The History of NepeanFrom Aboriginal People, Pioneer Days to Industrialization
Societies & Eras of Humankind Hunting & Agricultural Industrial Information Gathering Era Era EraNative Peoples Farm life Machines & Age of technology HumankindHow does each society meet their basic needs? Food, Clothing, Water, ShelterWhat are the artifacts, tools, technology, means ofeducation, transportation & governmental systems?
collectionscanada.ca Themes of History & Geography
1534 - Jacques Cartier First explorer of the Gulf of St. Lawrence which became the gateway to French power in North America. In July 1534, he QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture. raised a cross at Gaspé bearing the arms of France, an act which can be regarded as the founding of New France.
1653 Le Canada by P. Du Val QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture. www.collectionscanada.ca/
1613 - Hunting & Gathering Society Samuel de Champlain: at the Ottawa River at the base of Rideau Falls. With a party of Algonquin warriors, Champlain travels deeper and deeper into the QuickTime™ and a Canadian wilderness. TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture. Changed their society & way of life forever: guns, liquor, diesease.
Champlain and his Algonquin guides His maps and journals helped hundreds of fur traders, explorers and soldiers to begin their journeys into the wilderness. His writings reflected ignorance about a people he did not understand: “Noble Savages”. QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture.
1600s - The New World Samuel de Champlain looking for a Northwest Passage to India and China. To find a route: tea, silk and spices coveted by the merchants and people of Europe. Journey around the continent of Africa took up to 3 years and often ended in tragedy for the small sailing ships of the time. It was hoped that a water passage across the New World could be found that would shorten the journey and bring the explorer who found it great fame and fortune. Money, land and/or power!
1710, by Jan Verelst One of the sachems, or civil chiefs, of the Five Nations Iroquois Confederacy. The four chiefs, allies of the British, travelled to London in 1710 to ask for assistance QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture. against their French enemies. The chiefs secured military support from the British obtained help for missionary work and funding for a Mohawk chapel and fort .Sa Ga Yeath Qua Pieth Tow (Brant) www.collectionscanada.ca
Algonquin Aboriginal Peoples Nomadic: travelled on foot & by canoe In winter: snowshoes, pulling possessions on toboggans. "Ottawa" means meeting place The Algonkians met basic needs from nature. QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture. Moose, bear, wild berries and rice were their food. Animal hide for clothing and shelters.
1761 QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture. Born in France in 1722, Dominique Serres enlisted in the navy. Captured on the high seas by the English fleet during the Seven Years War, he sailed with them on the expeditions to Nova Scotia and Havana. www.collectionscanada.ca
1763/8 Frances Brooke The first novelist in Canada (and in North America) was a woman. During her stay, which ended in 1768, she wrote QuickTime™ and aTIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor The History of Emily are needed to see this picture. Montague (1769). Catherine Read (1723- 1778) was a London portrait artist of Scottish descent. In an age dominated by men she specilized in portraits of women.
1786 Captain: Prince William Henry (1765-1837) QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture. The log book of HMS Pegasus, The Entrance of St. Johns Harbour (Newfoundland), September 10, 1786, by J. S. Meres. King William IV in 1830. First member of the British royal family to set foot on this land.
Nepean: Parliament Hill to North Gower QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture.
1792 Nepean was named in honour of Sir Evan Nepean, the head of a branch of the British Home Office administering the colonies. Sir Evan Nepean was born on QuickTime™ and a July 19,1753 (usually given asTIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture. 1751) at St. Stephens near Saltash in Cornwall, England.
Early 1800s The township was settled by soldiers from the American Revolution of 1783 Land grants were issued to United Empire Loyalists Many preferred to sell the land because of the remoteness of the area. The dominant early industry was agriculture. Along Richmond Road were the most successful and productive farms through the village of Fallowfield.
United Empire Loyalist Loyalists wanted to stay loyal to the King of England. They came by wagon, horse and on foot. QuickTime™ and a They went to Quebec, theTIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture. Maritimes and the shores of the St. Lawrence, Lake Ontario and the Niagara Peninsula.
The Honeywells Ira Honeywell was the first permanent settler in Nepean. Ira received 5 "location tickets" from his father, each giving him two-hundred acres of land. He walked from Prescott in early 1809 and cleared the land later known as City View. Next spring, Ira had four acres of land ready for cultivation. Mary Honeywell, his wife, taught children school in her home. She was considered to be the first teacher in Nepean even though she was not a certified teacher.
Pioneer Life QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture. QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture.
1820s The population in 1822 was 191. The numbers rose slowly into the mid 1820s. The settlers located primarily along the Richmond Road area. By 1827 there were 76 families in Nepean. Between 1824 & 1845 half million Irishlanded in CanadaOne million died in Ireland, while a million escaped to the New World
Early 1800s- Irish Settlers Dwellings were easily built and were spacious compared with the clay floored hovels of many of the pioneers in their former situations. Aristocracts from England: Susannah QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor Moodie, are needed to see this picture. Kathryn Parr Traill did not feel the same way!
1830 Underground Railroad QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture. Josiah Henson (1789-1883) was born a slave in Maryland and became a preacher in the Methodist Episcopalian Church. Fearing that they would be separated and sold, he and his wife fled to Cana
Hunting & Gathering Society Meat was often scarce once the land was cleared. The people ate squirrels, suckers (a kind of coarse fish), rabbits, wild berries, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, plums, crabapples, cherries, butternuts, hickory nuts and beech nuts. In spots of Nepean it was said that you could see only swamp, hear only frogs and feel only mosquitoes. Nepeans winters proved harsh. The forest gave an abundance of logs for constructing the early homes and firewood was everywhere.
1826 - 1833 The building of the Rideau Canal caused merchants and tradesmen to move in to supply the needs of the canal labourers. Population increased from 580 in 1827 to 2,758 the next year. This lead to the building of new churches and schools.
1827- 32 The Rideau Canal Colonel Bys warehouse by the entrance to the canal. It is now a museum. Because there were so few workers, Colonel By sent QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture. to Europe for soldiers to help with the building.
1834 After completion of the canal, the population of Nepean dropped to 94. QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture. QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture.
1838 - Education Five schools are recorded as being opened by 1838 in the northwestern part of the township, along the Richmond Road area. The Jockvale area and Nepean opened schools later in the early 1840s. School masters did not have their own accommodation in the early days. Boarded or lodged with different families in the school community for periods of time throughout the year
One Room Schoolhouse Children had to bring pennies or "coppers" to buy a pail, a tin drinking-cup and a broom for the school. In the fall, each child had to bring an armful of wood to heat the school. Fathers of the children would take turns bringing sleigh loads of wood to heat the building.
School Life Settlers organized a building "bee" and built a log home for him near the school. This first school was 18’ by 24’ - built of logs. Desks were built along the walls for the natural light from the windows . The seats were log benches. The pupils stood in the middle of the room at the masters desk near the stove to recite their lessons.
1847 Colonel John By surveyed two town sites near his new canal. One was called Upper Town and was home to administrators and businessmen. The other site, Lower Town, QuickTime™ and a was to the east, across the TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture. canal and was the rough and dangerous home of the French Canadian and Irish labourers who worked building the canal.
1855 - 1859 Population of Bytown was over 8,000 Inhabitants felt their city should no longer have a name that had "town" in it. The name Ottawa was chosen because the Outaouais (Ottawa) Indians still used the river to carry their loads of fur from place to place. Queen Victoria chose Ottawa as the new capital of Upper and Lower Canada. – location safe from attack by a possible American invasion – good compromise location between French and English Canada.
1852 -Education Most of the schools in the Nepean area had 40 to 50 students on the rolls Most had only about half that number attending at any one time. Two out of every five children aged 5 to 16 attended school at least part of the year. Most attended for only a few years. Attendance was usually based on the economic resources of the family The poorest were unable to afford to send their children.
1854 The Bradley Log Farm Settled during this time and remains preserved as a pioneer homestead of the later 1800s. 200 Acres: clear 2 A/yr.•Near Cedarview Rd.•Housed 9 children QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor•a kitchen, parlour, and are needed to see this picture.three bedrooms upstairs
Agricultural Society Poultry shed for the ducks and geese that ranged free around the farmyard. Stable for the ploughing horses, a buggy shed, cattle barn, pig and sheep sheds and a hay mow. Pork was an important staple of the pioneer diet. Pigs have large litters of babies that grow rapidly, a spring-born pig is ready for slaughter in the fall. The pig was also used to make leather, soap and candles. Sheep were raised for both their wool and their meat. The wool of the sheep or fleece was sheared, washed, carded, spun and then woven into cloth on a loom by the pioneer women.
The township of Nepean continued to be settled by immigrants mostly from Ireland (due to the potato famine) and the British Isles. QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture. QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture. QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture.
Work was hard These farmers are building a split rail fence. Land: stubborn Difficult to clear Cold unbearable Storms & fire destroyed crops QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture. Dangerous animalsand people in the woods MacGregor, “Escape”
1860s - Education Formal schools sprang up around Nepean in areas where several families farmed, such as the Merivale Corner area or Greenbank District. One of the first certified school teachers was John Boyce who came from County Armagh, Ireland. Relatives in Nepean wrote to him telling him about the opportunities for school teachers. He taught at Hartwells Locks for 7 years and then came to teach in a little log schoolhouse at Merivale Corner in 1859.
1860s - Transportation QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture.
1870 - The Big Fire: Nepean In August a devastating fire destroyed hundreds of acres of crops and farm buildings. Houses, barns and vast stretches of bush were destroyed. A swath (miles wide) from Stittsville to the Rideau River had been burned out. People hung their silverware and other valuables in wells as they fled to the protection of rivers and ponds. QuickTime™ and a Barrels of food were rolled into underground picture. TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressorhouses are needed to see this root and cellars in an effort to protect them.
1870 - Industrial Society begins Many Nepean pioneers worked all summer on the farms and spent their winters in the shanties or lumber camps on the Upper Ottawa, the Madawaska and the Bonnechere Rivers to earn money in the "Drives" . QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture.
1870 - Lumber Drives The men who worked on these lumber drives would cut down trees to be sold as lumber for the wide-spread building that was taking place in the new Canadian towns and cities. In the spring, the logs were run down the rivers to be sold as lumber. In the 19th century lumbering was the greatest industry in many parts of eastern Canada. 1806 first raft: squared timber using 400 year old Pines 20 feet around the base = $
1863 - 1877Lumber Drives Men were often killed trying to unplug the dangerous log jams that occurred when the logs piled up together or got stuck on rocks. Peak of the White Pine harvest: 400,000/yr. QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture.
1870 - Lumber Drives Many Nepean homesteads were left without a father or older brother who did not return home safely from these Drives. Workers earned cash to buy black-iron cooler for butchering or the making of soap. The earliest settlers purchased goods in Montreal Some bought rare treats such as raisins, lemons, spices or sugar from river boats such as the "Stanley" moored along the Rideau Canal in the summertime.
1879 - Nepean: pop. 7031 Nepean was second only to Ottawa in importance in the County of Carleton. Sir John A. McDonald wrote to the premier of Ontario: “The sight of the immense masses of timber passing my window every morning constantly suggests to my mind the absolute necessity there is QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor for looking into the future of this great are needed to see this picture. trade. We are recklessly destroying the timber of Canada and there is scarcely a possibility of replacing it.”
1886 - Central Experimental Farm Canadian Parliament approved the establishment of a network of experimental farms throughout the country. 440 acres of land in Nepean running west from Dows Lake just south of Rochesterville. The land was either sold to the Government willingly or expropriated and paid for. QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture. QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture.
1890 Greenbank School SS11 In the 1890s with teacher Florence Walsh Stone structure shows that rural neighbourhoods were becoming more prosperous able to afford to QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor build with more are needed to see this picture. costly materials.
1900s - Byward Market Nepean continued as a largely rural community. Dairy Farming was one of the major economic activities in the region. Dairying became more profitable than mixed farming. Ottawa ensured a QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor growing market for are needed to see this picture. whole milk in the late nineteenth and early 20th centuries.
1897 - New Construction New barns, ice and mill houses, silos for storing winter fodder, hay presses, balers and binders were all signs of the prosperity Supplying the milk demands of the city was far more profitable than providing milk to the outlying cheese factories that had prospered earlier. A tuberculosis scare in 1897 was the cause of a bylaw requiring licensees to supply certificates that their cows had been tuberculin tested, for the protection of public health from contaminated milk.
Nepean Museum - Rural Merivale Road A model of one of the horse-drawn dairy wagons that took milk to QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor be sold at are needed to see this picture. the Byward Market.
Early 1900s -Industrialization From rural community to an urban one. Streetcar lines opened the way for residential growth in the Britannia and Westboro communities. Bells Corners became more accessible as well. Britannia Park was opened when the Ottawa Electric Railway Co. bought several acres of land A popular summer swimming spot and club house for the rowing club, a band stand and a dance pavillion were added.
Little Nepean Girls "to spare the rod, was to spoil the child." often dressed up as little adults QuickTime™ and a expected to haveTIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture. responsibilities and do chores The best activities for children were walking, riding, visiting and reading nonfiction books.
1916 Elders with Amerindian soldiers QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture. Between 3,500 and 4,000 Amerindians served in the Canadian Expeditionary Force in the First World War. Enlisted voluntarily, exempt from conscription.
20s, 30s, 40s Infrastructure The 1920s, 30s and 40s were times of institutional expansion for Nepean. Suburbanites gradually took control of the township council. Began to provide for themselves a wider range of urban services. Streetcars now connected the more rural suburbs to the downtown Ottawa areas. Planning authorities set out the future locations of highways, parks and playgrounds.
Industrial Life Municipal services such as hospitals, fire brigades, police departments, water and sewer systems and garbage facilities were initiated and implemented. Telephone and electric light poles and wires were seen along the streets of Nepean. Both Nepean and Ottawa suffered and felt hard times with the rest of Canada during the depression years and the two world wars.
1950s More Annexations Nepean to a rural township once again. The population dropped to 2,500. Nepean lost 7,420 acres of prime developed land to Ottawa. The police station and health unit building were lost to Ottawa as were the fire hall and township garages. Nepean, which had achieved a high standard of urban services, professional staff and progressive planning, effectively had to start over again.
1958 - City Hall Federal government expropriated more land for the Central Experimental Farm. 43 properties were set aside as "greenbelt" land QuickTime™ and aTIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor 4,000 acre block bounded by are needed to see this picture. Knoxdale, Fallowfield, Woodroofe and Cedarview 1300 acres of prime developed residential and commercial land were lost.