A mon­u­men­tal restora­tion be­gins

The Glengarry News - - Front Page -

One of the re­gion’s most prom­i­nent land­marks, the Glen­garry Cairn near Lan­caster, is un­der­go­ing a facelift.

Parks Canada is spend­ing $693,000 to sta­bi­lize the cairn in its cur­rent con­di­tion and pro­tect the cul­tural her­itage of Cairn Is­land.

The agency says it “is pleased to be work­ing in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Mo­hawks of Ak­we­sasne and the Town­ship of South Glen­garry on this fed­eral in­fra­struc­ture project.”

The prop­erty, sit­u­ated in the St. Lawrence River op­po­site South Lan­caster, has been closed to the pub­lic since 2009 since it was des­ig­nated as a First Na­tions sa­cred burial ground.

“Parks Canada has no plans to re-open the is­land to the pub­lic,” wrote Hugh Ostrom, Parks Canada Su­per­in­ten­dent of Na­tional His­toric Sites, Ge­or­gian Bay and On­tario East, in a let­ter to South Glen­garry coun­cil in Septem­ber of last year.

Cairn Is­land was closed to the pub­lic nine years ago when the dis­cov­ery of bones led to claims of a sa­cred First Na­tions burial ground there, and a long-run­ning land claim dis­pute in­volv­ing lo­cal First Na­tions bands and Parks Canada has also pre­vented it from re-open­ing. The last time work was car­ried out on the is­land was in 2010 when the fed­eral govern­ment sta­bi­lized the shore­line to ar­rest ero­sion.

Parks Canada de­clared the Cairn a Na­tional His­toric Site in 1921.

The mon­u­ment, de­scribed by Mr. Ostrom as “a cul­tural land­mark of Scot­tish mil­i­tary her­itage,” was built in 1840-1841 un­der the su­per­vi­sion of Lt.-Col. Lewis Carmichael, by the Glen­garry High­landers and Glen­garry Mili­tia, which had aided in the sup­pres­sion of the Re­bel­lions in Lower Canada in 1837 and 1838.

It was ded­i­cated to Sir John Col­borne who led the Glen­garry High­landers and Mili­tia, and the 52nd Fraser High­landers, dur­ing the Bat­tle of Water­loo in 1815. Mr. Col­borne, who died in the U.K. in 1863, was also Lieu­tenant-Gov­er­nor of Up­per Canada from November 1828 to Jan­uary 1836, and Gov­er­nor-Gen­eral in 1839.

The cur­rent work is part of the $3 bil­lion be­ing in­vested over five years to sup­port in­fra­struc­ture work in Parks Canada places across the coun­try.

BOL­STERED: The fed­eral govern­ment is restor­ing the Lan­caster cairn which has been des­ig­nated as a her­itage site since 1921.

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