port dover lighthouse

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Backus Heritage Conservation Area

Backus Heritage Conservation Area is located just a short distance from Port Rowan. It features a campground with 160 sites over five campgrounds, the Backhouse Mill, the millpond, an education centre, and a heritage village, including an old pioneer cemetery. Several plaques located at the mill read as follows:

The John Backhouse Mill

John Backus emigrated from Yorkshire to the United States in 1791 but, shortly thereafter, moved to Upper Canada. He served as a Major of the 1st Norfolk militia in the War of 1812 and became a chairman of the Quarter Sessions, then the chief instrument of local government. He is believed to have erected this mill in 1798. It remained in the possession of his descendants until its purchase 1955 by the Big Creek Region Conservation Authority, having been in a continuous operation for a longer period than any mill in this province.

Erected by the Ontario Archaeological and Historic Sites Board.

Backhouse Grist Mill

This rare technological and architectural survivor of early grain milling in Upper Canada was built by John Backhouse in the 1790's. Typically found in frontier agricultural communities of the early 19th century, this heavy timber-framed structure used water power to mill grain. More contemporary machinery, added in the later 19th and early 20th centuries, was common in small-scale, commercial establishments in the countryside. These mills marked the beginning of what became one of Canada's major industries.

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada

Places to Explore

Backhouse Heritage Conservation Area
Hillman Marsh
Long Point Provincial Park
Point Pelee National Park
Port Burwell Provincial Park
Rock Point Provincial Park
Ruthven Park, National Historic Site
Taquanyah Conservation Area
Vittoria Conservation Area
Wintering Site, National Historic Site

Ontario Towns and Cities

Long Point, Ontario
Normandale, Ontario
Port Dover, Ontario
Port Maitland, Ontario
Port Rowan, Ontario
Port Ryerse, Ontario
Port Stanley, Ontario
Turkey Point, Ontario
Vittoria, Ontario
Waterford, Ontario
York, Ontario

Explore by Region

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R3: Hamilton, Halton & Brant
R4: Huron, Perth, Waterloo & Wellington
R5: Greater Toronto Area
R6: York, Durham & the Hills of Headwaters
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R8: Kawarthas & Northumberland
R9: South Eastern Ontario
R10: Ottawa & Countryside
R11: Haliburton Highlands to the Ottawa Valley
R12: Muskoka, Parry Sound & Algonquin Park
R13a: North Eastern Ontario
R13b: Sault Ste. Marie – Algoma
R13c: Northwest Ontario