Tag Archives: gths

MARCH 25: A digital reprise of “Caretaker of Dreams”

(via Goulbourn Township Historical Society)

You’re in for a treat as the Goulbourn Township Historical Society digitally reprises the Millennium Pageant “Caretaker of Dreams” on Saturday March 25, 2017 at the Richmond Legion. The play was written by Barbara Bottriell, directed by Shelagh Mills and produced by the Goulbourn Millennium Project Committee.

The pageant was held November 22-25, 2000 in the then-new Theatre of the Performing Arts at Sacred Heart Catholic High School. This was a great community event including over 100 Township actors, musicians and dancers supported by dance director Christine Delorme-Lamarche, sets by Ron Martin, lighting by Paul Gardner, musical director Barbara Bottriell, costumes by Lynn Griffiths and production co-ordination by Hilary Dick.

Videographer Sandy Durocher recorded this spectacular event., and it is this recording transformed into a digital format by Russell Mason, that we will be showing at the Richmond Legion as our March community event. Show time is 1:30pm. The Legion is located at 6430 Ottawa Street, Richmond. As always, admission, parking and refreshments are free. And remember, tell a neighbour, bring a friend!

The pageant tells the story of Goulbourn Township from the early Richmond settlement in 1818 to the youths’ vision of the future beyond 2000. It was conceived not as a history lesson, but as recognition of the achievements of the township pioneers. The play was initially planned as a millennial project, but also became a record of our history as the Province on Ontario decreed that Goulbourn Township would disappear with the expanded border of the City of Ottawa in 2000.

The Goulbourn Historical Society was sponsor of the project and the play was produced by the Goulbourn Millennium Project Committee chaired by Jean Shaw.


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Former Louisiannie’s land up for sale at $925,000

(ABOVE: Bradley’s General Store at 1518 Stittsville Main Street. Undated photo.)

A significant piece of land at 1520 Stittsville Main Street just south of the Trans Canada Trail is up for sale at $925,000.

The 0.69-acre parcel of land, across the street from Quitters, is mostly vacant except for a small 3-bedroom home at the back of the lot and a large storage shed.

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SECRETS OF GOULBOURN: Ghosts, murder, cemeteries and other unknowns

(ABOVE: A sign installed on a post at the scene of the murder of Robert McCaffrey.)

This sounds interesting: “Have you heard stories about ghosts, murder, cemeteries and other unknowns in your community? Attend this event on February 18 to discover in full detail all of the grisly or odd activities that have taken place right here in your own backyard. There will be displays with court records, photos and written accounts of these unknowns.”

Local researcher Lesley McKay is helping to organize the event and she sent along a preview of some of the “secrets” that will be on display.  They’re all rooted in what was known as Goulbourn Township, a large area that included Richmond, Munster and Stittsville prior to being amalgamated into the City of Ottawa in 2000.

Some of the stories are rather dark:

  • A love triangle that led to a murder in 1882. (Commemorated by a sign installed on a post at the scene of the murder, pictured above.)
  • The KKK’s presence in the area starting in the 1920s. (“‘It’s a forgotten part of Canada’s past, and conveniently forgotten. Everybody knows about the Klan in the United States, but if you tell Canadians what happened here, they say – ‘What, us?'”)
  • A few ghost stories, including an abandoned pioneer cemetery in Marlborough Forest. It was discovered by municipal surveyors in the 1990s.

….while some of the stories are a little more light-hearted:

  • Stittsville native Ken Doraty, who played for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins in the 1920s and 1930s.  He was the smallest man to ever play in the NHL, at 133 lbs and a height of 5’7”.
  • How a Montreal millionaire financed a school garden in Richmond – part of a radical idea to change Ontario education.
  • Goulbourn’s booming cheese industry.  (“After the 1938 Richmond bank robbery, it was concluded that the three robbers knew that the bank was holding more than the usual amount of cash. This was surmised because three of our local cheese factories had issued cheques for milk supplied, hence making for a profitable robbery.”)
  • Lost quarries and watering holes, where kids used to cool off in the summer long before air conditioning and water parks.

The event is on Saturday from 1:00pm-4:00pm at the Stittsville Library, as part of Heritage Day activities. More info here…

Hazeldean Cheese Factory
Hazeldean Cheese Factory

Stittsville's Ken Doraty played for the Toronto Maple Leafs in the NHL.


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The Grants of Goulbourn are returning

(Photo: Family of Robert and Eliza Grant, standing left to right John, James, and William. Seated: Bessie (Mrs John Gourlay), Robert and Mary (Mrs William Templeton) from the GTHS Photo Archives HAZ081)

Goulbourn’s very own raconteur and actor, John Curry, will be bringing to life a history of the “Grants of Goulbourn” at the Goulbourn Township Historical Society May event. He will, through his video, printed documents and remarks, give a historical account of Robert Grant and his son Robert Henry Grant – two gentlemen of prominence from Goulbourn Township who resided in Stittsville.

Detail from the 1853 Wallin Map.
Detail from the 1853 Wallin Map.  Much of the Grant family’s land on lots 27 and 28 is now part of the Fairwinds neighbourhood and Grant’s Crossing shopping centre.

Born in 1793 in Ireland, Robert Grant settled on Hazeldean Road in 1818 as one of our earliest settlers. He was a farmer with foresight – dealing both in potash and lumber – and farmed using progressive practices. He was Goulbourn’s first representative on the 1842 Carleton District Council; a militia Captain in the battles of Ogdensburg and Windmill in the late 1830s; and a warden in the Hazeldean Anglican Church on Young Sideroad off of Hazeldean.

In 1832 he built a stone Georgian-style farmhouse in the area of the Fairwinds neighbourhood. This home was later brutally damaged in the great Carleton County Fire of August 1870 – where and when Robert Grant sadly lost his life. His widow restored the home and it remained until 1992.

Robert Grant House was destroyed by the 1870, then restored. It survived until 1992.
Robert Grant House was destroyed by the 1870, then restored. It survived until 1992.

Robert Henry Grant (Robert Grant’s son) was not only an important Goulbourn and Stittsville community member, but was elected by the United Farmers of Ontario in the Carleton Riding as a Provincial Member of Parliament and went on to become Ontario’s Minister of Education in 1919 until 1923. He also was a member of Carleton County Council for several terms; county auditor; the local license commissioner; a property evaluator for both Agriculture Canada and National Defence; and a Deputy Reeve for Goulbourn Township. He was instrumental, working with others, in establishing the Hazeldean Rural Telephone Company. He was Master of Richmond’s Masonic Goodwood Lodge; charter member of the Masonic Hazeldean Lodge in 1914 and District Deputy Grand Masonic Master for the Ottawa area in 1917.

The Robert H. Grant home was built in 1885 on land that was expropriated and now known as Grant Crossing on Hazeldean Road.
The Robert H. Grant home was built in 1885 on land that was expropriated and now known as Grant Crossing on Hazeldean Road.

To find out more about the history of these two Grant gentlemen, you have to attend John’s energetic presentation on Saturday, May 21, at 1:30 p.m. at the Stittsville Legion Hall. I promise all who attend will not be disappointed!!

There will be free refreshments available for all, the Legion is handicapped accessible and remember to bring your friends and neighbours to learn and share in another chapter of Goulbourn’s history.


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Goulbourn Historical Society brings heritage alive this Saturday

(Photo: Part of the Goulbourn Township Historical Society’s “Pioneer Potraits” exhibit, from the GTHS archives.)

The Goulbourn Historical Society’s heritage celebration event is at the Stittsville Library this Saturday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

It’s going to be multi-faceted this year. We’ll be having costumed local characters that the whole family can meet and talk with. There’ll be the famous Duke of Richmond of course, after whom the village of Richmond is named, there’ll be Jacqueline whose husband Jock drowned in the Jock River and who is bringing up five children on her own, there’ll be Samuel Mann who owned a wonderful two-story department store in Stittsville in the early 1900’s where the first telephone was installed in the village, a village lady who could tell you stories and Maria Hill, innkeeper in Richmond who looked after the Duke of Richmond when he died from a fox bite and who disguised herself as a man so she could follow her husband into the war of 1812.

There will be a display of all the entries in the 2015 Historical Society Photo Contest, including the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners, as well as the exhibit called “Pioneer Portraits” on the Artspace wall at the library.

People are also invited to bring any pre-1920 family photos they might have of relatives who lived in Goulbourn (Stittsville, Munster, Richmond, Ashton and surrounding farmlands). There will be scanning equipment available so these photos can be added in digital format and with permission, to the Goulbourn Historical Society Photo Archives.

There will also be treats and coffee, tea and small drinks for kids available. This is a community event and the Goulbourn Historical Society would like to invite every one to come and sample a little local history.


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LETTER: Agricultural roots have a place in urban design

I think the fight to retain the barn in place was worth the effort and forced serious consideration of agricultural heritage.  To me one of the most important lessons learned was that we must work to persuade councillors and the general public that agricultural landscapes are worthy recipients of heritage designations – not just an individual building but a landscape that expresses the history of our rural roots.

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Where the streets have new names

As many as six Stittsville street names could be soon be switched. That’s because they’re too similar to other street names in Ottawa.

The six being considered for change:

  • Bell Street
  • Goulbourn Street
  • Elm Crescent
  • Long Meadow Way
  • Meadowland Drive
  • Walker Road

But just because they’re on the list doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be changed. There are a number of factors that the City weighs in their decision, from historical significance to the number of affected addresses on the street. The city is currently asking residents for feedback and ideas for new names. Continue reading


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Goulbourn Historical Society invites photo contest entries

(Bradley-Craig Barn, Hazeldean Road. Photo by Barry Gray.)

The Goulbourn Historical Society’s 2015 Photo Contest is up and running and both youth and adults are encouraged to enter. There is no entry fee and there will be cash prizes and an exhibit arranged once the contest is over. All entries will be judged on their merits. Deadline for entry is October 17, 2015.

There are four categories this year: Old and Historic Barns, Rural Mail Boxes, Front Porches and Horses. Continue reading


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Bus trip to Kingston to visit Sir John A’s house

(From the Goulbourn Historical Society.)

There are a few spaces still left on a bus trip to Kingston planned for  Saturday June 27 to celebrate the 200thanniversary of Sir John A. Macdonald’s birth year.  The highlight will be a visit to Sir John A’s home, Bellevue House,  a National Historic Site run by Parks Canada.  Costumed interpreters give the tour.

The trip is being organized by the Goulbourn Historical Society but is open to the general public.  Cost of the trip is $40 and the bus will leave Stittsville at 8:30 a.m. and return between 5:30 and 6 p.m.  Tour organizer is Marion Gullock and reservations and arrangements for payment can be made by emailing her at marion.gullock@sympatico.ca.

The trip will also include a short walking tour of a few of Kingston’s historic buildings plus the beautiful City Hall, built in 1840.  Later there’ll be a visit to the Kingston Penitentiary museum.  Lunch will be at The Bistro near Lake Ontario and participants can choose and pay for their lunches individually.  Bellevue House also has lovely gardens and there will be time to visit those too.  This will be a great way to start the summer tourist season off!


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