Backus Heritage Conservation Area

Backus... where history meets nature.

Backus Mill

The 1798 Backhouse Grist Mill National Historic Site is the centre piece of Backus Heritage Village. 

During the summer months, Backus Heritage Conservation Area provides a variety of visitor services experiences for park visitors and campers. 

Heritage Interpretation:  Costumed staff offer tours of Backus Heritage Village, highlighting the 1798 Backhouse Grist Mill National Historic Site and the Backus family homestead.  Staff also interpret 19th Century life by demonstrating period trades, chores and pastimes.   Public events are scheduled to highlight how life may have been in the 19th Century and showcase the 15 historic buildings.

Backhouse Mill

John Backhouse came to Long Point in 1797 and served as a major during the War of 1812. Before the war, he built a grist mill. This mill was in continuous use from the time it was built until 1955. It was purchased from the Backhouse family by the Big Creek Conservation Authority in 1956 to become a historic site. The mill is now owned by the Long Point Region Conservation Authority and visitors to the area can now explore the mill and watch demonstrations in the summer.

Backhouse Home

John Backhouse’s grandson, John H. Backhouse, built the home on the Backus Conservation Area property in 1853 from bricks made of clay found in the nearby hillside. In 1956 it was found that some of the bricks in the building were deteriorating and that the home was in need of serious restoration. It finally received this restoration in the 1970s when the Long Point Bird Observatory chose the building as their new headquarters and they received $75,000 in government grants to complete the work.

Cherry Valley School

This school house was built before 1866 and originally stood on Cherry Valley Road outside of Waterford and used until 1929. It is octagonal in shape and benches were built along the walls inside the school house. In 1982, the school was donated to the Long Point Region Conservation Authority, who decided to move the school house to the Backus Conservation Area. It was officially reopened in 1983 after the reconstruction and restoration of the building was complete. 



1267 2nd Concession Road, Port Rowan, ON N0E 1M0

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