Thursday, June 29, 2017

Dave Williams Bench

A bench dedicated to teacher, Dave Williams, stands in Caroline's Garden in Millennium Park on the northeast corner of County Road 16 and County Road 2 in Johnstown, Ontario.

JUNE 1999

Monday, June 26, 2017

International Boundary Commission Monument, Prescott

The International Boundary Commission is an American Canadian international organization that maintains the boundary between Canada and the United States. Among the methods of doing that are the placement of monuments that provide reference to the boundary location.

One such monument stands just to the east of the tower at the site of the Battle of the Windmill, south of Windmill Road off County Road 2 in Prescott, Ontario.


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Replica Royal Coat of Arms

In Johnstown, Ontario, in Millennium Park, on the northeast corner of County Roads 2 and 16, a wooden case with a hinged lid holds a pictorial replica of a royal coat of arms.

"Compared to the wars with the Americans, it was but a small skirmish, but the battle for the Brockville courthouse and jail was both real and bloody. It all began in 1792 when the town of Johnstown was laid out in the heart of Loyalist country on the shore of the St. Lawrence. By decree of Lieutenant-Governor Simcoe, the fledgling village became the capital of the newly formed Eastern District. Also by decree, each capital was required to have a courthouse and jail. Consequently, a new log jail and courthouse were built in the town site. Annual expenses for the jail, including heating, wages and food amounted to a mere twelve pounds. The log jail offered little in the way of security, however, lacking even a fence around the yard.

This is a replica of
"The Royal Coat of Arms" removed from
the District of Johnstown Court House
on September 10, 1810
resulting in a braw often referred to as
the "Battle of Johnstown Jail"

"In 1808, following a shift in the district boundaries, Johnstown no longer found itself in the centre of the district, and the district seat was moved to a mill site further west called Elizabethtown (now Brockville). The residents of the Johnstown area, however, knew that wherever the plaque that bore the British coat-of-arms sat, so sat the district seat, and refused to surrender their symbol of power. An equally determined mob from Elizabethtown descended on Johnstown to remove the plaque. A pitched battle took place resulting in broken limbs and bloody noses, until the victorious Elizabethtowners carried the coat-of-arms back to its new home."

Behind Bars: Inside Ontario's Heritage Gaols by Ron Brown

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Fort Wellington Hospital

In Prescott on the east side of East Street just north of Henry Street East stands a residence that from 1840 to 1854 served as a hospital for Fort Wellington.

1840 - 1854

This frame structure was originally constructed c.1823 as a commissariat house for the Fort Wellington Garrison. From 1840-1854, the building served as a military hospital; mainly serving the local garrison of the Royal Canadian Rifle Regiment. The hospital contained three wards accommodating a total of sixteen patients. The building also housed a surgery, a room for the hospital sergeant, a kitchen, and a storeroom.


Monday, June 19, 2017

Johnstown 1789 Plaque

In Johnstown, Ontario, at the west edge of Caroline's Garden in Millennium Park on the northeast corner of County Road 16 and County Road 2 stands a plaque with the title, Johnstown 1789.


In 1789-90 a town plot of one mile square was laid out in this vicinity. Many Loyalists, including Sir John Johnson, obtained lots in the settlement. A sawmill and grist mill were constructed, and in 1793 it was made the administrative centre of the Easter District. A courthouse and gaol were erected and the court of quarter sessions, which administered the district's local government, met alternately here and in Cornwall. Lieutenant-Governor Simcoe stayed in Johnstown in 1792 and 1795. In 1808 the courts were moved to Elizabethtown (Brockville) and despite its favourable location as a port, Johnstown's further development was retarded by its shallow harbour.

Erected by the Archaeological and Historic Sites Board, Department of Public Records and Archives of Ontario

In some locations these double sided plaques have English on one side and
French on the other. Earlier plaques like this one have English on both sides.
On the right near the top of this blog you can select from many languages
with which to read this blog's text.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Fort de Lévis Cairn

The cairn commemorating Fort de Lévis stands on the edge of Grenville Park east of Shoreline Road in Johnstown, Ontario.



Last stand of France in Canada. Fort de Lévis, on Isle Royale, (Chimney Island), was built by Captain François Pouchot in the spring and early summer of 1760. Its garrison surrendered after a gallant defence, on 25th August, 1760, to the British army commanded by Sir Jeffrey Amherst. Siege batteries were estabished on this point and on adjacent islands.

Dernier poste de combat de la France au Canada. Le Fort de Lévis, sur l'Ile Royale (Ile à la Cheminée), fut construit par le capitaine François Pouchot au printemps et au commencement de l'été de 1760. Après une vaillante défense sa garnison se rendit, le 25 août 1760 à l'armée anglaise commandée par Sir Jeffrey Amherst. Des batteries de siège étaient établies à cet endroit et sur les iles avoisinantes.

This site donated by James Adams

Monday, June 12, 2017

A. J. Gillis Memorial Tree

Allan John Gillis, born May 18, 1935, long-time resident of Johnstown and a staunch booster of the community, served as President of the South Edwardsburgh Recreation Association (SERA) from 1975 to 1980. He passed away on December 4, 2012 at age 77. On Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013, just prior to the 40th anniversary celebration, a memorial was held for him at Johnstown’s Millennium Park, where a Blue Spruce tree was planted in his memory.
Allan John Gillis
Millennium Park occupies the northeast corner of County Road 16 and County Road 2 in Johnstown, Ontario. The Spruce tree stands in the northwest corner of the park.

This tree planted in memory of A. J. GILLIS

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Return of Disbanded Troops and Loyalists Plaque

On the northeast corner of County Road 16 and County Road 2 in the northeast corner of Millennium Park in Johnstown, Ontario a larg rock lies in a framed area. On it there is a plaque that has the heading, Return of Disbanded Troops and Loyalists settled in Township No. 6 Mustered this 13th Day of October 1784. Beneath that there are 68 names. The plaque has nothing else in the way of an explanation. The people living in the area probably don't need one.

But I do. I did some research and will provide something in the way of explanation. It won't be anywhere near the whole story. That goes far beyond the scope of this blog site.

The story related to this plaque that follows draws mainly from four internet resources:
1. Grand River Branch United Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada, Selected Reprints from the Grand River Branch Newsletter Branches, 2. Township History on the Edwardsburgh Cardinal Township web site, 3. THE ROYAL TOWNSHIPS (EASTERN ONTARIO) section of a pdf file titled, LOYALIST SETTLEMENT IN PRESENT DAY ONTARIO, and 4. Canadian Encyclopedia article, Loyalists.

The American Revolutionary War that took place from Apr 19, 1775 to Sep 3, 1783 resulted in the United States of America achieving independence from Great Britain. It also produced refugees who fled from their homes there because they remained loyal to Great Britain. The refugees included troops from disbanded British regiments and civilians, persecuted for their loyalty to Great Britain. Many of those refugees, some 50,000 people, fled to Canada.

Sir Frederick Haldimand, who served from 1778 to 1784 as Governor of the Province of Quebec, purchased a tract of land between Gananoque and the Trent River from the Mississaugas and appointed Royal Engineer Samuel Holland to supervise the survey along the north side of the St. Lawrence River in preparation for the arrival and settlement of the loyalist emigrants.

Their duties included surveying townships of about ten miles square. One range of those townships, which started out numbered from 1 to 8, from east to west, occupied the north shore of the St. Lawrence River from Lancaster to Brockville. Later on they were named for King George III's children and family members.

Disbanded troops from the King's Royal Regiment of New York made up the majority of loyalists who settled those townships. In 1784 the first 166 loyalists to arrive in Township Number 6, later named Edwardsburgh, settled at Johnstown, named for Anglo-Irish colonial official, Sir William Johnson (1717-1774).

 In a book titled, Report on Canadian Archives by Douglas Brymner, Archivist, 1891, (Being an Appendix to Report of the minister of Agriculture), there is a reference to the title of this plaque, Return of Disbanded Troops and Loyalists settled in Township No. 6 Mustered this 13th Day of October 1784. Beneath that title are the names of the individuals listed on the plaque with the following addition: "The number of souls: Men, 68; women, 29; children, 58; servants, 11. Total, 166. Acres cleared, 122."

Monday, June 05, 2017

The Battle of the Windmill

The site of the Battle of the Windmill occupies a place south of Windmill Road, off County Road 2 just east of Prescott, Ontario. In 1838 the Battle of the Windmill took place on this site and the surrounding area. Plaques on the site describe the event in some detail.

This picture and the next two show Ogdensburg, New York, in the
United States of America, on the other side of the St. Laurence River.

The railway tracks that run between the road and the site of the Battle of the
Windmill are a Canadian Pacific Railway spur with sidings at the Port of Prescott
grain elevator and at Masterfeeds to the east, which is on the left here.


You are standing on a battlefield where men fought and died. This battle took place in November 1838, during the Canadian rebellions. One side fought to "liberate" Canada from British rule. The other side rallied to protect their homes or the established political order.

The lighthouse in front of you is a converted windmill around which the battle was fought.

Fort Wellington, a few kilometres to the west in Prescott, was a gathering point for the British troops at the time of the battle.

The fort still stands and is now open to the public.

The Battle of the Windmill and the Fort Wellington sites are both preserved and operated by the Canadian Parks Service of Environment Canada.


Vous êtes sur un ancien champ de bataille. Des hommes sont morts ici en novembre 1838, durant la rébellion des Patriotes. Les uns voulaient libérer le Canada. Les autres sont accourus pour protéger leurs foyers ou le pouvoir britannique.

Le phare devant vous est un ancien moulin à vent qui s'est trouvé au cœur de la bataille.

Le Fort Wellington, qui se trouve à quelques kilomètres à l'ouest, à Prescott, servait à cette époque de point de ralliement à l'armée britannique.

Il a été restauré et il est aujourd'hui overt au public.

Le site de la bataille du Moulin à vent et le Fort Wellington sont tous deux exploités par le Service canadien des parcs du ministère de l'Environnement.


After the 1837 Rebellions many rebels fled to the United States where a few joined American sympathizers in a new attempt to overthrow British rule in Canada. On 12 November 1838 they landed 190 men here and seized this windmill and nearby buildings. The local people remained loyal, reporting to their militia units; in a few days 2,000 militia and regulars, supported by naval vessels, beseiged the mill. Although British guns did little damage to the mill, the insurgents, seeing no escape, surrendered on the 16th. Eleven were later executed and 60 exiled to Australia.

Après la Rébellion de 1837, de nombreux rebelles se réfugièrent aux États Unis où, aidés des Américains, ils organisèremt une nouvelle tentative de renverser le règne britannique au Canada. Le 12 novembre 1838, 190 hommes s'emparèrent du moulen à vent et des bâtiments voisins. Les gens du pays se présentèrent à la milice locale; en quelques jours, 2,000 miliciens et réguliers, appuyés par des navires, attaquèrent le moulin. Les assaillant firent peu de dégâts dans la bataille acharnée, mais les insurgés, sans espoir de s'échapper, se rendirent le 16. On en pendit 11 et déporta 60 an Australie.

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.
Commission des lieux et monuments historiques du Canada.

Government of Canada · Gouvernement du Canada

This plaque commemorates the designation of Windmill Point lighthouse under the Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act.


Cette plaque commémore la désignation du phare de Windmill Point en vertu de la Loi sur la protection des phares patrimoniaux.


Government of Canada
Gouvernement du Canada



During the 1820's and 1830's, Canada was a British colony governed by a small ruling elite.

A section of the population of Upper and Lower Canada demanded political reforms. These reformers wanted a broadly based democratic form of government.

The were opposed by those who feared radical change and the loss of the British connection.

The clash between reformers and the ruling elite led to open rebellion by many of the reformers in 1837.

Although the rebels were soundly defeatd, many of their goals were gradually achieved.


Dans les années 1830, le Canada était une colonie britannique contrôlée par une élite politique et militaire.

Une partie de la population du Haut et du Bas-Canada revendiquait des réformes. Elle réclamait des institutions pleinement démocratiques.

Contre elle se dressait le groupe au pouvoir, qui rejetait tout changement et voulait maintenir la tutelle coloniale.

C'était l'impasse. En 1837, des milliers de réformistes entrèrent en rébellion ouverte.

Ils subirent une cinglante défaite. Malgré cela, leurs objectifs démocratiques sont aujourd'hui des acquis indiscutales de notre société.



In 1837 the British army and loyal militia crushed the first armed revolt in Upper and Lower Canada. Many rebels fled to the United States. The exiles joined with American sympathisers to form a secret paramilitary organization, the Hunter's Lodge.

In November 1838, a group of Hunters planned an invasion of Canada at Prescott. It was expected that the local population would join in "liberating" the country from British control.


En 1837, l'armée britanique étouffe une première révolte armée dans le Haut et le Bas-Canada. Beaucoup de Patriotes s'exilent aux États-Unis. Avec l'aide de sympathisants américains, ils mettent sur pied une organisation paramilitaire secrète, les Frères Chasseurs.

En novembre 1838, un groupe de Chasseurs planifie une invasion du Canada à Prescott. Il s'attend à ce que la population locale se joigne à lui pour supprimer la tutelle britanique.


1. Early on the morning of November 12, 1838, 190 Hunters landed at Windmill Point. Most were Americans. Contrary to their expectations, the local population did not rally to their side.

2. By November 13, over 2,000 local militiamen and British soldiers surrounded the rebel position. After a bitter and bloody skirmish, the government forces drove the rebels into the windmill and surrounding stone buildings. But they could not attack these buildings without large cannons.

3. November 14 and 15 were uneventful. The Hunters were counting on help from the United States that never came, while the British awaited artillery reinforcements.

4. November 16 was decisive. British gunboats patrolled the river while their field guns arrived by land. In the afternoon, they bombarded the rebels for two hours.

5. The Hunters were low on ammunition, food and water. There were no medical supplies to ease the pain of their wounded. By nightfall, they ran out of both resources and hope, and surrendered unconditionally.


1. Le 12 novembre 1838, au petit matin, 190 Frères Chasseurs débarquent à la pointe du Moulin. La plupart sont des Américains. Contrairement à leurs attentes, la population reste loyale.

2. Dès le 13 novembre, plus de 2000 miliciens et soldats britanniques encerclent les Chasseurs. Après une violente escarmouche, ils les repoussent dans les murs épais du moulin et des bâtiments voisins. Mais ils n'ont pas d'artillerie lourde et ne peuvent pas les déloger.

3. Les 14 et 15 novembre se passent sans combat. Les Chasseurs espèrent recevoir des États-Unis une aide qui n'arrivera jamais. De leur côté, les Britanniques attendent des renforts d'artillerie.

4 La journée du 16 novembre est décisive. Les Britanniques patrouillent le fleuve dans des canonnières. Sur la terre ferme leurs canons arrivent enfin. Dans l'après-midi, ils bombardent le moulin pendant deux heurs.

5. Les Chasseurs manquent de munitions, de nourriture et d'eau. Ils n'ont rien pour soigner leurs blessés. À la tombée de la nuit, ils sont à court de ressources et d'espoir. Ils se rendent sans condition.


Twenty rebels were killed and another 20 were wounded in the battle, while 15 soldiers were killed and 55 were wounded. The captured rebels were tried. Eleven were hanged, 60 were deported to Australia and the rest were released.

The rebellion was an expression of deep dissatisfaction. It profoundly transformed political life in Canada, and forced the British to review the way they administered the country. Thirty years later, Confederation was born.


Les Patriotes ont eu 20 tués et 20 blessés dans la bataille. Les soldats, 15 tués et 55 blessés. Les Patriotes capturés subirent un procès. Onze d'entre eux furent pendus, 60 déportés en Austalie, les autres relâchés.

Ces morts n'ont pas été inutiles. La Rébellion révélait un profond mécontentement. Elle bouleversa la vie politique au Canada et oblegea les Britanniques à revoir leur façon d'administrer le pays. Trente and après, la Confédération était née.


Lieu historique
national du Canada
de la Bataille-du-

Ce lieu est exploité
par les Friends of
Windmill Point, un
groupe à but non
lucratif travaillant
en partenariat avec
Parcs Canada.

Les droits d'entrée et
les dons contribuent à
l'améliorations de la
mise en valeur de
ce lieu.

Admirez la vue à partir
du poste d'observation
du moulin, voyez notre
exposition et ramenez
un souvenir à la maison!

Juin à Septembre
10 h - 16 h

Battle of the Windmill
National Historic Site
of Canada.

This site is operated
by the Friends of
Windmill Pont, a
volunteer non-profit
group in partnership
with Parks Canada.

All admission fees
and donations help
to enhance the
presence of this site.

Take in the view from
the observation level
of the Windmill, see
our displays and take
home a souvenir!

June to September
10:00 - 16:00

Open to Public

Saturdays and Sundays only
July & August
Thursday through Monday
Saturdays and Sundays only

Hours of Operation
10:00 am to 4:00 pm daily

The interior of the windmill/lighthouse has a small gift shop (cash only) and displays. The person at the reception desk informed me that the building had been condemned two years ago and has had a complete interior renovation. For Canada 150 the site administrators have waived the $2 admission but they still accept donations. I donated.

The tow rifles on display are replicas carved from wood.

After looking around the ground level I went up the steep stairs to the top. More displays occupy the upper levels. Two of the windows have a description of the view and binoculars for a closer look.




The view down river shows the international bridge built in 1960.
In the distance are the Prescott grain elevators built in 1929.

En aval, on aperçoit le pont international construit en 1960.
Au loin se trouvent les silos élévateurs de Prescott, construits en 1929.

I could see neither landmark from that window.

British military uniform at the time of the battle.

The 159 prisoners captured at the battle were sent to Kingston for trial by court martial. Three died before the trial, 11 were executed, including the leader, Nils von Schoultz, 60 were transported to the penal colony at Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) and the rest set free.

The active militia remained on duty at Prescott until 1842 when they were replaced by soldiers from the Royal Canadian Rifle Regiment.

Political reforms introduced after 1838 addressed many of the grievances which sparked the rebellion.

Les 159 prisonnier capturés lors de la bataille furent envoyés à Kingston pour passer en cour martiale. Trois moururent avant leur procès, onze furent exécutés, y compris leur chef Nils Schoultz, 60 furent déportés dans la colonie pénale de la Terre de Van Diemen (Tasmanie) et les autres furent relâchés.

La milice active demeura en poste à Prescott jusqu'en 1842, alors qu'elle fut remplacée par des soldats du Royual Canadian Rifle Regiment.

Les réformes politiques introduites après 1838 réparèrent bien des torts à l'origine de la Rébellion.

Eleven prisoners were publicly executed on these gallows built on the high
ground behind Fort Henry, Kingston. National Archives of Canada C-510

11 prosonniers furent exécutés publiquement à ces potences construites sur
le terrain élevé situé derrière le fort Henry, à Kingston.
Archives nationales du Canada C-510

The windmill, built circa 1831 by West Indian merchant Thomas Hughes, was the dominant feature in the small community of Newport. The mill and stone buildings were damaged by the heafy British artillery fire during the battle. The mill was repaired and used as temporary barracks. Although the residents were compensated for their losses, Newport never recovered.

The surviving stone ruins were popular local landmarks. In 1873 the stone tower was converted into a lighthouse to aid navigation along the St. Lawrence River.

The Battle of the Windmill was designated a National Historic Site by the Government of Canada in 1920.

Le moulin à vent, construit vers 1831 par un marchand des Indes occidentales, Thomas Hughes, était l'élément central de la petite communauté de Newport. Le moulin et les bâtiments en pierre furent endommagés par le lourd feu d'artillerie des Britanniques penant la bataille. Le moulin réparé servit de casernes temporaires. Les résidants furent dédommagés pour leurs pertes, mais Newport ne se releva jamais.

Les ruines en pierre devinrent d'importants centres d'intérêt locaux. En 1873, la tour en pierre fut convertie en phare pour faciliter la navigation sur le Saint-Laurent.

Le gouvernement du Canada désigné le lieu de la bataille du Moulin-à-Vent lieu historique national en 1920.

Image on the left / Image à gauche:

Windmill at Prescot, circa 1900,
National Archives of Canada, Topley 6285

Le moulin à vent de Prescott, vers 1900,
Archives nationales du Canada, Topley 6285

Image on the right / Image à droite:

The Windmill as it was in 1878, Prescott Ontario,
National Archives of Canada, C-67816

Le moulin à vent tel qu'il apparaissait en 1878, Prescott (Ontario),
Archives nationales du Canada, C-67816

William Gates, who participated in the battle, described his reason for joining the rebels.

"We believed our Canadian neighbours to be struggling for the freedom which we were enjoying and which with a little aid they would be successful in securing . . . The charge had been made that we were but a band of marauders seeking the spoils of honest people. Thos who were acquainted with us and with the times know that such an object was far removed from our minds . . . I fancied I might have the satisfaction that I was one of those who aided in securing full liberty to Canada's sons and daughters."

William Gates Recollections of life in Van Dieman's Land. Lockport 1850.

William Gates, qui participa à la bataille, explique en ces termes ce qui l'avait motivé à se joindre aux rebelles.

« Nous pensions que nos voisins canadiens se battaient pour cette liberté dont nous jouissions et qu'avec un peu d'aide ils pourraient obtenir... On nous a accusés de n'être qu'une bande de maraudeurs cherchant à dépouiller les honnêtes gens. Ceux qui nous ont connus et qui ont connu cette époque savent que pareille idée ne nous a jamais traversé l'esprit... J'ai cru que j'aurais la satisfaction d'être de ceux qui auraient contribué à assurer pleine et entière liberté aux fils et filles du Canada. »

William Gates Recollections of life in Van Dieman's Land. Lockport 1850.

From this vantage point, rebel sharp shooters could fire on British troops.
Upriver to the west lies Fort Wellington which was being rebuilt at the
time of the Battle of the Windmill

À partir de cette position avantageuse, les francs-tireurs rebelles pouvaient
tirer les troupes britanniques. En amont vers l'oues se trouve le fort
Wellington, qui était en reconstruction au moment de la bataille du


This lighthouse was built originally as a windmill in the 1820's. It served the needs of the local residents, grinding their grain into flour or animal feed. After the 1838 battle, it was used as a temporary military post. In 1872, the federal government converted the tower into a lighthous that remained in service unti 1978. Today, the mill and adjacent land are a National Historic Site.


Le phare est un ancien moulin à vent, construit dans les années 1820 pour desservir la population locale. On y moulait des farines destinées à la consommation humaine et animale. Après la bataille de 1838, on en fit un poste militaire temporaire. En 1872, le gouvernement fédéral transforma la bâtiment en phare. Ce dernier resta en service jusqu'en 1978. Aujourd'hui, le moulin est un lieu historique national.

1. Grain from field
2. Scale
3. Hoist
4. Gravity feed system
5. Sail
6. Rotating cap
7. Wind fan
8. Sail adjustment gallery
9. Wheat Cleaner
10. Holding bin
11. Drive shaft
12. Grind stones
13. Bolter and bagger
14. Flour
15. Animal feed

1. Céréales
2. Balance
3. Appareil de levage
4. Alimentation par gravité
5. Aile
6. Calotte rotative
7. Gouvernail
8. Galerie (pour l'adjustement des ailes)
9. Séparateur
10. Caisse
11. Arbre d'entrainement
12. Meules
13. Blutoir et ensacheuse
14. Farine
15. Moulée

The lighthouse in 1878  ·  Le phare en 1878