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The General Isaac Brock Monument

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unveiled, August 19, 1912

The monument to the memory of Maj.-General Sir Isaac Brock which stands on the edge of Court House Green in Brockville was erected in 1912 as a centenary project by the local Gen. Brock Chapter, Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire.


This group of Brockville women had worked for over seven years to bring about the erection of a suitable bronze bust surmounted on a granite monument. Their efforts at fund raising collected a significant amount of money and enthusiasm to get the job done. The sculpture of the head of Brock was the work of Ottawa sculptor, Hamilton MacCarthy, whose fame was wide-spread in Canada.

Guests of honour attending the ceremonies in Brockville the day of the unveiling included, Colonel Sir Sam Hughes, Minister of Militia and Defence; Mrs. Albert E, Gooderham, of Toronto, National President of the I.O.D.E.; Sen. Daniel Derbyshire; John Webster, MP; A.E. Donovan, MPP; Mayor Charles W. MacLean and the members of Council; Counties Warden Nelson Webster of Landsdowne, and other members of Counties Council.

Events for the afternoon centred around a specially-erected platform to the left of the draped monument. Hundreds of people arrived in the early afternoon to find the best vantage points. Col. Hughes accompanied by a guard of honour arrived from the Armouries about 3:00 pm and joined the party on the platform. The event was chaired by Mayor MacLean and he was accompanied by Mrs. G. Crawford McClean, Regent of the Brock Chapter, along with her executive, Col. Biggar, A.D.C. to the Minister, Judge H.S. McDonald, Lieut. Col. William S. Buell of the 41st Regiment,, Police Magistrate Joseph Deacon and others.


[These photographs can be viewed full size in a separate window by double clicking on the picture on this page until you reach the enlarged version further in the system]

Brock Monument Unveiling

Mrs. Ida McClean, the Regent of the General Brock Chapter of the Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire (I.O.D.E.) and Brockville mayor Charles W. MacLean are seen on the platform in this photograph taken during the events related to the unveiling of the new monument erected to the memory and celebration of the life of General Sir Isaac Brock.

Sources: This interesting photo was sent to the editor of the Brockville Recorder & Times in 1975 by Doris L. Rankin of Syracuse, N.Y.. It was first published in “Out of the Past” on December 20, 1975.

Following a short introductory speech by the mayor, Col. Hughes approached the flag covering the new monument and from a position on the platform pulled the rope to reveal the work of art to the public who cheered and applauded for several minutes. He then addressed the audience and in his speech touched on various patriotic themes, and complimented the ladies whose efforts resulted in the handsome stature now in their midst.

Then, while the regimental band played “Rule Britannia,” young Nora Wilgress presented Mrs. Gooderham with a large bouquet of white roses. Next, Mrs. McClean officially presented the monument to the Town of Brockville with the reading of a written proclamation. Rising in acceptance, Alderman C.W. MacLaren recounted the hard work and success of the local chapter of the Daughters of the Empire in this endeavor and in other charity work. He also spoke amidst the cheers of the crowd about the military accomplishments of General Isaac Brock and other historical references from the past.

The sculptor, Hamilton MacCarthy was also asked to speak, which he did, mentioning that his maternal grandfather was wounded while serving in the War of 1812 under Brock, along with his father’s uncle who lost his life in one of the battles.

Hamilton MacCarthy, sculptor

The sculptor of the bust was Hamilton MacCarthy of Ottawa

The last speaker was local historian, Judge Herbert Stone McDonald who entertained the audience with a recounting of the cross-border events of the War of 1812 which took place in this area of Upper Canada.

A late afternoon tea at the Brockville Armouries for all the platform guests was held to end the day’s events.

This new plaque was placed near the monument to General Brock in November 2007. It points out how Brockville came to be named after Brock the leading British officer in Canada and the hero of the War of 1812-14. The re-naming of Brockville from Elizabethtown came about shortly after the general was slain in the Battle of Queenston Heights on October 13, 1812.

Copyright, June 2008, Doug Grant, Brockville, ON

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