Posts Tagged ‘kingston’

Kingston Penitentiary photographs circa 1890

April 24, 2012

We are fortunate to have many fantastic photographs in our collection of Kingston Penitentiary. Here are some of our favourites circa 1890.


Irish emigrants to Kingston 1847

March 17, 2012

On this St. Patrick’s Day, we’re featuring a set of letters describing the situation of the Irish emigrants coming to Canada in 1847.

The letters, dated April 1892, were written by John Wilson who was a steamboat owner on the St. Lawrence at the time of the Irish emigration. In them, he describes his memories of the sufferings of the Irish as they arrived in Quebec after a disease-ridden voyage during the epidemic of 1847. Mr. Wilson wrote these letters to James M. O’Leary, who was in the middle of writing a series of articles for the “Catholic Record” about the Irish emigration.  O’Leary quoted Wilson in his later articles, and O’Leary’s articles were eventually widely used for study by numerous scholars.

This excerpt (seen below), from the April 20 1892 letter, refers to the Irish emigrants coming to Kingston:
“…and as soon as the bulk of the emigrants were disposed of employed some small boats to carry the people direct to Kingston without stopping at Montreal and the result was as I told Mr. Buchanan a heavy loss of life by confining the people for days in passing through the Canals whereas the changing of the people into a clean Boat at short intervals was their very life, …”

The estimated number of Irish people who were admitted into the hospitals at Kingston was 4,326.

Flooding in Kingston – 60 years ago

August 3, 2011
Kingston experienced quite a rainfall on Friday July 29th, which resulted in a lot of flooding throughout the downtown. A similar phenomenon occurred just over 60 years ago on Wednesday July 4 1951. That day, 118mm of rain fell on Kingston.

These photographs, taken by George Lilley, show the flooding throughout Kingston.

First Capital

June 14, 2011

June 15 marks the beginning of the First Capital Day celebrations. Kingston served as the first capital of the Province of Canada from February 1841 until June 1844 when the capital was moved to Montreal. The first Parliament was held in the new Kingston General Hospital building, as shown in this photograph by Henry Henderson, circa 1875. For a complete list of events to celebrate First Capital Day, please go to

Kingston General Hospital, circa 1875

Kingston General Hospital, circa 1875