On January 8, 2016 at the Perth Civitan Hall, everyone is invited to kick-off a major milestone in 2016 – the 200th anniversary of the Perth Military Settlement!
“The aim of the launch is to announce the legacy projects and celebrate all the upcoming events that have been organized for 2016,” explained County Warden Gail Code, who is also on council with Drummond/North Elmsley. “The community has come together and planned a whole year of activities to commemorate our bicentennial.”
“One of the key projects being displayed is Barrie Crampton’s Historical Mapping project,” adds Marie White, Tourism Manager for Lanark County. “It’s a searchable database and map of the original settlements and the people who settled here – and it will all be available online. This will be an amazing tool for people to find their Lanark County ancestors.”
The year 1816 marked the establishment of the Perth Military Settlement, made up by what is now Beckwith Township, Drummond/North Elmsley Township, the Town of Perth and Tay Valley Township. The settlement was one of three strategic defensive outposts created along the Rideau Corridor after the War of 1812 to ensure a trained reserve force would be located along the Tay River in the event of another conflict with the United States. Settlers were enticed by land grants, which were offered to officers and soldiers according to their rank.
In Perth there are a number of signature events, including Fire + Ice during the Family Day weekend in February, the Ontario Town Crier Championships from May 20 to 22 and Blast From the Past from July 22 to 24, as well as beautification projects and many other activities, including a Perth Kilt Run Festival.
Tay Valley is working to recognize the history of its three founding townships (Bathurst, North Burgess and South Sherbrooke) with a range of commemorative activities, a commemorative quilting exhibition, pioneer-era re-enactments, winter carnivals, Tay River and Canal activities, and musical and theatre events.
In addition to events such as re-enactments, Drummond/North Elmsley is looking at legacy projects such as cedar rail fencing, cultural and historical mapping, a Settlers Trail and history promotion through schools.
Beckwith has plans to share stories and special memories as part of the 200th anniversary as it celebrates the family life, farming, school days, events, churches and businesses that have built Beckwith over the past two centuries.
For information and links related to the upcoming anniversary, please visit http://www.2016.lanarkcountytourism.ca