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Trip PlannerCanada  /  Ontario  /  Prescott


Historic Sites · Battlefields · Sacred & Religious Sites
Prescott, Ontario is a small town on the north shore of the Saint Lawrence River in the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville, Canada. In 2011, the town had a population of 4284. The Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge, east of Prescott at Johnstown, connects the town with Ogdensburg, New York. The town is about an hour from both Ottawa and Kingston.The town was founded in the early 19th century by Edward Jessup, a Loyalist soldier during the American Revolution, who named the village after a former Governor-in-Chief, Robert Prescott. Prior to 1834, the town was a part of Augusta township, however in that year the town became a police village, and severed its ties with Augusta. The land here was ideal for settlement during the 18th and 19th centuries as it was situated between Montreal and Kingston along the St. Lawrence River at the head of the rapids.HistoryFrench periodIn the mid-to-late 1600s, the French occupied the area surrounding what was to become Prescott, Ontario. The first known location of a French settlement was a trading post in 1673 located east of Prescott in what is now Johnstown. By the 1680s, a small French fort was located in what is believed to be Prescott called Fort la Galette; according to O’Callaghan, the fortified post la Galette was located along the St. Lawrence River, north of Ogdensburg. Additionally, according to Queen’s University Quarterly from 1895, the area around Prescott was sometimes referred to as la Galette which it attributed to references to the first fort taken from French diaries. The fort was built to protect their newly established trading posts from British invasion. It is unclear when or why this fort fell into disuse, however Fort de La Présentation was built in close proximity in 1749 which could have been built to replace la Galette. The French left the area after the Battle of the Thousand Islands, and little to no trace of their settlements exist.
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