Butternut Bay

Area 6 includes the land from the western edge of Brockmere Cliffs Road to the City of Brockville, including the Brockville group of islands.

The St. Lawrence Central Campground was established at Butternut Bay in 1875 on the bluff overlooking the river. It was the first church camp on the Canadian side of the river and offered a summer retreat on 25 acres of woodland. Visitors could stay at the boarding house or purchase one of the 30 cottages on the grounds. The property was owned by the Methodist Episcopal Church. Worshippers often arrived by steamer at the park dock.

East of Butternut Bay at Highbury there is an interesting historical footnote about willow trees. The brother of James Sabine, an early brewer, served as a mid-shipman aboard the H.M.S. Bellerophon. In 1815, the ship carried Napoleon Bonaparte into exile on the island of St. Helena. Napoleon's wish to be buried in a valley full of willows was honoured. In 1850 Lieutenant Sabine revisited St. Helena and the grave of Napoleon. As a souvenir he took several cuttings from a willow tree. He later brought those same cuttings to his brother's home at Highbury The willows are still standing today - direct descendants of those same trees that shade Napoleon's grave on the island of St. Helena.

In the early 1880's the towns of Prescott, Brockville and Gananoque were given the opportunity to buy the undeveloped islands in their jurisdictions. The only community to take advantage of this offer was Brockville. The town leased the islands from 1883 until 1933, when they were purchased. Stovin Island was transferred from the Department of Indian Affairs to the Department of the Interior. This agency became Parks Canada in 1905.

The names of Buell and Jones are closely linked with the development of Brockville. The families were at odds for a name for the new town. They asked General Brock for advice as he passed through the area in 1812. Brock modestly volunteered his own name. William Buell Jr. served in the 7th Leeds Militia at the Battle of Crysler Farm in 1813. He later went on to become the editor and publisher of the Brockville Recorder.

This is considered to be the oldest paper in Ontario, having published continuously under the same name for over 175 years.

Daniel Jones Jr. was knighted in 1836 by King William IV for having saved a member of the Royal family from drowning. He was the first Canadian-born person to be awarded the honour. Daniel Jones was a lawyer, judge and eventually the first police chief of the Brockville Police Force. in 1832 Brockville was the first municipality in Ontario to be incorporated as a police village.

Area 6 has many unique geological features. It is at the eastern edge of the Frontenac Axis, resulting in a blend of Canadian Shield and St. Lawrence Lowland characteristics. At Long Beach a section of Potsdam sandstone shows wave terracing and pillars from an ancient beach. Along with the evidence of early erosion, it is also possible to see present day erosion, and deposition as a beach is forming at the base of the cliffs. These characteristics are more common in the St. Lawrence Lowlands. The area called Hillcrest is well named, lying on the remnants of old mountains that once dominated the countryside. This feature is more typical of the Canadian Shield. Bedrock from three geological areas underlies the city of Brockville. Most of the city is based on hills of Precambrian granites of two distinct formations. The younger Potsdam sandstone from the Cambrian era may be seen in the cliffs to the east overlooking the St. Lawrence. It is also pronounced along the shore from Hudson's Point to beyond Butternut Bay.

Portions of Area 6 have not been subject to much development pressure. Old growth forests are evident in some areas, full of old logs and snags, as well as mature white pines and sugar maples.

A colony of turkey vultures as well as ravens and over-wintering bald eagles, make their home on this part of the river.