Fort Wellington National Historic Site, Prescott

Fort Wellington National Historic Site is a historic military fortification located on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River at Prescott, Ontario. It was originally built in 1813 on land owned by Major Edward Jessup, a prominent Loyalist from Connecticut who founded Prescott in 1784.ConstructionFort Wellington was commissioned by the British government during the War of 1812 to protect the head of the Gallop Rapids in the St. Lawrence River. Prior to the creation of the St. Lawrence Seaway in the 1950s, a series of rapids ran downriver from Prescott to Montreal. Shipping of freight and passengers on regular lake ships was impossible through these rapids, and so freight and passengers who travelled downriver to Prescott from Kingston would be "forwarded" to smaller bateaux which could travel through the rapids. Likewise, freight travelling upriver from Montreal would be unloaded from smaller bateaux and loaded onto larger lake ships for carriage upriver. At the time, the Rideau Canal had not been constructed and the colony's road network was primitive. The only means of shipping heavy cargo and passengers into the Great Lakes from the lower St. Lawrence was by way of Prescott.Since Prescott is located only a mile from the town of Ogdensburg, New York, it was especially vulnerable to military action by the United States Army. As a communications hub upon which the rest of the colony of Upper Canada relied, the town had to be defended.
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Fort Wellington National Historic Site Reviews
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103 reviews
  • September 10, 2017
    The Block House was first built during the War of 1812 to defend the St. Lawrence River shipping route from attack by the United States, Fort Wellington also helped thwart another American invasion du...  more »
  • August 31, 2017
    Very well done, two rooms in the modern building of the home with a search by puzzle for all but that children enjoy. The fort is well also, on-site people take pleasure in giving explanations and make an effort to speak french. All explanations are in both languages. The site facing the St. Lawrence River is very beautiful picnic spot. The ideal stop between Montreal and Kingston.
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  • August 19, 2017
    We actually were looking for a lighthouse (which turned out to be a small one with an ice cream shop, not what we were expecting) and came upon Ft. Wellington. Admission was free, and the young lady i...  more »
  • June 29, 2017
    Really nice. The guys are really nice
  • August 20, 2016
    My son attended Fort Kids this summer, which was available every Tuesday with a different theme and various activities during the day. I think this was his favourite summer activity. He is already looking forward to signing up next year. Thank you to all the amazing staff participating in this program.
  • April 5, 2017
    Describe your experience it was potato 666
  • June 28, 2017
    very friendly and they knew there stuff
  • June 22, 2017
    nice the rifle was awesome

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