Murney Tower in Disrepair

Martello Tower, Kingston, OntarioIn response to the a perceived threat from the United States in 1845, four Martello Towers were built in Kingston to defend the entrance to the Rideau Canal. Forming part of the fortifications of the City the towers was thought to be a valuable means of defense; the structures were quick to construct and only required a small number of men to run them effectively. By 1890, Murney Tower (pictured here) was abandoned and falling into disrepair. This photograph is of the tower in 1921 when a heavy storm tore the roof off the structure sending it flying up Barrie Street where, sadly, it killed a small child. Soon after this accident a new roof was built and in 1925 the Kingston Historical Society, through arrangements made with the Department of the Interior, opened the Tower doors as a museum. The museum is still in operation today.

Queen's Archives

Queen's Archives regular column on Kingstonist showcases our city's rich history via assets sourced from their vast collection. Their contributions stimulate dialog regarding the places, people and events that have shaped Kingston. Learn more about Queen's Archives...

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