The First Reconstruction
After its abandonment by the British military and early settlers, the site of Fort Willow fell into disuse. Eventually, the property was used for animal pasturage, and most traces of the site disappeared to nature.
In the late 1950s, interest in the site was renewed by archaeologist Wilfred Jury. After Jury’s preliminary excavations identified the site’s location and some of its structures, the 1960s saw attempts at partially reconstructing the site by building a blockhouse and palisade. However, after fire destroyed the blockhouse, the site again fell into disuse.
The Fort Willow Improvement Group
In the late 1990s, a group of volunteers – the Fort Willow Improvement Group – began working with the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority (the property steward) to clean up the site, erect historic signage, outline the original locations of the buildings, and repair or replace the crumbling reconstructed palisade.
Most of what you see around you at Fort Willow today was put together by these volunteers. Today, the Fort Willow Improvement Group has retired, but the torch has been taken up with another group of volunteers, the Friends of Historic Fort Willow.
The Friends of Historic Fort Willow
Today, the Friends work with the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority to maintain the grounds of the site, conduct repairs on the reconstruction, generate new historic signage as needed, and work on promoting the Fort through various local events (like the Festival at the Fort).
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE FRIENDS OF HISTORIC FORT WILLOW,