The Islands: Garden Island

Garden Island:
Frontenac County

This is a very basic page with little info on the island.
Not all information on the islands is listed on their main page.
Be sure to check out each islands section on the resource pages.
(See sidebar links)

Located in Lake Ontario, 2 miles south of Kingston, north west of Wolfe Island. The island is 65 acres.


Smiths 1846 Canadian Gazetteer
"A small Island in Lake Ontario, opposite Kingston, containing about 30 acres. It is occupied by a firm who are largely engaged in the rafting business, it being conveniently situated for the purpose. A large number of vessels are employed in bringing staves from all parts of the western country to the island, where they are unloaded, and the staves made into rafts for the voyage to Quebec. "

Lovell`s Gazetteer of British North America 1873
"Garden Island, a post village in Frontenac Co Ontario,
on an island in St. Lawrence, oppposite Kingston.
It contains several shipyards, a flouring mill, and a
telegraph office, and has regular communication with
Kingston by fairy. Population 762"
Thanks JoAnne

Kingston Whig StandardWednesday, December 1, 1999
Article by Kennedy Gordon SUDBURY, Ontario/The Canadian Press

Documentary tells odd tales of the Great Lakes:
The Lake Ontario story highlighted in the film is about Garden Island, a tiny island at the mouth of the lake near the St Lawrence River where 750 people lived.

Much of the inhabitants earned a living rafting timber from all around the Great Lakes to Quebec City and on to Europe. The people of the tiny island, which also had European presence through offices in Glasgow and Liverpool, also built many ships on the island, mostly steamers, schooners and sidewheelers. D.D. Calvin owned the island and ran the community with an iron fist, allowing his islanders no liquor and prohibiting them from attending church to prevent religious factions.

The book tells several Lake Ontario stories, including how Elizabeth Barnett foiled William Lyon Mackinzie's plans to attack Gananaque and Kingston in 1838 when she passed along word the rebels were gathering on Hickory Island."

Thanks Sharon!

One of the most prominent early settlers was D.D. Calvin.
Born in Vermont, USA in 1798 he left Vermont in 1818 and eventually
made his way to Garden Island in 1844. By 1862 a partnership of Calvin
JOhn Counter and Hiram Cook owned the entire island. He was involved
in the lumber and ship building trades.

There are no cemeteries on Garden Island, with perhaps the exception of some indian burial grounds. See Kingston or Wolfe Island for burials.

No churches were ever built on Garden Island.


Garden Island info from book Hamilton Harbour 1826-1901
on site Maritime History of the Great Lakes.
In search box type in Garden Island for lots of hits on sailors,
captians and boats. Make sure you check out the rest of the site as well!

See a map of the island itself!
Note: look under Frontenac County
TOWN of Garden Island
Atlas date probibly 1878

Atlas Online Project

Also see the Island Links Page


-A Shipping Empire-Garden Island, by Donald Swanson.
Includes maps, pictures,some surnames.


Includes books etc for:
Wolfe Island
Howe Island
Garden Island
(I don't have these books, just letting you know they exist!!)

NOTE: Check out these links for
resources to buy at a good cost...
can be bought from either the Kingston Genealogical Society
or the Ontario Genealogical Society

Russ Wallers Books

The Islands: Garden Island

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Jen Wylie nee Hoeltzel