Please note that the Cataraqui Archaeological Research Foundation and the Kingston Archaeology Centre have closed. This site is still available for historical and informational reasons, but none of the services or products described here are available anymore.

Kingston Outer Station

Located on the western bank of the Cataraqui River some 200 to 300 meters north of John Counter Boulevard, the Kingston Outer Station Site comprises two significant archaeological sites. These two sites are an aboriginal fishing village dating to approximately 1200AD, and the Music Site which was an early settlement site on the lands south and west of the Kingston Outer Station Site. The area of the site is approximately 235 square meters, and is situated on a narrow plateau (50-60m in width) that is approximately 2 meters above the summer low water mark, and bordered on the north by a marsh, and on the south by a marina and boat building establishment. It has also been monitored on a casual basis for the past 40 year by an avocational archaeologist and the materials collected being held by the Cataraqui Archaeological Research Foundation. The finds form the early 1950s excavations are held at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Ottawa.

The Kingston Outer Station, along with Belle Island and Fort Frontenac represent the only known Native sites within the city. Late Woodland pottery found during excavations at Fort Frontenac indicates the presence of a native population at the site prior to the arrival of the French. On the site of Belle Island, there are indications of an extensive camp site from the Middle to Late Woodland transitional phase (1000-1400 year old site), and is one of the best preserved sites of its time in Eastern Ontario. The Kingston Outer Station, although it was discovered by a local collector some 60 years ago, and tested in 1952 and 1953 by archaeologist Dr. James Pendergast, relatively little is known about the site. The nature and distribution of material recovered from the site indicates that it had been used on a sporadic basis from the Late Middle Woodland Period (700 AD) to the present day. The more recent activities being fishing and riding dirt bikes. The most significant use of the area however, appears to have taken place during the late pre-contact period (700-1500 AD).

The Kingston Outer Station Site has been identified as having both historic and pre-contact occupations. There was a 19th century lime kiln at the present site of the marina.The pre-contact site had been collected for several decades by Guy Blomely, who directed Dr. James Pendergast to the site in the early 1950s. Dr. Pendergast believed that most of the site had been destroyed. In July 1988 the area was tested to determine the condition of the site and gain a better understanding of its locational characteristics. Both pre-contact and historic artifacts were recovered. The distribution of the artifacts appeared to be in an inverse relationship with the majority of historic artifacts found in the southern portion of the area tested, and pre-contact in the north. Based on the faunal artifact evidence and its distribution, the predominant activity conducted at the site was fishing. The ceramics recovered indicate a chronological sequence of occupation, making the Kingston Outer Station the eastern most location where Middleport ceramics have been found.