Public Library in Cornwall and try the Cornwall History Room first where some of these titles are consolidated.  Otherwise, plan a lovely drive in the country to the branch library of your choice.

Alexandria’s Branch of the S.D.&G. Libraries

These photos are just for fun.  We all need storage and of course I would be interested in anything with Glengarry in the title.

A little storage Glengarry Style

And security: 

A little security Glengarry style.


Touring Glengarry: Dunvegan & The Glengarry Pioneer Museum

June 27, 2012

Looking south in Dunvegan, Pioneer Village to the left

My visit to the Glengarry Pioneer Museum was on Tuesday morning June 5 at 10 am.  I emailed them to make an appointment.  They hours are limited so you do need to plan in advance.

Here is their website: http://www.glengarrypioneermuseum.ca/gpm/

I left my lodging in Cornwall and proceeded to take care of some errands and as usual it takes longer than you think.  I drove up Brookdale Avenue and continued north on Hwy #138.  At Cornwall Centre Road this highway jogs for a little bit and then turns north again on St. Andrews Road. 

My mind was blown when I came up to the top of this rise in the road and saw for the first time the church and cemetery of St. Andrews West.  The light and the setting was amazing.  It would have been too dangerous to stop and take a photograph because of all the trucks.  I would be back!  This is lovely:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/rdb466/4809053720/ 

Or take a look at this picture, not bad of St. Andrews Church and the intersection in St. Andrews West:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:St-Andrews-West_ON.JPG

I turned at Monkland onto Hwy #43 and stopped at an Esso gas station.  Just when you are in a hurry you are faced with a customer asking for phone cards.  I gassed up the car and the exchange was still going on when I returned.  It was a bit of time before I was able to pay for my purchase. 

I was late, it was already past 10 am.  I focused on the road and turned left at Greenfield Road Hwy #30.  There is supposed to be the St. Catherine of Seinna RC Cemetery in Greenfield but I do not remember seeing it as I zoomed by.  Greenfield was a surprise with more buildings than I expected. 

Panic began to settle in and I thought I had missed Dunvegan but alas I was silly.  I saw a bunch of trees in the distance and there it was the Glengarry Pioneer Museum began to materialize as I came closer.  I was ticking off the roads like Kenyon Concession 7, and Kenyon Concession 8.  Dunvegan is in what called Kenyon Township but is now North Glengarry.  It was situated north of Charlottenburgh Township which is now South Glengarry. 

One stop shopping!  I LOVE IT.  The Glengarry Pioneer Museum on the southeast corner of Hwy #30 and Hwy #24 and on the opposite corner the Kenton Presbyterian Church and cemetery. 

The Glengarry Pioneer Museum and Village is a wonderful treat.  There is a parking lot on the east side of the visitor building.

Glengarry Pioneer Village Visitor Centre

You enter through the door on the right and they have a lobby area filled with books, maps and artifacts.

The lobby of the visitor centre – Glengarry Pioneer Village

The offices are up the stairs and so is the research area.  I was greeted by an enthusiastic young man who took me to the second floor an introduced me to everyone.  They led me over to the table in the back and showed me where the books were located.  They had looked at their family histories but didn’t have any McDonells?  So I gave them one of my McDonald booklets for their collection. They were all friendly and helpful.  I happily set to work looking through their collection.  I asked questions and one of the assistants made me a map so I could find the Bethune Thompson Manor in Williamstown.  I am most appreciative of their kindness and time.  Thank you.

I was particularly interested in

  1. The Churches of North Glengarry, by the North Glengarry Heritage Group.
  2. Lochinvar to Skye 1794 to 1987, by Madeleine McCrimmon and Donaldson R. MacLeod.

They have a great many books on sale.

Their books for sale

If you look closely you can see there is a space in the center of the bookcase.  It was a copy, one of four left, of the Dictionary of Glengarry Biography, by Royce MacGillivray, published in 2010 by the Glengarry Historical Society: http://www.glengarryhistoricalsociety.com/GHS/Welcome.html

It is copy #214 and signed by the author who lives in England.  Well it isn’t there anymore for I paid for it and brought it home.  It is very heavy and caused me problems because of it’s weight. Go here to learn about this book:   http://www.glengarryhistoricalsociety.com/GHS/Publications.html  There is a subject index at this link, just scroll down.  Apparently they are starting a reserve list for the 2nd printing. 

After I finished up with their collection, I wandered the village, which in my opinion is very good.  I have been to many of these kinds of pioneer villages and this was very well done.  It is much older about 1830 as I was told.  They kept offering to really show me around but I had many places to go and many things to see. 

The front side of the visitor center

The village and the cemetery

On the opposite corner from the village was the Kenyon Presbyterian Church.

Kenyon Church

Next to the church was the graveyard.  I have more pictures of this cemetery which I will upload when I finish posting for this trip.

UPDATE 7/8/2012:  Below is a link to more photographs of this cemetery.  These are overview photographs only because of limited time.  It is to help you get an idea of what the area looks like and what the church and cemetery are like. 

Kenyon Presbyterian Church & Cemetery

I was learning that it was not that hard to get around in Glengarry.  The roads are mostly straight, smooth and paved.  It was a beautiful, warm and muggy day.  Now which way should I go?

Shall I go left or right?


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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