Celebration of the 240th Founding of Cornwall and the SDG Counties

Three times further back than D-Day, an event this weekend, June 7-9, celebrates the arrival of Loyalist settlers in 1784 in the area around Cornwall and the Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry (SDG). The celebration, presented by the SDG Historical Society, is free and open to all. Here’s a press release.

Step Back in Time

What do Jane Fonda and the founder of the Chrysler Motor Corporation have in common? Both are descendants of Loyalist settlers who came to Canada in 1784 as refugees from the American Revolution. Both families settled in what is now Dundas County where many German Loyalists found homes. Other Loyalist settlers took land spreading from Lancaster to the Bay of Quinte.

This year on June 6th, it will be 240 years since John Johnson’s loyalist refugees from the American Revolution brought their boats ashore in a wilderness area that was to be their new homes. The settlers named their settlement New Johnstown and they spread from here to other sites along the river that were called the Royal Townships. Today these names are more familiar to us as Cornwall and the Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry.

On June 7 to 9th, step back into the past and rediscover the beginning of Cornwall and the SDG Counties when for three days Lamoureux Park will transform to what life was like when these new settlers arrived. In the park by the St. Lawrence River, a tented village will spring up replicating New Johnstown as it was in 1784. Visit the encampment to learn how these early settlers survived their arrival and flourished to build today’s vibrant city and counties and eventually led to the establishment of the Province of Ontario.

This area of the province is steeped in history and to display that history, many of the region’s historical and heritage groups will be presenting exhibits, presentations and demonstrations in a large tent along Water Street. For music lovers, concerts will be held on Friday and Saturday evenings presenting French, Celtic and Akwesasne entertainers. The Cornwall Community Museum will be open for tours and will introduce its new exhibit on “1784”. In addition, the United Empire Loyalists Association of Canada will be hosting their national conference in Cornwall. This celebration of our past is presented by the SDG Historical Society and is a free event open to all.

It’s not often that you can revisit history or see how your ancestors lived and coped, but June 7-9th will provide that unique experience and also be a time to celebrate the 240th anniversary of Cornwall and the SDG Counties. For more information, check out the event website at 1784.ca.

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