OHS Bulletin: The Newsletter of the Ontario Historical Society, Issue 196, October 2015
BY ROB LEVERTY, Executive Director
In the last two issues of the OHS Bulletin, we reported on the struggle to save the Bishop’s House, on St. Raphael’s Ruins National Historic Site in Eastern Ontario. I can now happily report that this stunning historic landmark was acquired in August by the Glengarry Fencibles Trust (GFT).
The GFT was incorporated in 2010 by the OHS. The Fencibles (named after the Glengarry Light Infantry Fencibles formed by Vicar General Alexander Macdonell during the War of 1812) has worked tirelessly the last five years to acquire ownership of the building and its cultural landscape. Members of GFT have donated countless hours raising the awareness of, and fighting for, the 1808 Georgian house and its landscape, which were designated in 2011 under the Ontario Heritage Act.
With the help of the South Glengarry Township Council, GFT saved the Bishop’s House from demolition in the spring and will now take possession of this architectural treasure on December 2nd. Across the road from the beautiful ruins of St Raphael’s, GFT plans to restore the building and its landscape to use as an interpretive and arts centre for the greater Glengarry area. For more information, see www.bishopshouse.ca
This tremendous victory by the GFT is great news for all of us to celebrate. But why, in this province, do our grassroots member organizations have to continually struggle to save and promote our history ? If our fellow citizens did not stand up and fight for our heritage, if these brave individuals did not volunteer their time and expertise to preserve our local history, it would be ignored, neglected, demolished, or desecrated. We salute each and every one of you for your courage and unrelenting dedication to the history of Ontario….
Reprinted from the OHS Bulletin, Issue 196, October 2015 published by The Ontario Historical Society.