by Paul LeFort (2003)
The Petrie Islands are named after Scotsman Captain Archibald Petrie of the Royal Navy (1783-1864).
During the War of 1812, Petrie was a purser on ships patrolling Lake Ontario. As many officers did at that time, he received land from the Crown upon leaving military service and settled in what would become the village of Cumberland, where he became a prominent merchant and politician.
Petrie once leased the islands that bear his name. He lived on farmland within view of the islands, along the Old Montreal Road. Petrie built the first road link between Bytown (now Ottawa) and Montreal. As were many such roads at the time, this was a toll road.
Archibald Petrie occupied several positions of importance in this locality, including councilman, reeve, Justice of the Peace and Member of the Upper Canada legislature. Archibald Petrie was married to Catherine Wilgress. The Petrie family, several members of which were prominent local residents, rests in Dale’s Cemetery, immediately to the east of the Cumberland Heritage Village Museum.