Vankleek Hill Museum, Higginson Tower and Old Jail

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  1. Vankleek Hill Historical Museum
  2. Higginson Tower
  3. L'Orignal Old Jail

Vankleek Hill's Museum

The Vankleek Hill Museum was created to collect, preserve, research, exhibit and interpret objects that best serve to illustrate the founding, the settlement and the development of the town of Vankleek Hill and immediate area from 1797 to the present, with our primary focus on the time period of 1797 to 1920. To accomplish this, the Museum is within a restored 1834 building constructed for a general store. The interpretation is based on a 19th century general store theme to reflect our community's local history.

Contact Information


Location: 95 Main Street East, Vankleek Hill, ON, K0B 1R0

Phone number: 613-678-2323

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Higginson Tower

The Higginson Observation Tower represents the many positive contributions to Vankleek Hill made by Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas Higginson (1794 -1884), an emigrant from County Antrim, Ireland, who left Ireland in 1819 and settled in Vankleek Hill in 1829. The Higginson Observation Tower was constructed by Higginson as a windmill in c. 1830 for grinding wheat and corn to further the commercial development of Vankleek Hill and the immediate district. When this project failed due to lack of consistent wind power, Higginson, (commissioned lieutenant in the Prescott Regiment on April 23, 1839) transformed the mill into the first private observatory in Eastern Ontario.

Tour groups are welcome! Enjoy bilingual interpretive program, displays of artifacts found during an archaeological investigation which took place prior to restoration. Listen to history as you climb the steps inside the tower to the top! Have a picnic on site, or visit nearby Arbor Gallery just a few steps away, located inside the original home of William Higginson, the son of Thomas Higginson, who built the stone portion of tower.

Contact Information


Location: 5849 Highway 34, Vankleek Hill, ON, K0B 1R0

Phone number: 613-678-3327

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L'Orignal Old Jail

The Old Jail of L'Orignal was built in 1824-1825 and closed in 1998. It is now opened to the public for guided tours for those who would like to take a look at the second oldest jail in Canada. With its five hangings and rumored paranormal activities, the jail attracts a lot of curious people of all ages. 

Contact Information


Location: 1023 Queen Street, L'Orignal, ON, K0B 1K0

Phone number: 613-675-4381

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