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County history mingles with life of Sir John in new website


John Pepper Downes 1847 sketch of the Mansion House on the corner of Ross and Main streets, Picton.


Imagine life in Sir John A Macdonald’s Picton with the launch of the Macdonald Project’s new website.

The project’s chair, David Warrick, notes the website includes walking and driving tours, and has details of the early life and career of Canada’s first prime minister, photo galleries, educational notes and video.

“There are lots of resources there for anyone interested in learning about County history around the time that Macdonald lived, went to school and worked here,” said Warrick.

Take the tour on the website and enjoy many fine John Pepper Downes sketches, other drawings and old photographs of Picton in the day.

The walking tour begins at Macdonald Square at the Picton Armouries on Main Street where Ruth Abernethy’s bronze portrait of a young John A. Macdonald Holding Court was installed on Canada Day this year.

An interesting history of Picton and Sir John’s life in it, begins with his arrival in town in 1833 at the corner of Ross and Main streets at the most popular inn in Hallowell known locally as the Hopkin’s Inn and Tavern, named after the inn-keeper.

The tour continues to the North American Hotel, called am ambitious project in 1835 when Sir John worked in the law office across the street and continues to Hill Street where Macdonald’s cousin Lowther CPennington Macpherson lived.

The tour comes back to the top of the Town Hill, behind the law offices, then down the hill to the former Eyre’s Inn and Tavern on Bridge Street and up to St. Gregory’s Church, St. Mary Magdalene Church and Macaulay House.

The tour continues at Picton’s court house – one of the oldest in Ontario – where Sir John argued his first case.

The tour circles back to the Picton United Church, once a Methodist meeting house, where the famous dead horse in the pulpit story unfolded.

Click here to take the tour online.  This also links to the route to continue the tour by car – to Glenora, Adolpjustown, Hay Bay and Napanee, back to Trenton and into the County to Hillier.


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