© Parks Canada
Fort Wellington National Historic Site was built in Prescott during the War of 1812 to defend the St. Lawrence River shipping route between Montreal and Kingston from possible attack by the United States.
The fort was not attacked during the war, but it was an assembly point for regular troops and militia who, early in 1813, crossed the frozen St. Lawrence River to destroy the American military post at Ogdensburg. It was called into service again in 1838 when invasion from the United States was once more imminent during the Upper Canada Rebellion.
The fort continued to be used for military purposes, with occasional periods of abandonment, until it was transferred to the Department of the Interior in 1923 to be opened to the public as an historic site.
Today, the site is one of the best preserved forts in Ontario.
The Commemorative Integrity Statement for Fort Wellington states that it is a place of national historic significance because:
- It was the main post for the defence of the communication line between Montreal and Kingston during the War of 1812;
- At this place troops assembled for the attack on and defeat of the forces at Ogdensburg, New York, 22 February 1813;
- When rebellion threatened Upper Canada, the fort again assumed an important defensive role;
- It was the assembly point for the troops that repelled the invasion at Windmill Point, November 1838.