The Survivors


Morrisburg, originally spelled Morrisburgh, got its start in the mid 19th century. It was named after Sir James Morris, a politician, who was responsible for promoting the Williamsburg Canal, and who later served as Canada's first Postmaster General.

Early industries included fanning and carding mills and a couple of wharfs owned by I. N. Rose and Captain Farlinger. Captain Farlinger was particularly active during the 1870s with business interests that included real estate and produce dealing. He later became active in the railway industry, although unsuccessfully it appears. Other prominent citizens included Alexander Macdonnell, who served as warden, Henry Hayunga, deputy reeve for Williamsburg Township and Frank Tyrrell, a lawyer. There was a boom during the late 1870s, when many of Morrisburg's beautiful homes were built.

Main StreetMain Street [ca. 1913]

Morrisburg was well-documented photographically throughout its history. Early photographers included Whitteker and C.J. Weegar, both of whom photographed the town extensively. It it through them and others that we have such a rich view of the early town site.

During the 1930's Morrisburg became a popular tourist destination, in part because of spillover traffic from the famed Dr. Mahlon Locke in nearby Williamsburg and also because of its attractive riverside location and surrounding islands. Many of the village's early Victorian mansions were turned into tourist homes and inns. The Rosedale, Allison Farms and the George Frederick, all located along the river, were among the most popular of the resorts. None of them survived the Seaway.

The purpose of this section is to provide background information on Morrisburg, rather than a detailed history. Morrisburg's history has been well documented in many other sources.

About a third of Morrisburg, including Main Street and the original business district, was lost during the flooding. The destroyed part was replaced with a new section and strip shopping mall. A total of 87 homes were relocated to the new section. The Lost Villages Historical society has an extensive collection covering the demolition of old Morrisburg during the Seaway construction. As ugly as it looks, many of Morrisburg's beautiful historic homes were not situated in the flood line and survived. They now form a part of Morrisburg's popular walking tour. The community continues to thrive and remains a popular tourist destination during the summer months.