The boardwalk at Picton Harbour is called The Glen Allan Public Boardwalk in honour of the S.S. Glen Allan, a freight steamer that worked out of the harbour. The S.S. Glen Allan used to load up with cheese and apples in Picton and other Prince Edward County harbours and transport them to the markets in Montreal. Picton Harbour used to be a very busy commercial harbour, a centre for shipping agricultural products across the Great Lakes to other destinations in Canada and the U.S.A.
Today the harbour is less a centre of commerce and more of a recreational spot. The marina at the harbour is maintained by the County itself and there's a public boat launch. Apparently it costs $6.00 to launch your boat and the honour system is in place. Put your $6.00 in an envelope and put it in the box. No cheating!!!
The harbour itself isn't very big, so it's hard to imagine it as a bustling place, but then again, the ships weren't very big either. During Prince Edward County's propsperous days in the late 1800's, many local merchants owned their own boats and would sail across the lake to New York themselves to deliver produce. One such fellow was A.W. Hepburn of Picton who eventually ended up with twelve locally built boats that carried freight and passengers all over the Great Lakes. The Hepburn Fleet was eventually sold to The Canada Steamship Line which continues to operate today.
Over 70 ships were built in the nearby shipyards in Prince Edward County, mostly schooners, but there are also records of a few scows and steamers having been built locally as well. Most of them were built at Case's Wharf near Point Traverse, but there were shipyards all over the County, including ones at Rednersville, Hillier and Wellington. The County has quite an interesting maritime history, and it used to play a huge role in the local economy. Great Lakes shipping isn't what it used to be, I suppose the train and transport trucks are much more economical ways to ship produce these days, and smaller harbours are probably not very efficient any more. The harbour in Picton, fortunately, is still a very active spot for recreational use, and it's not a bad spot to sit and maybe eat an apple and some cheese on a sunny day.