The Gatineau Valley Historical Society promotes matters of historical or heritage significance in the general area of the Gatineau Valley in west Quebec.

Pat Evans Archives, located in the lower level of Chelsea Library, is open from 1:30 to 3:30 on Mondays and Wednesdays. It will be closed for the summer period from Sunday June 12, and will reopen on Monday September 12, 2016 - see hours and location.

See current GVHS Newsletter

Coming Events

Stories of the Gatineau River

River Pride
Monday, September 19th at 7:00pm
Mill Road Community Space
(note change)
8 Ch. Mill Chelsea, QC
The Gatineau Valley Historical Society in partnership with River Pride is presenting Stories of the River. The fifth event in the River Pride series of activities honouring the river, Stories of the River includes a photo exhibition of the Lost Villages of Chelsea and the latest musical theatre production, A River Runs Through Us, by Chelsea musician/playwright Ian Tamblyn.

Les histoires de la rivière Gatineau

River Pride
Le lundi 19 septembre à 19h
Mill Road Community Space
8 Ch. Mill Chelsea, QC
La Société historique de la vallée de la Gatineau, en partenariat avec Fière Rivière présente une exposition qui mets en valeur les histoires de la rivière Gatineau. Ceci est le cinquième événement dans la série d'activitée de Fière Rivière.  Les histoires de la rivière est une exposition de photos des Villages perdus de Chelsea et est une nouvelle production théâtral, A River Runs Through Us, crée par Ian Tamblyn,  musicien de Chelsea, auteur et aventurier.

British Home Children in Western Quebec

Home Children
Monday October 17, 2016, 7:30 pm
Mill Road Community Space,
8 ch Mill, Chelsea

Gloria Tubman shares her research expertise on tracing British Home Children, some 129,000 of whom came to Canada as child workers between 1869 and the 1920s. Herself the granddaughter of a Home Child, she will focus on those placed in Western Quebec.

Petits immigrés anglais dans l’Outaouais

Home Children
Le lundi 17 octobre, 2016, 19 h 30
Mill Road Community Space,
8 ch Mill, Chelsea

Gloria Tubman partage son expertise en recherche sur le traçage des petits immigrés anglais, certains 129,000 dont sont venus au Canada en tant que travailleurs de l'enfant entre 1869 et les années 1920. Elle-même la petite-fille d'un petit immigré, elle mettra l'accent sur ceux qui sont placés dans l'Outaouais.
La présentation sera en anglais.

La Famille Alexander et la « Meech Lake House »
par Michel Lemaire

Meech Lake House
Le lundi 24 octobre 2016, à 19h30
Bibliothèque de Chelsea,
100 ch. Old Chelsea, Chelsea

Durant la première moitié du XXe siècle, une auberge attirait les visiteurs au lac Meech. Propriété de Thomas Cowden, la «Meech Lake House» fut exploitée par Andrew Alexander et son épouse entre 1914 et 1918. Les Alexander étaient une famille bien connue des résidents du lac. La «Meech Lake House» sera vendue au riche industriel Ambrose O’Brien puis à la Commission de la Capitale nationale qui la fera raser. Mais où était située cette auberge? Plus personne ne le sait.
La présentation sera en français, mais M. Lemaire sera heureux de répondre aux questions en français ou en anglais.

The Alexander Family and Meech Lake House
with guest speaker Michel Lemaire

Meech Lake House
Monday, October 24, 2016, at 7:30 p.m.
Chelsea Library,
100 Old Chelsea Rd., Chelsea

In the first half of the 20th century, there was a popular inn at Meech Lake. Known as Meech Lake House, it was owned by Thomas Cowden and operated for some years by Andrew Alexander and his wife. In 1930, the inn was sold to Ambrose O’Brien, a wealthy industrialist, and in 1970 to the National Capital Commission, who levelled it. Where did this inn once stand? Few people know, and speaker Michel Lemaire will reveal the results of his research into this mystery.
This presentation will be in French, but Mr. Lemaire will be happy to answer questions in English or French.

Remembrance Day Ceremony

Friday, November 11, 2015 at 10:30 am
Chelsea Pioneer Cemetery and Cenotaph,
587 Route 105, Chelsea

At the graveside of Private Richard Rowland Thompson the only Canadian to receive the prestigious “Queen’s scarf”.

Cérémonie du jour du Souv1enir

Le vendredi 11 Novembre, 205. 10:30
Cimetière Pioneer et cénotaphede Chelsea,
587 Route 105, Chelsea

À la tombe du soldat Richard Rowland Thompson le seul Canadien à recevoir le prestigieux " Queen’s scarf ".

Other Events

River Pride Celebration

River Pride
Six non-profit community groups from the Gatineau Hills are thrilled to be presenting River Pride this summer, a series of six major arts and recreational events in La Pêche, Cantley and Chelsea that put the spotlight on our love affair with the Gatineau River, its historical significance and continued relevance to our daily lives.
Our goal is to bring people together for a big, fun-filled celebration — but also, on a more serious note, to encourage a discussion about stewardship of the River, and to promote an understanding of its heritage.
For more details and a list of upcoming events see www.riverpride.ca.

Past Events

Farm Point Walking Tour
Saturday, June 18, 2016 at the Farm Point Community Centre, Chelsea, QC
Interesting historical journey through Farm Point: Old photographs, touring the remnants, anecdotes. Thank you to Claude Gervais and Marc Cockburn of the Gatineau Valley Historical Society.

Farm Point Walk
Farm Point Walk
Farm Point Walk
Farm Point Walk
Farm Point Walk
Farm Point Walk

Annual Dinner & Awards Evening
May 30, 2016 at Camp Fortune, Chelsea, QC.

Awards presented:

  • Award of Honour to Stephen Adcock in recognition of his assistance and expertise to the GVHS 'Pat Evans' Archives, in particular for his on-going efforts to make available local historical records by scanning 'A Tale of Two Chelseas' and the 'Wright Papers' - presented by Marc Cockburn
  • Certificate of Commendation to Don Kealey and Lise St. Jean in recognition of their sustained and dedicated effort to publish their momentous book, 'Municipality of Low – Reflections of the Past'.
  • Award of Honour to Beatrice O'Byrne in recognition for her support over many years of the GVHS 'Pat Evans' Archives and GVHS activities such as joint displays and meetings held at the Library during the time she was Chelsea's Municipal Librarian.
  • Wes Darou wins the Arthur Davison Prize for best article "Cantley’s Iron Mine: A Moving Exploration" in Volume 41, Up the Gatineau! -presented by Andrew Johnston, one of the judges for the prize, to Margaret Phillips, who accepted on behalf of Wes Darou in his absence.

Farm Point Walk
Farm Point Walk
Farm Point Walk
Farm Point Walk

New Publications of Local Interest

Touring Historic Wakefield
Touring Historic Wakefield by Norma Geggie for $22. Contact publications@gvhs.ca for information or ordering.

The Last of the Wild Rivers
The Last of the Wild Rivers: The Past, Present, and Future of the Rivière du Moine Watershed by Wallace Schaber for $30 plus shipping (softcover 8.5"x 8.5", 248 pages with over sixty photos and maps).
This is the story of the Du Moine River Valley in Western Quebec, the last of the undammed Quebec tributaries flowing into the historic Ottawa River. As a guide and founding partner in Trailhead and Black Feather Wilderness Adventures, the author (and resident of Chelsea) has been taking clients down the Du Moine for nearly half a century. Over that time he gathered local stories and researched the history of the watershed.
The book is available directly from the author beginning December 15. He can be reached at dumoineriver@primus.ca.

Reflections of the Past
Low Municipality - Reflections of the Past
by Don Kealey
Please note, that the request for orders for purchase of “Low Municipality – Reflections of the Past” have now closed. Don Kealey wishes to thank all those who have shown support and interest in the book.

Copies of the book are available for reading at the following locations:
  • Low Municipal Library (Low, Quebec)
  • Gatineau Valley Historical Association Library (Chelsea, Quebec)
  • Archives Canada (Ottawa, Ontario)
  • Bibliotecheque et Archives nationales du Quebec (Gatineau and Montreal, Quebec
  • City of Ottawa Public Library, Ottawa
  • Ottawa Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society, Ottawa, Ontario

See event archive for past events.

New to the GVHS

Up the Gatineau!
Volume 42

Released in May 2016, this volume contains 9 articles and 1 poem - from research-based to memoir style. Available to order or pick up at several local retailers.

Wes Darou
wins the Arthur Davison Prize for best article "Cantley’s Iron Mine: A Moving Exploration" in Volume 41, Up the Gatineau!.

GVHS Awards
See list of awards presented at the Annual Dinner & Awards Evening.

Up the Gatineau!
index for all 42 volumes

a comprehensive 126 page local reference guide available online or to order.

Following Florence by
W. C. (Bill) Allen

published in Up the Gatineau!
Volume 42
is now available online.

Membership payments
can now be made with PayPal.