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Posts Tagged ‘Prescott Ontario’

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Prescott is an Ontario town on the St. Lawrence, across the river from Ogdensburg, New York. Prescott was founded by Edward Jessup, a Loyalist who, in 1787, was rewarded for his service to King George with a 1,200-acre land grant. Jessup had a portion of this grant surveyed as a town site in the year of 1810. He named the new settlement Prescott in honour of General Robert Prescott who was appointed governor-in-chief of British North America in 1794. The town occupied a strategic military site and Fort Wellington was built on Prescott’s eastern edge in 1812 to defend the St. Lawrence River and the town.

One of the early settlers in the new town was Alpheus Jones, who arrived from Augusta in 1813. From 1816 to 1828, Jones was postmaster at Fort Wellington. As Prescott grew, Jones also served the town as postmaster and acted as Collector of Customs from 1823 until his death in 1863.

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There are many attractive stone houses in Prescott and the surrounding region, but one of the most beautiful is that built by Alpheus Jones. It is situated on a large lot in the centre of the old town. The large, Georgian style house was constructed between 1827 and 1832 by masons that Jones brought over from England. Limestone from the Kingston area was used for the front facade. It’s said that when first cut, the stone had a bluish tint, so the new house was first known as The Blue House, and later as Holmstead.

The grand house was heated by 8 fireplaces until the 1930s, when a hot water heating system was installed. In 1937, it was sold to the Earle brothers, who divided the interior into two living areas and started a lumber business in the rear coach house. After 180 years of service, the house remains an elegant testament to the skill of its builders. Its pleasing Georgian symmetry still satisfies the eye.

Oddly enough, there is another historic Alpheus Jones House in Raleigh, North Carolina. It is a Greek Revival-style plantation house, which was built in 1847. For more on Georgian homes, see my March 31, 2011 post, Georgian Delights.

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Prescott Harbour Lighthouse

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Ice Fishing

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Old Ferry Wharf

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Riverside Yarrow

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At the end of a hot summer day, it’s nice to take a picnic supper or pick up a take-out meal and head down by the St. Lawrence river at the Prescott harbour. No matter how hot the day, there always seems to be a cool, comfortable breeze blowing in off the water.

The town of Prescott is located on the St. Lawrence River about 40 miles from Lake Ontario. Down by the harbour, there’s just enough activity to add interest without being crowded. You can enjoy some people-watching and admire the boats while you eat.

There are always a few opportunistic gulls hoping for a handout.

After supper, you can head over to the Inner Harbour Lighthouse. The 40-foot replica lighthouse was built in 1989 by the Rotary Club of Prescott.

You can climb the interior stairs to the top of the lighthouse and see the lantern and fifth order lens up close. The lens and related devices were used in the training of lightkeepers at the Prescott Dominion Lighthouse Depot (DLD), which operated from 1903 to 1962, when the facility was taken over by the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) . The lantern is the one that was on top of the old DLD building. Back in its day, the DLD was the biggest supplier of lighthouse equipment in Canada.

The lighthouse offers a good view of the river. That’s Ogdensburg, New York that you can see across the water.

We could see a Tall Ship docked just up the river.

After picking up a cone in the Lighthouse Ice Cream Shoppe, we walked over to see the ship.

The Fair Jeanne was built by Captain Thomas Fuller between 1979 and 1982, on the Ottawa River. The 110-foot Brigantine sailed the oceans of the world as a private yacht before being leased to the not-for-profit youth charity Bytown Brigantine as a sail training ship.

In the last 15 years, the ship has logged over 150,000 nautical miles (280,000 kilometres). Now, Fair Jeanne sails mostly on the Great Lakes, particularly Lake Ontario. Below is a photograph from Wikipedia that shows the ship with her 4500 square feet of sails comprising 10 sails in a brigantine rig.

After viewing the ship we walked back to the car and headed for home. It’s a pleasant spot to spend a summer evening.

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