The Port Stanley Pier (Ontario, Canada)
Port Stanley is a community in the Municipality of Central Elgin, Ontario, Elgin County, located on the north shore of Lake Erie at the mouth of Kettle Creek. The site of Port Stanley was part of an important early route from Lake Erie to other inland waterways for a succession of explorers and travellers of the 17th and 18th centuries, serving as an important landing point and camping spot, Adrien Jolliet, brother of Louis Jolliet, landed at this location in 1669 during the first descent of the Great Lakes by Europeans, Other notable visitors included François Dollier de Casson and René de Bréhant de Galinée (1670), Jean-Baptiste Céloron de Blainville (1749) and Sir William Johnson (1761), In commemoration of this role, a site bounded by Bridge, Main and Colbourne Streets was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1923, and was marked with a cairn. A settlement named Kettle Creek was founded here in 1812 by Lieutenant-Colonel John Bostwick, Around 1824, it was renamed Port Stanley after Edward Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby, who had visited nearby Port Talbot, Lord Stanley later became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and the father of Frederick Stanley, 16th Earl of Derby, Governor General of Canada, ice hockey enthusiast and donor of the first Stanley Cup in 1893. Attractions include a large sandy beach, a lifting bridge across Kettle Creek, marinas, restaurants, hotels, shops, the Port Stanley Festival Theatre, located in the former town hall building on Bridge Street, and the Port Stanley Terminal Rail, which operates a tourist train between St. Thomas, Ontario and Port Stanley using a portion of the former L&PS rail line (see The London and Port Stanley Railway). The village used to have a building opened in 1926 as the L&PS Pavilion, later renamed the Stork Club (not to be confused with the famous New York establishment), with a 13,000-square-foot (1,200 m²) dance floor, the largest dance floor in the London-Port Stanley area; the club was famous for swing dance and big band and attracted several big names to play there. It was closed by health authorities in 1973 because it could not earn the revenue to keep the building up. H.J. McManus, a London businessman, bought it and his son, Joe Jr., led the renovations, reopening in 1974 with the Harry James Orchestra performing before a sellout crowd. The last event was a performance by Day Break on New Year’s Eve of 1978/79; a fire in a dumpster 12 days later damaged the building too heavily to save it. Over the past decade, there have been numerous proposals to operate a ferry between Port Stanley and Cleveland, Ohio.
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