Port Stanley on a early summer morning can be a peaceful place, and it’s refreshing to walk its paths along the creek and to the end of the pier. Nowadays the creek is being dredged, but the equipment had not yet been started up when we were there a few days ago.
Port Stanley wasn’t always this quiet. Explored by travelers and adventurers in the 17th and 18th centuries, by the 1800s it was a major port, shipping grain and other products. This continued into the 2000s; as late as October 2003, the Mississagi docked Portside to unload corn into trucks for wet milling in London. The Cuyahoga, Lower Lakes larger sister vessel, was also in Port at that time.
After 1856, with the building of the first railway into Port Stanley from London, Port become a popular summer place, and there are many still around who remember their parents fondly reminiscing about the dances at the Stork Club.
Thousands turned up on July, 1912 to watch the first flier trained by the Wright brothers, Walter Brookins, fly for three days in Port Stanley. It was the first flight by a seaplane in Canada, and the first flight by a passenger in Canada.
In the last week there’s been visits by helicopter and seaplane, and many a resident has enjoyed a stroll to satisfy their curiosity about the latest project in the village. Villagers keeping vigil, if you will, along with the Harbourmaster and those on official duty at the King George VI lift bridge.
Boats, planes, trains, and automobiles! A library, a theatre, quaint shops and lots of sweet tooth opportunities – I count myself fortunate to be here. The village has been growing by leaps and bounds, and there’s never a dull moment!