The First Settlers
In the fall of 1787, Oliver Landon, a United Empire Loyalist, was the first settler to travel west by wagon through the bush from Montreal. The St Lawrence River provided transportation routes for goods and people at that time, but Mr. Landon braved the wilderness and brought his family to settle in this area.
The Building of the Railway
In 1893, agriculture was an important use of the land and farmers were supported by approximately thirty businesses in Lansdowne. Under the jurisdiction of the Municipality of Front of Leeds & Lansdowne, a new Town Hall was built, along with a school and several churches. In 1864, the Lansdowne Agricultural Society was formed for the mutual benefit of the farmers, and a fair was held in October. Soon after, The Agricultural Society acquired property at the north end of the village and the fairs were held on the spacious grounds.
Lansdowne is still a bustling service hub to farmers in the area as well as to residents who live and work in surrounding communities. Businesses have come and gone, but for tourists who travel to the lakes north of the village, Lansdowne is a stopping point to procure necessary items to make their stay comfortable. Lansdowne was once named the “Gateway to the Northern Lakes”. Lansdowne remains a strong, active community with a relaxed, country style of living.
Lansdowne Association for Revitalization gratefully acknowledges the assistance of Bill Boulton, author of “Village Streets & Country Lanes – Then & Now: Lansdowne”, in preparing the article, “History of Lansdowne” for publication on this website. Bill was born and raised in Lansdowne, and returned “home” in his retirement from a teaching career in Ottawa. He is a founding member of the Leeds & Thousand Islands Historical Society.