Joel Stone was born in 1749 in Connecticut where he married and carried on a mercantile business until the beginning of the American Revolution when his support of the loyalist cause resulted in the confiscation of all his property.
Following the peace he came to Upper Canada eventually settling on the west bank of the Gananoque River where he received a grant of 700 acres of land and established a sawmill that was an important source of lumber for the cities of Kingston and Montreal. In the thirty odd years that Stone lived in Gananoque he was a justice of the peace, customs collector and road commissioner; prior to the construction of the first bridge he operated a ferry service across the Gananoque River.
As colonel in the 2nd Regiment Leeds Militia in July 1812 Stone called up the Flank Company to defend the settlement centred around his mill. The summer passed quietly until September. On the 20th of that month two of the senior officers, Captain Bradish and Lieutenant Schofield went by boat with a party of men to Kingston to obtain fresh powder and other supplies.
Their passage did not go unnoticed. Poised on the American side was a substantial force under the command of Captain Benjamin Forsyth who set out that night from Gravelly Point (Sackets Harbor) arriving in the early hours of the 21st at Lindsay’s Point west of Gananoque. Sentries raised the alarm and a rider was dispatched immediately to Kingston but was captured by the advancing Americans.
The militia took up a position on the open ground west of the settlement where they fired a few volleys at their Yankee foes but the engagement was short and swift. Outnumbered, outgunned and desperately short of powder the flankers withdrew to the safety of the east bank of the Gananoque River where they watched as the storehouses were looted and burned.
Unable to gain entry to Col Stone’s house the American commenced to destroy the door with gunfire injuring Mrs. Stone in the process.
Aware that news of the attack would quickly reach Kingston Captain Forsyth feared his men would face a real fight if they did not gain the safety of the islands before the British regulars arrived. As soon as the boats had been brought down from the Point the Americans fled taking their plunder along with a dozen prisoners.
That autumn a blockhouse was built on the east side of the Gananoque River and the settlement was garrisoned with militia until the end of the war.
After the war Stone’s mercantile and milling business prospered and was eventually taken over by his son-in-law, Charles McDonald. Joel Stone, recognized as the founder of Gananoque died on 20 November 1833 in his 85th year.
Veteran SummaryJoel Stone
Colonel, 2nd Regiment Leeds Militia
Place of Birth
Guilford, CT, USA
Place of Death
Gananoque, ON, CAN
Died on: 20 NOV 1833
Reason: Old Age
Location of Grave
Willowbank Cemetery, 4714 County Road 2
Gananoque, ON, CAN
Latitude: 44.325N Longitude: -76.21778