Historic Sites

The 1000 Islands region was home to not only significant skirmishes between the U.S. and British-controlled Canada during the War of 1812, but its history as a vacation destination traces back to the Gilded Age, when many of world’s most wealthy and famous treated the region as their private playground. That history, along with major roles in the U.S. Prohibition and maritime ingenuity, has led to visitors trekking to the 1000 Islands to experience authentic heritage sites and attractions.

Gilded Age grandeur is no more prevalent than at the fairytale castles that stand today as visitor attractions. Learn how the rich and famous of the early 1900s enjoyed the 1000 Islands by visiting these formerly private island mansions.

The region’s maritime history is on display at several sites, including North America’s largest collection of antique and classic wooden boats. Museums dedicated to the region’s fishing and boating history, as well as military past, keep a true sense of why this area is so unique in its connection to water and wilderness.

War of 1812 battle sites and military fortifications still line the shorelines and are open for guided and self-guided tours.

Search for historic attractions below or click a community to learn more about its sites.

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Adams, NY

Historical Association of South Jefferson

29 E. Church St.
Adams, NY 13605

Phone: 315-232-2616
[email protected]

Welcome to a 1850s-era house and antique home with farm and marine displays as well as Indian artifacts, local history and genealogy. Craft classes hosted on-site.

Operation Season: Year Round

Alexandria Bay, NY

Boldt Castle and Boldt Yacht House

Heart Island
Alexandria Bay, NY 13607

Phone: 315-482-9724
Toll Free: 800-8-ISLAND

This 120-room Rhineland-style castle and yacht house built at the turn of the 20th century are the 1000 Islands region’s top attraction. Boldt Castle is home to one of the saddest love stories ever told. Wander the halls and imagine what could have been if tragedy had not struck. Boldt Castle is the story of one man’s devotion to his beloved wife and a dream that went unfulfilled.

Visitors to Boldt Castle return often to see rehabilitation work done on various island buildings and rooms within the castle. They admire the grandeur of the completed rooms while observing the toll that more than 70 unguarded years took on the upper floors.

The castle is accessible by tour boat, water taxi and private watercraft and handicap accessible. Boldt Castle is located in the U.S., so passengers arriving by boat from Canadian ports must provide proper identification for U.S. Customs and Border Protection clearance.

Operation Season: May - October

Cornwall Brothers Store and Museum

36 Market St.
Alexandria Bay, NY 13607

Phone: 315-482-4586
[email protected]

Local history museum in a historic 1866 stone general store building, with changing exhibits about river life, boating and local communities. Gift shop with regional books and gifts. Gallery presentations and special events happening in July and August.

Operation Season: May - September

Athens, ON

Historic Murals of Athens

1 W. Main St
Athens, ON K0E 1B0

Phone: 613-924-2044

The Historic Murals of Athens were the first such attraction to be established in Ontario. Nine murals were painted by professional artists on the exterior walls of local businesses.

Operation Season: Year Round

Brockville, ON
Brockville Museum

Brockville Museum

5 Henry St.
Brockville, ON K6V 6M4

Phone: 613-342-4397
[email protected]

Brockville’s history is one of the prominent manufacturers, formidable wealth, fascinating historical figures and vivacious ordinary people, which is interconnected by a dynamic river. Come and discover our past in historic downtown Brockville. Open Victoria Day-Labour Day: Mon-Sat 10am-5pm; Winter Season: Mon-Fri 10am-5pm.

Operation Season: Year Round

Brockville Railway Tunnel

Blockhouse Island Parkway
Brockville, ON K6V 7A5

Phone: 613-342-8772
[email protected]

Brockville is home to Canada’s first railway tunnel, built between 1854 and 1860, extending 500 metres (1/3 mile) under the city. Following extensive renovations, the tunnel was opened end-to-end for visitor traffic in August 2017. Renovations included masonry work, smooth concrete walkway, sound system and dazzling multi-colored lighting that highlights mineral deposits and architectural features. Brockville Railway Tunnel Facebook: http://m.facebook.com/BrockvilleRailwayTunnel/, Brockville Railway Tunnel Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/brockvilletunnel/?hl=en

The Tunnel is open daily April through mid October, 9am-9pm, please check the website for details and special event notifications. Free admission; donations are appreciated.

Operation Season: April - October

Fulford Place Museum

Fulford Place Museum

287 King St. E.
Brockville, ON K6V 1E1

Phone: 613-498-3003
[email protected]

Tour this Edwardian mansion filled with period artifacts owned by two generations of the Fulford family.  Learn about the family patent medicine business, enjoy their beautiful art and collectibles as well as stroll in the Italianate garden. Open daily during July and August; limited hours in fall, winter & spring – please call for information on hours. On-site gift shop with a variety of items. Spaces available to rent for events.

Operation Season: Year Round

Cape Vincent, NY

Cape Vincent Historical Museum

175 North James St.
Cape Vincent, NY 13618

Phone: 315-654-3094

Cape Vincent’s history is brilliantly displayed here. The building, which is one of the oldest in the village, housed the soldiers of the War of 1812. Handicapped accessible.

Tibbetts Point Lighthouse Visitors Center

Tibbetts Point Lighthouse

33435 Co. Rt. 6
Tibbetts Point Rd
Cape Vincent, NY 13618

Phone: 315-654-2700
[email protected]

Historic lighthouse where Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River meet. Tours available to agencies and bus groups when pre-registered. Grounds otherwise open to visitors during daytime hours.

Operation Season: May - October

Chippewa Bay, NY
Singer Castle

Singer Castle

Dark Island
Chippewa Bay, NY 13623

Phone: 315-324-3275
Toll Free: 877-327-5475
[email protected]

Visit the castle built by millionaire Frederick Gilbert Bourne of the Singer Sewing Machine Co. Take a 45-minute guided tour of the grounds and four floors of the castle. Check with area scenic boat tour operators for transportation availability or dock your own watercraft. (Please note: walking up steps is required to view the interior of the castle). Royal Suite for overnight lodging – great for a relaxing getaway or for newlyweds to use after their Singer Castle wedding, May 1 to Nov 1. Open for tours 7 days a week Mid-May – Mid-October. Schedule varies based on tour boat schedules. Also open for groups by appointment.

Operation Season: May - October

Clayton, NY
Boat Museum displays

Antique Boat Museum

750 Mary St.
Clayton, NY 13624

Phone: 315-686-4104
[email protected]

Located on the banks of the St. Lawrence River, the Antique Boat Museum features the largest collection of antique and classic boats on display in North America! While visiting the museum you can learn about boating history on the St. Lawrence River, row a St. Lawrence skiff in French Bay, tour George Boldt’s historic two-story houseboat and take a speedboat ride through the islands in a triple cockpit runabout. See website for event and education classes information.

Operation Season: May - October

Rock Island Lighthouse

42361 Rock Island West
Clayton, NY 13624

Phone: 315-775-6886
[email protected]

Historic 50-foot lighthouse, keeper’s dwelling and boathouse located on a small island between Alexandria Bay and Clayton. Lighthouse and keepers’ quarters open with museum and gift shop. Accessible by private vessel and tour boat. Weddings and special events-booking available. Mid-may – September.

Operation Season: May - September

Thousand Islands Museum

Thousand Islands Museum

312 James St.
Clayton, NY 13624

Phone: 315-686-5794
[email protected]

Housing special exhibits of world class muskies and hunting decoys from the past and present. Museum gallery and library offers history of river life along the St. Lawrence. The museum is the only place in the world where you can purchase St. Lawrence Tartan. Located in the Historic District of downtown Clayton. Host to the annual Decoy and Wildlife Art Show. Gallery hours: Jan-May, open Tues & Wed, 10am-4pm. Memorial Day-December: Tues-Fri, 10am-4pm.

Operation Season: Year Round

Crysler, ON
Cannamore Orchards

Cannamore Orchard

1480 Co. Rd 32
Crysler, ON K0A 1R0

Phone: 613-448-3633
[email protected]

Pick your own and pre-picked strawberries in June; apples and pumpkins in September and October.  Spooky wagon rides in October.  We offer 25 kinds of  Cannamore Orchard made fudge, cider, honey, maple syrup, pies and more School and group tours are available.  Call for details! Farm museum on site.

Operation Season: June - October

Delta, ON
Old Stone Mill

Old Stone Mill National Historic Site

44 King St.
Delta, ON K0E 1G0

Phone: 613-928-2584
[email protected]

To experience all the sights and sounds of Ontario’s oldest operating stone gristmill, plan a visit to Delta’s 200-plus-year-old stone landmark, the Old Stone Mill! Designated in 1972 as a National Historic Site, it is equipped with operating milling machinery, a turning water wheel, and three floors of exhibitions. The Old Stone Mill is a educational and fun destination owned and operated by a non-profit organization that has spent 50 years restoring and preserving this important piece of Canadian heritage. The Mill is open daily between Victoria Day Weekend and Labour Day and by appointment in the off-season. Admission is free and tours are available from knowledgeable volunteers and helpful summer students.

Operation Season: May - December

Gananoque, ON

1000 Islands History Museum

125 Water St.
Gananoque, ON K7G 3E3

Phone: 613-382-2535
Toll Free: 877-217-7391
[email protected]

Visitors will experience the history, life and times of the 1000 Islands Region through an exhibit of dioramas and interactive displays. Tours available.

1000 Islands History Museum – Open Year-Round.

New Hours:

January 8th – May 8th: 10am – 3pm.  (Tuesday to Saturday).

May 9th – August 31st:  10am – 5pm.

September 1st – November 1st: 10am – 4pm.

November 3rd – December 18th: 10am – 3pm (Tuesday to Saturday)

Operation Season: Year Round

Thousand Islands Boat Museum

125 Water St.
Gananoque, ON K7G 3E3

Phone: 613-382-8484

Waterfront museum showcasing collection of antique watercraft representing past, present and future maritime activities in the 1000 Islands. The museum, which first opened its doors in 2015, will surround the boat displays with galleries, a boat shop, nautical programming and activities.

Kingston, ON
Fort Henry

Fort Henry National Historic Site

1 Fort Henry Dr.
Kingston, ON K7K 5G8

Phone: 613-542-7388
Toll Free: 800-437-2233
[email protected]

Part of Ontario’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site. Sunset Ceremonies are offered on Wednesday evenings in July and August, along with programming and special events throughout the year. Fort Henry’s regular season is May  through August. Experience Fort Fright select nights in October.

Operation Season: May - October

School Museum

Frontenac County Schools Museum

414 Regent St.
Kingston, ON K7L 5J9

Phone: 613-544-9113
[email protected]

Heritage limestone building with a schoolroom depicting an 1890-1910 school, complete with costumed teacher and activities; a gallery holds changing displays.

The museum is open Tuesday to Saturday, 10 am-3 pm during July and August. From September to June, open Tuesday and Wednesday, 9 am-3 pm and Thursday 9 am to noon- other times by appointment.

Operation Season: Year Round

Kingston Pen Tours

560 King St W.
Kingston, ON K7M 8W6

Phone: 613-542-7388
Toll Free: 800-437-2233
[email protected]

Unlock the mystery behind the doors of Canada’s most notorious prison, Kingston Penitentiary. Wander in amazement and awe as you tour this architectural wonder, rich with history.

Operation Season: May - October

Rideau Canal National Historic Site

Rideau Canal National Historic Site of Canada

Kingston to Ottawa
Kingston, ON K7L 2Z1

Phone: 613-283-5170
Toll Free: 888-773-8888
[email protected]

North America’s oldest operating 19th Century canal, situated between Kingston and Ottawa. Paddle, boat or drive the 202km route of museums, exhibits, parks, 24 lockstations and historic buildings. Fees for camping and locking through.

Operation Season: May - October

LaFargeville, NY

Stone Mills Museum

30950 Rt. 180
Stone Mills
LaFargeville, NY 13656

Phone: 315-658-2353
[email protected]

A museum telling the development of the agriculture industry in Northern NY through collecting, preserving and displaying historical materials relating to the farm and farm houses as was known to the area in Jefferson, St. Lawrence, Lewis and Oswego counties. Hosts many events from June through September.

Operation Season: June - September

Maitland, ON

Homewood Museum

1372 Highway 2
Maitland, ON K0E 1P0

Phone: 613-348-1246
[email protected]

Built in 1799-1800, this grand two story house reflects the aspirations and accomplishments of seven generations of the Jones family, Loyalists who arrived in eastern Ontario in 1784. Take an informative guided tour, learn about the family’s history and accomplishments, and view period rooms with original furnishings and decor – from textiles and photographs to porcelain and furniture.

Open Victoria Day weekend to Labour Day weeekend, Wednesday – Sunday 10am-4pm.

Operation Season: June - August

Mallorytown, ON
Mallory Coach House

Mallory Coach House

1523 Co. Rd 2
Mallorytown, ON K0E 1R0

Phone: 613-923-5140
[email protected]

The Mallory Coach House was built circa 1853 and has been used as a hotel, tavern, doctor’s office, farm house and as a residence. This attraction hosts art shows, provides a meeting place for local groups, and a place to showcase historical artifacts and documents. A garden and gazebo area are located behind the building. Visits can also be made by scheduling an appointment.

Operation Season: June - September

Morrisburg, ON
Upper Canada Village

Upper Canada Village

13740 Co. Rd 2
Morrisburg, ON K0C 1X0

Phone: 613-543-4328
Toll Free: 800-437-2233
[email protected]

Experience an authentically recreated 1860s village, complete with three fully operational mills, flourishing farms, trades people and a busy social and domestic life. Period music & entertainment, horse drawn vehicles, children’s activities and boat rides. Battle of Crysler’s Farm 1812 Centre nearby. Special events include Pumpkinferno in October and Alight at Night in December.

Operation Season: May - December

Prescott, ON

Battle of Windmill National Historic Site of Canada

Windmill Point Rd
Hwy 2
Prescott, ON K0E 1T0

Phone: 613-925-2896
[email protected]

Site of an 1838 Rebellion Battle, featuring an 1830’s stone windmill with an observation level, exhibits, audio-visual presentation and gift store.

Operation Season: July - August

Fort Wellington National Historic Site of Canada

370 Vankoughnet St.
Prescott, ON K0E 1T0

Phone: 613-925-2896
[email protected]

Discover  how soldiers and their families lived in the 1840’s in this original British fortification. Once inside the walls, visit the barracks, powder magazine, officer’s quarters and even the latrines and a caponniere. Meet interpretive guides in period costumes who will be happy to share exciting tales and the secret stories of the Fort. Try on historic costumes and watch a solider fire a rifle. Check out the Visitor Centre that is featuring an 1812-era gunboat and other informative exhibits. Self-guided tours and guided tours available daily. Call ahead for the Fire the Cannon experience (18+).

Operation Season: May - October

Sackets Harbor, NY

Pickering Beach Museum

501 W. Main St.
Sackets Harbor, NY 13685

Phone: 315-646-1529 or 315-646-2321
[email protected]

A historic house museum depicting life in the village of Sackets Harbor from the 1830s to the 1880s. Open July and August.

Operation Season: July - August

Sackets Harbor Battlefield

Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site

504 W. Main St.
Sackets Harbor, NY 13685

Phone: 315-646-3634
[email protected]

Site of 2 battles of the War of 1812. Tour the furnished Commandant’s House (c. 1860) and Navy Yard Grounds, and visit the exhibit “Life on Board the Jefferson.” Living history demonstrations Wed-Sat (June-Aug). Gift shop and War of 1812 exhibits. Year-round interpretive trail, picnic pavilion and scenic views of Lake Ontario. Access at both 505 W. Washington St. and 504 W. Main St.

Operation Season: May - October

Watertown, NY
Burrville Cider Mill

Burrville Cider Mill

18176 Co. Rt. 156
Watertown, NY 13601

Phone: 315-788-7292
[email protected]

Open in time for Labor Day until the week of Thanksgiving, the Burrville Cider Mill is one of Jefferson County’s oldest establishments, built in 1801. As you tour the mill, you will be greeted by the sweet smell of the North Country’s best apple cider and freshly fried cider donuts still too hot to touch.

Operation Season: September - November

jefferson county historical society

Jefferson County Historical Society

Paddock Mansion
228 Washington St
Watertown, NY 13601

Phone: 315-782-3491
[email protected]

19th Century mansion, log cabin, one-room schoolhouse and Victorian gardens. Collections include Tyler coverlets, Native American artifacts, 1910 Babcock automobile made in Watertown.

Operation Season: Year Round

Flower Memorial Library

Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library

229 Washington St.
Watertown, NY 13601

Phone: 315-785-7705
[email protected]

Historic library hosting tours by request that has more than 190,000 volumes, including collections of DVDs, videos, audio books and large print. Computers available for public use. Genealogy department, local history collection and a meeting rooms on site.

Operation Season: Year Round