Wel­come! Bien­v­enue! Ceud mile failte!

The Glengarry News - Glengarry Special - - News -

Glen­garry County, On­tario’s Celtic Heart­land, is a lot like the tar­tans you will see worn here – colour­ful, multi-lay­ered, proud and steeped in his­tory.

Set­tled by High­landers and French Cana­di­ans, the county, the door­way to “Where On­tario Be­gan,” has been home to prom­i­nent soldiers, writ­ers, politi­cians, church lead­ers, ath­letes, en­trepreneurs and ed­u­ca­tors, ex­plor­ers, ad­ven­tur­ers, mu­si­cians, dancers, and at one time, fa­mous bug­gies.

No­table Glen­gar­ri­ans in­clude John Sand­field Macdon­ald, the first Pre­mier of On­tario who was born in St. Raphael’s, “the cra­dle of Catholi­cism in On­tario.”

Rev. Charles Wil­liam Gor­don, a.k.a. Ralph Connor, wrote Glen­garry School Days, while his day job was a Pres­by­te­rian and later United Church min­is­ter.

In Canada’s first county, vis­i­tors will come across memories of larger-than-life char­ac­ters such as “Cari­boo” Cameron, rec­ol­lec­tions of ac­com­plished pro­fes­sional and am­a­teur ath­letes, liv­ing lega­cies of hardy pioneers who started new lives, many on tracts that were “In­dian Lands,” a term that is still used to mark some rural roads.

His­to­ri­ans Royce MacGil­livray and Ewan Ross have as­serted that Glen­garry was a na­tion “with its own in­tense sense of co­he­sion and of sep­a­ra­tion from the out­side world, its own cus­toms and val­ues, its own aware­ness of hav­ing its own heroic past sep­a­rate from that of the coun­try of which it has been a part, and for a time, even its own lan­guage.”

Gaelic used to be a com­mon lan­guage in the re­gion.

The county was orig­i­nally made up of Scottish em­i­grants from the High­lands of Scot­land.

Be­tween 1773 and 1853, close to 3,500 peo­ple em­i­grated to Glen­garry County from a few dis­tricts in the Scottish High­lands. The em­i­grants came from Lochiel, Glen­garry, Knoy­dart and Glenelg.

To­day, the area that is known for Maxville’s High­land Games cel­e­brates and pre­serves its rich, multi-lay­ered his­tory and cul­ture through archives, fairs, halls of fame, mu­se­ums, plaques, land­marks, fes­ti­vals and mu­sic.

Glen­garry is also a play­ground, with a plethora of recre­ational fa­cil­i­ties, and a rest­ing area, with parks and tran­quil river vis­tas.

Plus there is a wide se­lec­tion of stores, restau­rants and shops.

Glen­garry has be­come a des­ti­na­tion for foodies, at­tracted by new restau­rants and the world fa­mous Glen­garry Fine Cheese. Read on, and dis­cover Glen­garry. The “Wel­come” mat is out.

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