The 125th Anniversary of the Opening of the Murray Canal

On Saturday, October 18th, 2014 starting at 1 pm, the Murray Canal District Organization will be celebrating the 125th anniversary of the opening of the Murray Canal in 1889. The event will take place on the site of the official opening in 1889 at Twelve O’Clock Point Rd. on the northeast side of the canal crossing at Carrying Place.

The canal has a long history and land was set aside for it during the first days of Loyalist settlement in the 1790s. Pressure to build the canal built during the War of 1812 as the route became an important supply line for the British, and saved days of dangerous sailing for the great vessels of the era. Afterwards, the timber trade in the Trenton area also encouraged local lobbying efforts to have the waterway built. While there were many surveys of the site, the Murray Canal became less of a concern for federal authorities. Steamships replaced sailing ships; the threat of war lessened; and railways were the rage. 

But nonetheless, the local residents of Prince Edward County, Hastings and Northumberland wanted the canal built and they got their way in October 1889 with John A. Macdonald official opening it.

We plan to mark the day with a re-enactment of Macdonald’s official opening together with historical tours of the canal. Parking at the site will be limited and we plan to bus folks from nearby parking areas. 

Picture of Peter Lockyer

Peter Lockyer

Local historian and former CBC Journalist, Peter has been a life-long resident in Picton, Ontario.

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