The Museum is located within RMC on Point Frederick, a small peninsula just to the east of the City of Kingston, Ontario, named after General Sir Frederick Haldimand, the Governor and Commander-in-Chief of British North America from 1777-86. This scenic location, at the junction of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, is one of great historic importance.
The Point has been an active military site since 1789 and during the War of 1812 it served as the main Royal Navy establishment in Upper Canada. Ships of the Royal Navy were built and based here and it was because of these ships that the British Army, Canadian Militia and Indian Allies were able to preserve Upper Canada from American occupation.
Following the War of 1812 the strategic importance of Kingston in the defence of Canada was recognized and over a period of time the military and naval facilities were strengthened. The Rideau Canal was built to provide a safe logistic link from Lake Ontario to Ottawa, and then to Montreal. Fort Henry was rebuilt in stone in 1832, as were several dockyard buildings, and somewhat later, a series of Martello Towers were constructed to augment the harbour defences. The fortunes of these military works varied with the state of relations with the United States and British Colonial policy. The Dockyard, operating at reduced capacity since the Rush-Bagot Treaty of 1817, was closed in 1853, but re-opened briefly during the Fenian Raids of the 1866.Â The British garrison was withdrawn from Canada in 1870-71.