Glengarry House National Historic Site of Canada
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Glengarry House National Historic Site of Canada is located on Stonehouse Point, just east of Cornwall, Ontario. Now a ruin, the fieldstone gable walls of the house are overgrown by thick brush. The house was likely built in 1792 by Lieutenant Colonel John Macdonell, the first Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada and a pioneer in the settlement of Ontario. The designated place is the ruin of Glengarry House on its footprint.
Glengarry House was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1921 because:
- it was the residence of Lieutenant Colonel John Macdonell (Aberchalder), a pioneer in the settlement of Ontario and first Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada.
John Macdonell received a land grant from the Crown at the conclusion of the American Revolution in recognition of his military service. Although he likely first constructed a log dwelling, it was recorded that he had almost completed a large fieldstone house near the shore of the St. Lawrence River in 1792. Macdonell called the house Glengarry House.
It is unclear what happened to the house after Macdonell’s death. During the War of 1812, it was converted into a barracks for the local militia and was badly damaged by the soldiers. There is a local tradition that the house burned in 1813, but this seems unlikely, since claims were made in 1815 and 1825 to the British authorities for the cost of repairs. By the 1890s, the building was in ruin with only the gable walls standing. In 1921, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada recommended that the house be recognized as a national historic site of Canada.
Sources: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, 1921, December 2008.
Key elements that contribute to the heritage character of the site include:
- its rural siting on Stonehouse Point near the St. Lawrence River;
- the massing and form of the two standing gable walls, and the spatial relationship between them;
- the fieldstone construction of the standing walls;
- the integrity of any potential archaeological remains that may be found within the site related to the period of John Macdonell, including features, artefacts and remains in both their original placement and extent;
- viewscapes to the St. Lawrence River.
Government of Canada
Historic Sites and Monuments Act
National Historic Site of Canada
Theme - Category and Type
- Peopling the Land
- Governing Canada
- Government and Institutions
Function - Category and Type
- Historic or Interpretive Site
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Lieutenant Colonel John Macdonell
Location of Supporting Documentation
National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec.
Cross-Reference to Collection