The Grants of Goulbourn are returning

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

(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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