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Fort Wellington National Historic Site, Prescott

#39 of 181 in Historic Sites in Ontario
Historic Site Tourist Spot
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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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
100 reviews
  • Loved this cute little fort on the water. A self guided tour is free for Canada 150 pass holders while a guided tour has a fee. We did the self guided and loved it. There are 2 galleries in the visito...  more »
  • We happened upon this fort and decided to check it out. We were pleasantly surprised. It wasn't too large, so we were able to take it all in in a half hour. Being American, it was very interesting to ...  more »
  • Fort Wellington is an excellent historical site to learn about 19th century wars and history in Canada. Friendly and knowledgeable staff.  more »
  • Really nice. The guys are really nice
  • 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.
  • Describe your experience it was potato 666
  • very friendly and they knew there stuff
  • nice the rifle was awesome

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