Island Locations of Interest

Amherst Island Stone Fences

Designated Stone Fences on Amherst Island – source: Loyalist Township

The iconic stone fences of Amherst Island are a testament to the island’s rich history and the skill of early settlers. Built primarily in the 19th century, these dry stone walls were constructed without mortar, using stones collected from shores and cleared from fields during land preparation for farming. The fences not only served practical purposes, such as marking property boundaries and containing livestock, but they also became an enduring symbol of the island’s heritage. Today, these meticulously crafted structures are preserved as historical landmarks, showcasing the island’s unique rural charm and the craftsmanship of its early inhabitants. Visitors and residents alike can appreciate these stone fences as they explore the scenic landscapes of Amherst Island.

Pentland Cemetery

Pentland Cemetery, one of Amherst Island’s historic burial grounds, serves as a poignant reminder of the island’s rich heritage and the generations of families who have called it home. Samuel Pentleton was the first person buried in the cemetery in 1831. His headstone is still legible. The cemetery was used by all denominations on the island. Of note is the few headstones located outside of the consecrated ground of the cemetery, which surely hold a long-lost story. The cemetery is nestled in a serene, picturesque setting, enshrouded by mature trees and wrapped around by a beautiful stone fence. The cemetery is the final resting place of Daniel Fowler, whose works of art are displayed in the National Gallery of Canada. Pentland Cemetery features weathered headstones that tell stories of the past, offering a window into the lives and legacies of those who shaped the island’s history.

Neilson’s Store

The Neilson Store, a cornerstone of Amherst Island’s heritage, was originally established in the late 19th century and served as a bustling general store for the village of Stella. Operated by the Neilson family, beginning with James S. Neilson, it provided essential goods and became a social hub for island residents. After ceasing operations as a store, this historic building was transformed into the Neilson Store Museum and Cultural Centre. Today, it preserves and showcases the island’s rich history, featuring exhibits on local life, maritime heritage, and the agricultural roots of Amherst Island, while also serving as a vibrant cultural centre for community events and educational programs.

Trinity United Church

The former Trinity United Church (also formerly known as the Wesley Methodist Church) was in service from 1873 until the 1960’s. The former church represents the religious heritage of some of the original forefathers of Amherst Island.

Fowler House

The Daniel Fowler House, nestled on Amherst Island, is a significant historical landmark that reflects the island’s rich artistic heritage. Fowler settled on the site in 1843 and built the house that bears his name. Fowler lived on this farm for over 40 years. Fowler’s landscape paintings captured the natural beauty of Amherst Island and contributed to the Canadian art scene. Today, the house stands as a testament to his legacy, offering a glimpse into the life and work of one of the island’s most illustrious residents. In 1879 Daniel Fowler became one of the first members of the Royal Canadian Academy.

Wes Brown’s Blacksmith Shop

The shop was first owned by John Robinson who then sold it to John Brown in 1894. In 1913, the old frame shop burned and the present building was erected. About the same time, Wes joined his father and they began repairing and selling farm machinery. The business was eventually left to Wes when his father died and was in operation until 1971.

The little building in front of the blacksmith shop was known as the “dog house”. The Browns kept their business records there and many old timers went there for a game of cards and shoptalk.

Victoria Hall

In 1866, the Orange Order, a society to protect and promote Protestantism, built the Hall. The hall was frequently the site of concerts, dances, and suppers.