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Annual Picnic 2013 – Glengarry House / Stone House Point

The Annual Picnic of 2013 started with a visit to Glengarry House at Stone House Point. It is described in this entry by Parks Canada:

DESCRIPTION OF HISTORIC PLACE

Glengarry House National Historic Site of Canada is located on Stonehouse Point, just east of Cornwall, Ontario. Now a ruin, the fieldstone gable walls of the house are overgrown by thick brush. The house was likely built in 1792 by Lieutenant Colonel John Macdonell, the first Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada and a pioneer in the settlement of Ontario. The designated place is the ruin of Glengarry House on its footprint.

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HERITAGE VALUE

Glengarry House was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1921 because:
– it was the residence of Lieutenant Colonel John Macdonell (Aberchalder), a pioneer in the settlement of Ontario and first Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada.

John Macdonell received a land grant from the Crown at the conclusion of the American Revolution in recognition of his military service. Although he likely first constructed a log dwelling, it was recorded that he had almost completed a large fieldstone house near the shore of the St. Lawrence River in 1792. Macdonell called the house Glengarry House.

It is unclear what happened to the house after Macdonell’s death. During the War of 1812, it was converted into a barracks for the local militia and was badly damaged by the soldiers. There is a local tradition that the house burned in 1813, but this seems unlikely, since claims were made in 1815 and 1825 to the British authorities for the cost of repairs. By the 1890s, the building was in ruin with only the gable walls standing. In 1921, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada recommended that the house be recognized as a national historic site of Canada.

Sources: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, 1921, December 2008.

After a strenuous battle with the undergrowth to see the house, members headed along the river to the more genteel setting of Gray’s Creek Conservation Area for the actual picnic.  At this point, additional historical perspective was supplied by Alan MacDonald, and David Anderson.  The weather cooperated wonderfully, and it is fair to say a good time was had by all…..