Ontario's Historical Plaques 

Discover Ontario's history as told through its plaques

2004 - Now in our 15th Year - 2019

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The Kingston Observatory

The Kingston Observatory

Photo by Alan L Brown - Posted June, 2004

Plaque Location

The County of Frontenac
The City of Kingston
In a park on the east side of Barrie Street
across from Stuart Street

Coordinates: N 44 13.498 W 76 29.427


Plaque Text

The first optical astronomical observatory in the province, the Kingston Observatory was established in 1855 after a solar eclipse aroused public interest in astronomical studies. Under the auspices of a committee of British military officers and "gentleman amateurs" a frame observatory was built here. It was transferred to the control of Queen's College in 1861 and within a year a new brick structure had been erected on the site. Staffed by Nathan Fellowes Dupuis, an able mathematician, the observatory, in addition to making conventional astronomical observations, produced barometric and thermal readings, fixed meridians for surveying and provided a time service. In 1881 it was moved to Queen's and today four cylindrical stones, former supports for the telescope, are all that remains of the old observatory building.


Assorted Buildings

Kingston Plaques

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