A Journey into the Past : Walking Tours of Historic Picton
Imagine a village once named after a British customs clerk in Boston, Benjamin Hallowell, who was forced to make a run for it when mobs threatened to tar and feather him during the American Revolution. Later, that same community was re- named after a Welsh soldier, Sir Thomas Picton, once described by British military hero Lord Wellington as a “rough, foul-mouthed devil.” During the first months of the War of 1812, a group of defeated American troops were paraded by their British captors down the main streets of communities like Picton throughout Upper Canada.
Hear these stories – and others – this summer as experienced guides take you on a 90-minute tour of Picton’s historic downtown. Daily tours will take visitors along the streets of Picton to tell stories from the community’s rich past. The Wednesday through Sunday tours are another heritage initiative of History Lives Here Inc., the producers of the popular History Moments regional television series that plays before movies at area theatres like The Regent.
“ We’re dedicated to telling the stories showcasing the hidden history that is all around us,” says company founder Peter Lockyer. “ Our History Moments series has helped awaken the community to the history that has shaped this place. Over the winter months, we were working in local high schools to teach students how to tell their own hometown history stories. Now we’re taking the series to the streets through walking tours to share these wonderful stories with visitors and residents. This is a way of ensuring we document this history before it is lost to Time, while highlighting the need to preserve all the special places in The County for the future.”
The tours, says Lockyer, can also have a significant economic impact encouraging visitors to explore, shop, and dine in the downtown. The company is working closely with the Picton Business Improvement Association, The Prince Edward County Chamber of Commerce, Picton Home Hardware, The Regent Theatre, and The Community Development department to develop this tourism experience.
“ Picton’s downtown is a vibrant heritage district with lots of history and varied visitor services,” says Sarah Doiron, the Executive Director of the Picton BIA. “We’re interested in developing tours and other events and activities to encourage residents and tourists to fully experience all the downtown area has to offer.”
Tours are Wednesday through Sunday at 9:30 – 1100 AM and 4:00 – 5:30 PM. Group tours are available upon request. All tours are booked through The Regent Theatre. Contact The Regent box office at 613 – 476 – 8416 or book online at www.theregenttheatre.org