THE STORY OF THE 1000 ISLANDS
Visit our Permanent Exhibit in our Second Floor Gallery to learn the story of Gananoque and the 1000 Islands
Historic mountains become 1000 islands
A rocky bit of land and two trees that manage to stay above water all year long: that is what defines the 1864 islands that make up the 1000 Islands region. Each of these tenacious bits of land are the remnants of a mountain range which once traversed the area. Now, these islands are the basis for diverse habitats and scenic lookouts.
All creatures great and small
Teeming with life, animals and plants use the Thousand Islands as a refuge while crossing the St. Lawrence River. The river's moderating effect on the climate also allows for creatures from both Northern Ontario and the United States to live together in the same habitat - a rare sight to be sure!
A homeland since time immemorial
We would like to acknowledge that our museum is on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee First Peoples. We make this statement in an act of reconciliation, honouring the land and Indigenous presence here, which dates back over 10,000 years.
Arrival of Europeans
From beaver pelts to Loyalists
The St. Lawrence river received its name from Jacques Cartier during the August of 1535. The river became an important trade route during the Fur Trade, and was later settled by United Empire Loyalists. Colonel Joel Stone was deeded land by the British Government, and became Gananoque's first Loyalist settler in 1791.
War of 1812
Cannon balls and musket fire
War broke out between the United States and Britain in June of 1812, placing Canada in a precarious position. Gananoque was raided in September of the same year, leading to the creation of a blockhouse. Tensions were high, and gun powder was at the ready!
The sooty progression of society
By the early 1800s saw and grist mills had begun to dot Gananoque's shorelines. By the late 1800s there were over 400 factory workers and 8 firms in the town. Gananoque earned itself a reputation as an industrious little settlement. Now the Town of Gananoque’s main industry is tourism.
Wealthy in beauty and currency
The Gilded Age of the United States of America created a Golden Age for Gananoque and the 1000 Islands. To escape the hot and polluted cities, travellers came by rail and ship to relax in picturesque Gananoque and the nearby islands. Some enjoyed it so much, they built cottages and decided to stay.
As charming as ever
Today Gananoque and the 1000 Islands remain a popular destination for people from all over the world.