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Work under way to welcome return of Sir John A.

Quinte-Boy-returnsWork is under way on the lawn of the Armoury Mall, downtown Picton, toward the unveiling on Canada Day of a larger-than-life bronze statue of Sir John A Macdonald.

Celebrating the bicentennial of his birth, renowed sculptor Ruth Abernethy was commissioned to create the 10th public sculpture of Canada’s first prime minister. Her work, entitled ‘Holding Court’ is to be unveiled in front of the Armoury Mall, Picton, on Canada Day at 2 p.m.
Holding Court is 8’ by 4’ by 6.6’ high and weighs 1,400 lbs.  It depicts Macdonald as a young lawyer addressing a jury at his very first court case in Picton, Upper Canada on October 8, 1834. Macdonald won the case, successfully defending himself against an assault charge occasioned by a practical joke.

Four months later at the age of 20, he graduated from the Law Society of Upper Canada as an attorney – the beginning of his career in both law and politics.

“My early associations are connected with Prince Edward – some of the happiest days of my life were spent here. I here obtained my earliest professional education, and here, in the good old town of Picton, I earned my first fee and made my first speech to a jury in this very Court House,” said Macdonald.

Some citizens who were mourning the loss the maple tree at the site, learned it was in poor condition and decomposing. Three new trees are to be planted to replace the maple.

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  1. Susan says:

    Just curiosity given the fact past wrong doings are presently in the news.

  2. supporter of anonymous canada says:

    Why would you ask that Susan?

  3. Susan says:

    Wonder if the Aboriginals will attend to send a message.

  4. Olmanonthemtn says:

    The irony here is that in the 1830’s when Hallowell and Picton were to be merged MacDonald favoured a new name for the amalgamated town.Yes if he had gotten his way the banners on main street today could have read Return of the Port William boy

  5. Mark Rose says:

    Del, you might as well say you don’t live in Ontario then either.
    You people will find anything and everything to gripe and moan over on here.
    Anybody want to argue what colour the sky is?

  6. Chuck says:

    Del, that’s the piece that is clearly missing here. Common sense in relation to local tradition.

  7. Del Monte says:

    I dont live in quinte I live in PICTON.

  8. Jason Parks says:

    Regardless of what we think natives and residents of the region should be labeled TODAY, during HIS time, Sir John A called himself a “Quinte Boy” and that’s documented by his former law partner. Unless you are 200 years old and were there, I don’t think anyone has authority concerning common monikers, nicknames etc.

  9. supporter of anonymous canada says:

    Would rather seen a monument of Ronald McDonald instead of a racist that treated the Natives the way sir john a macdonald did. At least Ronald McDonald’s charities go to sick children and is probably liked a lot more!!!!

  10. Olmanonthemtn says:

    thanks Beth glad you see the bigger picture

  11. Beth says:

    You know, this kind of ridiculous bickering over a name that is commonly accepted as a reference to an entire area makes a mockery of everyone.

    Prince Edward County has a unique identity, yes, but you know what? Sir John A had an impact bigger than us. Hey the man held the mortgage on a house my parents once owned in Belleville. Can we not just take pride in the fact we are in an area that had a huge impact on his life?

    The world is bigger than The County.

  12. Marnie says:

    Glad to be among the handful, Chuck. The majority is not always in the right.

  13. Olmanonthemtn says:

    Let Sir John educate us locals by speaking for himself:
    An article from the British Journal of Canadian Studies questioned what did Sir John A sound like? Alexander Campbell was well placed to comment. A Yorkshire-Scot raised in Canada and married to an English wife, he was presumably sensitive to accents. More important, he entered Macdonald’s law office as a student in 1839 and was at various times his business partner, political ally and candid critic through half a century. Writing apparently after Macdonald’s death, and only shortly before his own, Campbell emphasised the Canadian influences in his speech. ‘He was in tone of voice & manner as thoroughly a Bay of Quinte boy as if he had been born there.’

  14. Chuck says:

    Perhaps to a handful. I am certain the majority of locals wouldn’t see it that way. Lol. Maybe if you keep saying it long enough!

  15. Marnie says:

    You’ve got that right Olman. He’s a Quinte lad for certain.

  16. Olmanonthemtn says:

    seems from the preceding excerpt the lad later to be known as Sir John A was a Quinte Boy

  17. Olmanonthemtn says:

    Excerpt from

    “An Anecdotal Life of Sir John Macdonald”

    by E. B. Biggar
    Published 1891

    About 1825, Hugh Macdonald gave up his business in Kingston and moved up the Bay of Quinte, to a point about 15 or 20 miles west of Kingston. The scenery of the Bay of Quinte is charming to the eye of a stranger. The long stretch of water which cuts off Prince Edward county from the mainland, and makes it almost an island, is free from the wild storms which beat upon the outer shores of the county; and the stranger sailing up these pleasant waters sees peace and loveliness on every hand. An ever varying panorama is presented to the eye: here a quiet bay, there a rocky bluff, again a reedy biyou, beyond a shelving shore, and anon an opening where a reach of water, long and winding, finds its way for miles and miles, making peninsula after peninsula of always varying size and aspect… At the root, as it were, of one of these many tongues of land formed by the arms of the Bay of Quinte, was one of the settlements of United Empire Loyalists … It was at Hay Bay that the Macdonald family fixed their abode. It stood by the side of the high road, about eighty feet from the water. The shore curved in gracefully from a far point of land down towards the house, and the clear waters, whether ruffled by the transient breeze, or in the calm of evening reflecting the distant hills across the bay, must have been a delight and an inspiration to the lad whose fortunes we are following.

  18. Olmanonthemtn says:

    sure have heard of the high shore went on its road by bus to PECI, we didn’t bother to qualify that is now the high shore of long reach oh but now its the high shore of Picton Bay it was the Bay’s high shore Bay of Quinte that is

  19. Susan says:

    You probably never heard of the High Shore either! Lol

  20. Olmanonthemtn says:

    Funny growing up when asked I never heard folks living on the shoreline say they lived on Long (Hayward) Reach rather they lived on the Bay of Quinte I think probably because
    the Bay is so much more well known

  21. old local says:

    I have looked at 5 old Maps and 1 Hydrographic chart. The ferry crosses Adolphus reach and where it opens up is Picton Bay. They all show Bay of Quinte as being North of Big Island as in “Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte” !

  22. Mark says:

    I think this point is debatable on both sides however local names tend to rule the day. Below the point, toward Glen Island and Kingston, the bay is known as Adolphustown Reach. Picton eastward along the Sophiasburgh shore, extending beyond Green Point towards Deseronto a stretch about 20 miles, the bay gets the name of Long Reach.

    I think few locals would commonly connect Sir John A with Quinte. Just my 2 cents!

  23. Marnie says:

    Susan, I am fifth generation county and I have ties to Glenora that go back to the late 1800’s. I am not about to give it up until you can name that body of water or offer any evidence that it is NOT the Bay of Quinte. Don’t rely too heavy on what you hear around town. A lot of those people are from Toronto.

  24. Olmanonthemtn says:

    Seems to me that we have to view the County as more than where we happen to live!

  25. Olmanonthemtn says:

    Who says county and picton folk are synonymous?

  26. Susan says:

    Marnie, give it up. Chuck has made his point and from what I am hearing around Town when people look at these banners is “why is Quinte on there instead of Picton”. You can argue Quinte until the cows come home, but County folk are not buying it. Let it go.

  27. Olmanonthemtn says:

    Well let me see my families routes go back depending on what side your counting well over 150 years and according to family tradition were acquainted with Sir John. Mind you we weren’t local Picton folk but my family farmed and fished on the north Sophiasburgh shores and when asked we were proud to say we grew up on the shores of the Bay of Quinte in Prince Edward County, As a boy I watched the steamers pass my home on their way to Picton Harbour and felt I was a Quinte Boy I guess it all depends on your point of view and where you grew up here but it does point to the problem of splitting hairs.

  28. Marnie says:

    Google Bay of Quinte and ferries and you will find several references that clearly indicate the ferries cross the Bay of Quinte. You’d better straighten these people out Chuck. Why not start by telling them the proper name for the body of water they have been crossing all these years? What is it if not the Bay of Quinte??

  29. old local says:

    You nailed it Chuck, no locals say they are from Quinte ?
    But this is not about the locals or the County. It’s about a “Quinte Boy” titled by some City folks who thought we should have a statue here ! Really doesn’t involve the locals though.

  30. Chuck says:

    Too funny! Better than wikpedia or the Britannica just find a single longtime Pictonian that calls our waters the Bay of Quinte. Good luck with that. You can stretch it to make it fit if you please but Sir John A being called a Quinte Boy is out of character and not in line with the history being played out in Picton.

  31. Olmanonthemtn says:

    hey Chuck if Wikipedia doesn’t cut it how about the Encylopedia Britannica:

    “Bay of Quinte, arm of Lake Ontario, southeastern Ontario, Canada, extending for 75 miles (121 km) from its entrance near Amherst Island to Murray Canal at the western end. It is a narrow bay, ranging from one to six miles in width. The bay is scenic, having many small inlets; and it receives several rivers from the north, including the Trent, Moira, Salmon, and Napanee. The head of the bay connects with Presqu’ile Bay and Lake Ontario through the Murray Canal; the Trent Canal runs northwestward to Georgian Bay. Major settlements around the bay include Trenton, Belleville, Deseronto, and Picton.”

  32. Marnie says:

    Wikipedia has spoken. Now may we have some positive feedback on how that handsome statue will look on Picton’s Main Street and how fortunate we are to have it?

  33. Chuck says:

    Good old Wikipedia! Doesn’t cut it.

  34. Olmanonthemtn says:

    MacDonald and his family lived at Hay Bay as well as Glenora, he practised law in Picton and Napanee based on the area defined as the Quinte region he would therefore seem in his time to be a Quinte Boy.

  35. Olmanonthemtn says:

    from Wikipedia:
    The northern side of the bay is defined by Ontario’s mainland, while the southern side follows the shore of the Prince Edward County headland. Beginning in the east with the outlet to Lake Ontario, the bay runs west-southwest for 25 kilometers (16 mi) to Picton (although this section is also called Adolphus Reach), where it turns north-northwest for another 20 kilometers (12 mi) as far as Deseronto. From there it turns south-southwest again for another 40 kilometers (25 mi), running past Big Island on the south and Belleville on the north. The width of the bay rarely exceeds two kilometers. The bay ends at Trenton (Quinte West) and the Trent River, both also on the north side. The Murray Canal has been cut through the “Carrying Place”, the few miles separating the end of the bay and Lake Ontario on the west side. The Trent River is part of the Trent-Severn Waterway, a canal connecting Lake Ontario to Lake Simcoe and then Georgian Bay on Lake Huron.
    There are several sub-bays off the Bay of Quinte, including Hay Bay, Big Bay, and Muscote Bay.

    Quinte is also a region comprising several communities situated along the Bay of Quinte, including Belleville which is the largest city in the Quinte Region, and represents a midpoint between Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto.

    The Greater Bay of Quinte area includes the municipalities of Brighton, Quinte West, Belleville, Prince Edward County, and Greater Napanee as well as the Native Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory. Overall population of the area exceeds 200,000.

  36. Marnie says:

    What does it really matter? David Warrick and others have worked hard to do a good thing for the town and county and the statue will be a focal point for Picton’s Main Street. Why nitpick over the word Quinte in ads and posters? Quinte Boy, County Lad or Glenora Son he was still the Father of Confederation. Whining rights should belong only to those who made a financial contribution to the project or worked to promote it in some other meaningful way. Those who made this project a reality deserve congratulations not a bun fight over the wording chosen for advertising posters.

  37. Paul Cole says:

    My apologies the Link to the story with respects to the quote I posted is and not from a story in The Whig

  38. Paul Cole says:

    Town Council has played a part Susan Rose”But Warrick says it is now up to the municipality to take the lead on the project. It begins with the official unveiling of the sculpture on Canada Day. His committee will work with the County’s Community Development department to make arrangements for the event.” My guess is that would include creation of event posters Susan…

  39. Susan Rose says:

    There was a ferry back then..Cole’s Ferry! And it was up the bay towards Picton.

  40. Gary says:

    Ok. So who’s responsible for this Quinte Boy gaffe hung all over Picton?

  41. Susan says:

    Ferry connection to what?? This story has nothing to do about ferries or Quinte. It is about Sir John A’s early years in PICTON! Someone goofed on the Quinte boy tag.

  42. Marnie says:

    Then how do you explain why they named a ferry the Quinte? Did they pull that name out of the hat sans any logical connection?

  43. Susan Rose says:

    Exactly Chuck!! And Paul this has nothing to do with local politics!! Again sorry!

  44. Chuck says:

    I have never heard the gap of water where the ferry travel to Adolphustown as the Bay of Quinte by any locals other than you Marnie. Most people relate the Bay of Quinte as being from Trenton to easterly Belleville. This was an opportunity to sell Picton as one of Sir John A’s early residences as start of a law career. I have also never heard Quinte and Sir John A prior in any references. I think Quinte boy sounds foolish! Just my take on it.

  45. Paul Cole says:

    Here we go again trying to figure out what’s going on in our Municipal elected officials heads its hard to figure those folks out..

  46. Susan Rose says:

    I too don’t get the Quinte?? The ferry doesn’t do it for me? Sorry??

  47. Marnie says:

    Sir John’s dad ran the mill at Glenora. One of the ferries there is named the Quinte. It crosses the Bay of Quinte. That gives a Quinte connection. How is he not a Quinte boy?

  48. Chuck says:

    Thanks Sue. But what does Picton and Kingston areas of Sir John A”s life have to do with Quinte? I fail to see how Quinte comes into play on this.

  49. Sue says:

    @Chuck Quinte Boy answer here: Museum show honours Sir John as a Quinte Boy

  50. Chuck says:

    What’s up with the “Quinte Boy” reference? What does that mean?

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