Garden Island harbour, ca. 1900

View of harbour at Garden Island, ca. 1900 (V23-Reg-Garden-1)
View of harbour at Garden Island, ca. 1900 (Kingston Picture Collection V23-Reg-Garden-1)

Garden Island: If you don’t know the name, you will recognize the place. Heading to Wolfe Island on the ferry, it’s the larger island you pass by to the West as you pull in to Marysville. Perhaps even more important, it served as the base of operations for a 19th century rafting and timber dynasty on the St. Lawrence, as founded by Delano Dexter Calvin in 1826. The Calvin Company was a powerhouse on the seaway, supplying timber for trade in Quebec City, and eventually opening offices in Liverpool, Glasgow, Ohio and Michigan. In the image above, just a small portion of the Calvin Company operations can be seen looking out onto the harbour around 1900. As early as 1841 the company had a shipyard, smiths’ shops, a sail loft and a planing mill. The Island was a self-contained community with company houses for the employees, a company general store, a school house and a hall. For anyone interested on hearing more about the Calvin Company, Garden Island and beyond, Queen’s Archives will be hosting the 30th Annual Archives Lecture with Dr. Cheryl McWatters. Visit our website at for more details.

Queen's Archives

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One thought on “Garden Island harbour, ca. 1900

  • Dileno Dexter Calvin was not associated with Garden Island until 1836. In that year, he and partners Hiram Cook and John Counter established the Kingston Stave Forwarding Company on 15 acres leased from Angus Cameron at the north eastern tip of the island.


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