Looking to unearth historical artifacts in Lyndhurst

Kingston, ON, Canada / CKWS TV
Looking to unearth historical artifacts in Lyndhurst

Lyndhurst –  There isn’t much that catches your eye when passing by this empty lot near Lyndhurst’s stone bridge. But it’s what’s under the soil that has everyone talking.

Art Shaw/Heritage Committee of the Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands:
“The iron works occupied both sides of the river.
The smelter itself, the blast furnace was on the far side the east side of the river and the forge was on this side.”

Built in the early 1800s, the Lansdowne Iron Smelter was the first of its kind in Upper Canada…. until a fire destroyed in 1811.
The site then became home to two generations of mills — the broken foundation can still be seen along the riverbank.

Art Shaw/Heritage Committee of the Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands:
“Some people try and look down on the technology they used but what they did with it was amazing.”

And that’s why Art Shaw has decided to lead the charge for a archaeological dig at the National Historic Site.  In less than 40 days Shaw raised over 22 thousand dollars to help fund the dig.
It’s hoped a matching grant from Parks Canada will cover the 55-thousand dollar excavation costs.

Art Shaw/Heritage Committee of the Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands:
“Hopefully there are some artefacts left from that period. Especially the forge that was on this side of the river.”

It’s hoped the archaeological dig will help bring more tourists to Lyndhurst. It’s already a rather popular spot in the summer months with many attracted to the Lyndhurst bridge. It’s the oldest bridge built in Ontario and the only one still in use today.

Joe Baptist/Mayor of TLTI:
“The people in Lyndhurst are so engaged with their heritage and with bringing things forward and making the village a better place and making it more attractive for people to come. This could be a stepping stone for so much.”

If they get the money it’s hoped the 2-week dig will be finished in September… just in time to display any artefacts they unearth during the village’s “Turkey Fair”.

 

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