Our History

From the Beginning


Ruthven Park National Historic Site Inc. (RPNHS) evolved from a group of local residents interested in protecting the natural and cultural heritage resources along the lower third of the Grand River watershed.  In 1996 Marion Hartney, (an aunt of the two brothers David and Drew Thompson who represented the fifth generation of the Thompson family), generously transferred her ownership of Ruthven Park and associated lands to Ruthven Park National Historic Site Inc.

RPNHS quickly recognized the significance of Ruthven Park’s natural and historic values.  The property includes 598 hectares (1476.6 acres) on both sides of the river and an island with vast areas of slough forest and wetlands. A 1845 Greek Revival 33 room villa, the focal point of the property, is enhanced by a simply designed, 19th-century picturesque landscape.  Ruthven Park is located north of Cayuga along the banks of the Canadian Heritage Grand River adjacent to the ghost town of Indiana.

An extensive Conservation Easement Agreement between the RPNHS and the Ontario Heritage Trust (formerly the Ontario Heritage Foundation) was completed and registered on title.  This Agreement is integral in protecting and conserving the significant cultural and heritage features of the property through land management, built heritage conservation and education.

The RPNHS is one of 38 land trusts within the Ontario Land Trust Alliance, and one of only a few having heritage buildings on the site.  The dedicated members of the Board of Directors of this Land Trust are responsible for governance of the property in compliance with the Ontario Heritage Trust Easement Agreement and the Board’s Mission and Vision Statements.


Ruthven Park is a National Historic Site owned and operated by Ruthven Park National Historic Site Inc.; a non-government, not-for-profit, volunteer driven organization, which seeks to conserve, maintain, and promote historical conservation, interpretation, education and research of Ruthven Park’s rich cultural and natural heritage by engaging the public for the enjoyment of present and future generations.


Ruthven Park will be an exemplary steward of the significant built heritage resources and natural and cultural landscapes entrusted to its care and become a model for research, conservation, public education and involvement where people enjoy history and appreciate how it affects their present and future.

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What's New at Ruthven Park

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Land Acknowledgement

Ruthven Park National Site Inc. gratefully acknowledges that Ruthven Park is established on land that has been inhabited by Indigenous peoples for millennia.  As Canadians, we are thankful for the opportunity to live, work, and play here and we thank all those who have served and continue to serve as stewards of this special place.  Recognizing the important contributions of Indigenous peoples is consistent with our commitment to making the promise of Truth and Reconciliation real in our communities.

 Ruthven Park Is Open 7 Days A Week

9 am – 4pm

Although the mansion remains closed, grounds, trails, Welcome Centre, and washrooms are all open!

We can’t wait to see you on site!