In 1784, at the end of the American Revolutionary War, some of the thousands of colonists who had remained loyal to the British were resettled on land grants in British controlled territory in what is now eastern Ontario, Canada. In Lennox & Addington County they settled in Township No. 2 (Ernestown, now Loyalist Township); Township No. 3 (Fredericksburgh, now part of Greater Napanee) and Township No. 4 (Adolphustown, now part of Greater Napanee).
These early settlements were important with the first Town Meeting in Upper Canada held in 1792 in Adolphustown and the first steamship launched on the Great Lakes from Bath in Ernestown in 1816. Local rivers and bays became the drivers of industry. At one time the mills in Napanee were the only ones to be found between Kingston and Toronto (York).
As raw materials began to disappear and water power and transportation by water and later by train became less important to the engines of industry and the movement of goods, the towns and villages that were once important faded from centre stage.
Today these same towns and villages are quiet and charming places where one can enjoy the simple pleasures of rural Ontario. Learn more about the area's rich history via the links below and if you are interested in genealogy, the County Museum, the United Empire Loyalist Heritage Centre and the South Fredricksburgh Heritage Committee are excellent places to begin your search.