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The city is named after the English birthplace of its founder, Sir John Pembroke. The original settlement was called Petawawa and later became known as Broadview when a post office was established. In 1882, it was renamed Pembroke by local landowner Colonel Henry Baker Russell (1832–1903). Pembroke has been designated a National Historic Site because of the Fort Henry – Upper Canada historic site nearby. This heritage property includes Fort Henry and the nearby French Garrison 1760; both are operated by Parks Canada as part of L'Île aux Noix National Historic Site. Other popular sites in town include the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta Course on Lake Dore, which hosts an annual rowing competition that attracts teams from around North America, and Pinery Provincial Park. It is also home to one of Ontario's two major water parks: Wild Water Kingdom (the other being Grand Bend)..