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Bridge Island / Chimney Island National Historic Site of Canada

Chimney Island, Ontario, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1936/05/28

General view of Bridge Island / Chimney Island showing the plaque text.; Parks Canada Agency/Agence Parcs Canada
General view
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Other Name(s)

Bridge Island / Chimney Island
Île-Bridge / Île-Chimney
Île-Bridge / Île-Chimney
Bridge Island / Chimney Island National Historic Site of Canada

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1814/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2010/12/17

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Bridge Island / Chimney Island National Historic Site of Canada is located on Chimney Island in the St. Lawrence River, about 20 kilometres upriver from Brockville, Ontario. This island was the site of a fortified British garrison during the War of 1812, which protected the supply line to Lower Canada and provided a meeting point for British ships. In 1980, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada erected a plaque on the island to commemorate the site. Official recognition refers to the island as it was found at the time of designation.

Heritage Value

Bridge Island / Chimney Island was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1936 because:
- it was fortified and garrisoned in 1814 for the protection of the vital line of supply by water from Lower Canada and provided a rendezvous for boats engaged in that service during the War of 1812-14.

During the War of 1812, the St. Lawrence River was the lifeline of Upper Canada along which virtually all military and civilian supplies were transported from Montreal to Kingston. Fear that the Americans might attempt to block the passage of material prompted the fortification of Bridge Island / Chimney Island as a shelter for the “supply bateaux” and a base for British gunboats. A blockhouse was completed early in 1814 and a circular battery with an 18-pounder constructed. These defence works were maintained by a detachment of the 57th Regiment and artillerymen during 1814, but fell into disrepair soon after the war.

Sources: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, 1936; Plaque Text, 1980.

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements contributing to the heritage value of the site include:
- its location about 20 kilometres upriver from Brockville, Ontario;
- its siting on a treed rocky island within the St. Lawrence River, in close proximity to the shore;
- the relationship of the site with the St. Lawrence River and its adjacent landscape;
- any surface, subsurface or underwater archaeological resources relating to the fortifications erected on the island in their original placement and extent, including remains of the blockhouse and circular battery;
- the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada plaque, located at the centre of the island;
- viewscapes from the site down the St. Lawrence River and northwest towards the shore.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Federal

Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Historic Sites and Monuments Act

Recognition Type

National Historic Site of Canada

Recognition Date

1936/05/28

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

n/a

Theme - Category and Type

Governing Canada
Military and Defence
Governing Canada
Canada and the World

Function - Category and Type

Current

Historic

Defence
Military Defence Installation

Architect / Designer

n/a

Builder

n/a

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

819

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

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