LOST STITTSVILLE – Seven years to pay off a debt

As I waited for the May 4th Jane’s Walk to begin at Stittsville’s Village Square Park, it brought to memory a bit of history on the park. I thought I’d do some digging and find in my files how the buildings at the park came to exist.

Nevada tickets were often sold for fundraising endeavours in Stittsville in the 90’s. The Goulbourn Township Historical Society had an initiative that they wanted to see come to fruition. So, they reached out to Bradley’s Your Independent Grocer in 1996 to form a partnership to do just that – sell Nevada tickets to pay for their idea.

The profits from the tickets would be put to good use. The Historical Society wanted to use the money to finance development of a heritage park at the Village Square. The development was to be built as a tribute to the importance of the railway’s influence on Stittsville and its prosperity.

The Goulbourn Township Council (Stittsville was not part of Ottawa until amalgamation in 2001) was approached with the idea and an agreement was arranged. The idea – the Historical Society wanted to construct a replica water tower and train station in the centre of the village. The Township agreed to pay all of the construction costs for the project. The costs would amount to $65,000. The catch – the Historical Society had to pay all of the monies back to the Township.

It took some time, but seven years later on December 18, 2003, the outstanding debt was finally paid off. The Historical Society, through their partnership with Bradley’s YIG and a lot of hustling Nevada tickets, had reached their goal and settled their debt. It was a moment filled with elation for all who were involved in this exciting endeavour. Remembering the days of train travel through Stittsville materialized when the Historical Society replicated this era of history in our lives.

This instance shows how the collaboration of the municipal government and local business, together working with a charitable organization, can champion a good cause.


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