Ruthven Park National Historic Site
Ruthven Park, a rural country estate, is situated along the banks of the Canadian Heritage Grand River just north of Cayuga. It is a unique and complex site of approximately 607 hectares (1,500 acres), of which 384.5 hectares (950 acres) are Carolinian forest with provincially significant wetlands which form part of the North Cayuga Slough Forest. The country estate, which includes farmlands and a picturesque landscape, was owned by the Thompson family from the 1840’s until 1993. David Thompson came to this area in the 1830’s as an investor. He was a promoter of the Grand River Navigation Company and built a saw mill and grist mill in the former town of Indiana which is partially situated on the Ruthven Park property. David was an entrepreneur, businessman, a soldier and also the first member of the Legislative Assembly to represent Haldimand from 1841 until his death in 1851. Many 19th century outbuildings can be seen on the landscape with the jewel being a fine Greek revival mansion built between 1845 and 1847. The mansion is filled with original family furnishings and possessions reflecting the taste of the five generations of the Thompson family. Ruthven Park was transferred to The Lower Grand River Land Trust Inc. by Marion Hartney (an aunt of the two brothers in the fifth generation of the Thompson family) in 1994. Marion initiated an easement agreement on the property with the Ontario Heritage Trust that provides protection of the cultural and natural features of Ruthven for future generations. After Marion died, she left an endowment to The Lower Grand River Land Trust Inc. where the interest helps to support the up keep at Ruthven. Admissions, memberships, rentals, and special programs and events support the site as well.