Dickinson's Landing

Part 2

During construction of the Cornwall Canal, the population of Dickinson's Landing swelled to around 1000. However the opening of the canal in 1842 and the arrival of the Grand Trunk Railway in 1856 brought an end to growth at the "Landing". Although stagecoaches continued to operate after the canal opened, it was on a seasonal basis only. Stage service dried up completely after the railway arrived. The GTR station was not built right in Dickinson's Landing but rather in an area originally known Dickinson's Landing Station (later Wales) a couple of kilometres north. Gradually the population began to shift northward in order to be closer to the station. The village's population eventually dropped to around 200 and remained at around that number until the end.

Lock 21Lock 21 [ca. 1920]

The new Cornwall Canal finally provided a means for ships to navigate around the Long Sault Rapids, however it was also becoming possible for ships to navigate through the rapids both safely and within a reasonable period of time. On June 1st 1848, the steamer George Frederick managed by Messers. Hanes and Hoople of Dickinson's Landing, with Captain Sawyer at the helm, made the first safe run through the rapids in a mere twenty-five minutes.

Although by the late nineteenth century, Dickinson's Landing had lost its stature as an important stopover village, it continued to support a number of small businesses. Dr. A. Dixon Wagner was the local physician in the late 1870's and Mr. Hanes ran the St. Lawrence Hotel.

During the early part of the twentieth century, a few mills continued to operate on and off. One of the more successful businesses was the Sweet Briar Cheese Factory, operated by Jack Snetsinger, which won many awards for its fine cheeses. Recreation could be found in the form of dancing and horseracing. During the 1930's, the "Landing" had three popular dance halls and a racetrack, operated by Jimmy Connors, that was located on the Upper Road halfway between Dickinson's Landing and Wales. Many villagers were able to find employment on Lock 21, located directly east of the church, while others farmed. The docks continued to operate into the 1950's.

At the time of inundation Dickinson's Landing was typical of many of the small villages that lined old Highway 2; a long narrow strip with buildings on each side of the road. The boundaries were marked on the west by Hoople's Creek and on the east by a Texaco station at the corner of Wales Road. In addition to the store, it contained a number of pretty homes, a tourist court, a school and a handsome brick church. The post office remained open until June 1957. The lighthouse was saved and relocated to Upper Canada Village.