Traces of our past: Ac­cent on her­itage at this week­end’s High­land Games

The Glengarry News - - Front Page -

A large-scale im­age of a pres­ti­gious land­mark, pro­duced in mem­ory of for­mer The

Glen­garry News owner Kevin Macdon­ald, will be for­mally un­veiled at this week­end’s Glen­garry High­land Games in Maxville.

The five-foot by three-foot poster of Glen­garry House, lo­cated on Stone­house Point east of Corn­wall, was made by the Glen­garry County Ar­chives from a 1955 aerial pho­to­graph of the ru­ins.

One of the fo­cal points of the her­itage tent at the Au­gust 4 and 5 Games, the re­pro­duc­tion was made pos­si­ble by a do­na­tion from em­ploy­ees of The News, who made a con­tri­bu­tion to the Ar­chives in mem­ory of Mr. Macdon­ald, who passed away ear­lier this year.

Prin­ci­pal owner of The News since 2003, Mr. Macdon­ald was an avid his­tory buff and a strong sup­porter of the Ar­chives. Af­ter his death in April, em­ploy­ees of the newspaper con­curred that a fit­ting trib­ute would be for them to make a con­tri­bu­tion to the Ar­chives in his mem­ory.

County Ar­chiv­ist Al­lan MacDon­ald con­cluded a fit­ting use for the do­na­tion would be

the cre­ation of the Glen­garry House poster, with the in­scrip­tion Traces of our past-Ves­tiges de notre his­toire; Glen­garry House on the St. Lawrence; In Mem­ory of Kevin Macdon­ald.

Taken by Ran-Gal Pho­tos, of Corn­wall, the im­age shows what re­mained of the man­sion which was built in 1792, in what would later be­come Char­lot­ten­burgh Town­ship, by John MacDonell of Aber­chalder. Sadly, the her­itage site was de­stroyed by fire in 1813.

The first Speaker of the Leg­isla­tive Assem­bly of Up­per Canada and a dis­tin- guished mil­i­tary of­fi­cer, Lieu­tenant Colonel John MacDonell was part of a wave of Scot­tish im­mi­grants who ar­rived here in 1773.

“Kevin’s fore­bears, the Sand­field Mac­don­alds, came in 1786,” notes Al­lan MacDon­ald.

The Sand­field Mac­don­alds and the MacDonells were among the fam­i­lies who spurred the de­vel­op­ment of the re­gion. Weav­ing the so­cial fab­ric of the new com­mu­nity, they were ac­tive in all as­pects of so­ci­ety.

A re­minder of that era is Glen­garry House, the first stone house in the county. Now only a shadow of its orig­i­nal splen­dour, the im­pos­ing two-storey stone ed­i­fice, and its im­pres­sive guest list, spoke of the sta­tus of the MacDonells.

Lord John Graves Sim­coe, the first Lieu­tenant Gover­nor of Up­per Canada, and Lady El­iz­a­beth Sim­coe stopped there, their visit mer­it­ing men­tion in her fa­mous diaries. Lord Thomas Dou­glas Selkirk also paid his

Poster of Glen­garry House was pro­duced in mem­ory of for­mer owner of The News

re­spect to the MacDonells.

The lives of th­ese prom­i­nent pi­o­neers have been well doc­u­mented. Yet, Mr. MacDon­ald, de­spite his vast knowl­edge of the county’s past, is puz­zled by the source of the build­ing ma­te­ri­als for Glen­garry House.

“There was noth­ing but trails here at that time,” he notes. Limestone was trans­ported by boat on the St. Lawrence River to the con­struc­tion site. “Imag­ine the mas­sive ef­fort it took to get the stone cut and moved there.”

There’s more

As ex­pected, with the High­land Games mark­ing its 70th an­niver­sary, the her­itage pavil­ion will be par­tic­u­larly com­pelling this year.

Ob­jects of spe­cial in­ter­est in­clude a 1797 land deed granted to Cato Prime, a black Loy­al­ist who set­tled on the Se­cond of Lan­caster, a map from 1862 de­tail­ing the names of all prop­erty own­ers, a 1912 topo­graph­i­cal map de­scrib­ing el­e­va­tions and gravel pits, and a 1956 soils map. “This in­cludes the lo­ca­tion of a spe­cial sandy loam that was found only in a small area north­east of Maxville,” re­lates Mr. MacDon­ald. A paint­ing of the SS No. 10 school in Loch Garry will draw at­ten­tion, as will a col­lage of doc­u­ments, such as a liquor li­cence, a school reg­is­ter and a ban­ner from Maxville’s Main Street. Plus, there will be videos and pho­to­graphs of past Games.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.