This county is the most easterly county in Ontario. It is bounded on the east by Vaudreuil Co., PQ, on the north by the Ottawa River, on the west by Russell Co., and the south by Stormont & Glengarry Counties. A lot of the area along the rivers & streams is low lying & still subject to spring floods. But the hard work of the settlers have turned it into an excellent agricultural area. There were few heavy industries until recently, except for the saw & paper mills at Hawkesbury. There are many small & medium sized business throughout the county. The main towns are Hawkesbury, L'Orignal, Vankleek Hill, Plantagenet & Alfred but there are many other local towns. There are seven townships in the county. The county was first settled in the late 1700s by Loyalists from the US, except for some settlers in Longueuil & along the streams that flow into Vaudreuil Co. the latter two groups would have French ancestry. There was a large influx of Irish in the 1815-25s & some overflow of Scots from Glengarry Co. Mixed with this was a slow trickle of French Canadians mainly from Vaudreuil Co. A must read is C.H. Thomas' "History of Two Counties" written in 1896 & reprinted twice in recent years. It should be available in most large libraries in Canada or on inter-library loan. The township information is from this book.
Click on the area of the map for a description of the township in 1896.
East Hawkesbury Twp.
This Township is bounded north by the Ottawa, east by the County of Vaudreuil, south by
Glengarry, and west by West Hawkesbury. It is one of the finest townships in Ontario ; the
section bordering the Ottawa a mile or more in depth, while possessing fine scenery and
many well improved and productive farms, is yet inferior as an agricultural district
to the Concessions which lie in the rear of it, which are truly park-like in appearance ;
and the buildings generally seem those of retired gentlemen of wealth,, rather than those
of farmers. (a description from 1896) [Back to
West Hawkesbury Twp.
Previous to 1840, the two townships now known as East and West Hawkesbury formed but one Municipality, distinguished as Hawkesbury. West Hawkesbury is bounded on the north by the Ottawa, east by East Hawkesbury, south by Lochiel, and west by Longueuil and Caledonia. The land generally is comparatively level, and though there are a few are not of a character to impede cultivation, and altogether the township is a fine one, giving evidence in every part of an industrious and thrifty population. (a description from 1896) [Back to the Map]
This township is in the northern part of Prescott County, and is bounded on the north by the Ottawa, east by West Hawkesbury, south by Caledonia, and west by Alfred. It was granted as a seigniory during the old French regime to the Baron de Longueuil, and is the only seigniory ever granted in Upper Canada. It was purchased by N. H. Treadwell for one thousand guineas at 23 1/4 Halifax currency, the receipt being dated, May, I796, and signed by Marie Lukin. In 1827, a patent for the land was granted to C. P. Treadwell, "having done homage with uncovered head, on one knee, without spur or sword, having sworn fealty to His Majesty. (a description from 1896) [Back to the Map]
Alfred is bounded on the north by the Ottawa River, on the east by Longueuil and Caledonia, and on the west by North and South Plantagenet. In the south the Township runs to a point enclosed by Caledonia on the east, and South Plantagenet on the west. It fronts upon the Ottawa about ten miles, and near this river is somewhat hilly, but in the greater part of the Township the land is low. Alfred and Longueuil were united for municipal purposes up to the year 1854, when the former was detached. (a description from 1896) [Back to the Map]
North Plantagenet Twp.
This Township, located in the extreme north-west of Prescott County, is bounded on the
north by the Ottawa, east by Alfred, south by South Plantagenet, and west by Russell
County,. The Nation River, a stream of considerable size-especially in the spring, when a
large number of logs are floated down it-enters it near the south-eastern angle of the
Township, and passing diagonally across it, flows into the Ottawa about three-fourths of
the distance from the eastern to the western boundary. The land bordering this river
is mostly level, and, indeed, this is the physical aspect of the greater part of the land
in the Township. Though the soil, evidently, is not as strong as it is in some other
parts of the County, many of the inhabitants have followed farming successfully, and have
all the temporal comforts generally found among this class. (a description from 1896)
[Back to the Map]
This township is bounded on the north by North Plantagenet, east by Caledonia, south by
the counties of Stormont and Glengarry, and west by Russell. The land is level, and in
most parts the soil is good. Considerable attention has been given in past years to
hop-growing, but owing to the present low prices of hops, a number of the farmers have
decided to abandon this industry. There are thirty hop-yards in the township,
raising annually from one to six tons each ; the largest hop-field comprises 14 acres.
There are ten cheese factories in this township. A peculiarity in the physical features is
a Ridge a few feet in height, which crosses the township from east to west, varying but
little in altitude the whole distance. The soil on the Ridge differs materially from
the lower land, and for this reason is adapted to the raising of different crops. (a
description from 1896)
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This township is bounded north by Longueuil, east by West Hawkesbury, south by
Kenyon, and west by Alfred and South Plantagenet. The land is mostly low and
flat, and there are marshes which embrace several thousand acres ; but, as in other
places, much of this land, which was once regarded as worthless, has been transformed, by
clearing and drainage, into fine productive fields. One marsh, however, on the west,
and partially in Alfred, which contains about 5,000 acres, it is impossible to reclaim in
this manner-there being no soil-nothing but moss as far as its depth has been explored. (a
description from 1896)
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