GVHS Past Events Archive

Browse images from Gatineau Valley Historical Society past events

GVHS at NCC’s annual Fall Rhapsody
On October 2, GVHS volunteers showcased historic photos of the area and an array of publications at a "picnic" organized by the Municipality of Chelsea, in conjunction with the NCC’s annual Fall Rhapsody. Despite damp weather, about a hundred visitors stopped at our site overlooking the covered bridge to join in activities that included kite-flying, music, and information about history, plants and animals of the area.

53rdAnnual Auction, Silent Auction and Bake Sale
Scenes from the auction held on Saturday, August 20, 2016 at the Ferme Hendrick Farm in Old Chelsea.


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.


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.

2014 Annual Awards Dinner
The 40th volume of Up the Gatineau!, the Society's flagship publication was released at the Annual Awards Dinner on May 20, 2014 at Camp Fortune's Main Lodge. Group photos of the Volume 40 contributors and the editing and production team were taken to celebrate this achievement.

Editor and Publisher Nikki Mantell reminisces about "The Low Down to Hull and Back News"

On Monday October 21, 2013 about 75 Society members and friends attended a special anniversary talk and viewed an exhibit celebrating 40 years of reporting by the Gatineau Valley's English language weekly, The Low Down To Hull and Back News. Nikki Mantell, this family-owned newspaper's publisher and editor, addressed the crowd and took questions from the floor, which included a number of the paper's current and former staff, reporters and editors.

Re-visiting Rupert Village circa 1900
Rupert Forty-five GVHS members and friends met in the Rupert Community Centre to kick off the Rupert Tour. Linda Bardell supplied a number of historic photos from the Image Bank for display. Seven aerial photos from Duncan Marshall were added, some taken in the 1990s, and a "Then and Now" of a 1926 and 1985 aerial (the latter from RJ Hughes). All photo prints were donated to the Centre. Long-time Rupert residents, David Gibson and Ian Moore narrated the photo show before the tour started, which included stops at the Rupert United Church with Eileen Moore, then on to the site of the Methodist Church, the Rupert Union Cemetery and ending at the Reilly Cemetery with a presentation by Barbara Rielly. See photos on flickr.

Gatineau River Heritage Day Regatta on June 9, 2013

It was a warm sunny day when Friends of the Gatineau River (FOG) and the Cascades Club joined together for a family-oriented day of water activities at the shoreline in Cascades. Shirley McGlashan and Louise Schwartz manned a publication table with historic photos and publications, attracting much interest. GVHS Director RJ Hughes presented the Cascades Club with a custom poster of the historic photos of the Lost Village of Cascades in honour of their new boathouse, and provided a short history of the club to those in attendance. See photos on flickr.

Annual GVHS Dinner and Awards on May 27, 2013

Over 100 members and friends dined at the historic Wakefield Mill, to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the founding of the mill. Lynn Berthiaume, a Mill co-owner, was the after-dinner speaker. The evening also saw the release of the 2013 Up the Gatineau!, the 39th volume of the Society's local history journal. A number of Society members were honoured for their contributions to the Society, and commendations were presented to area organizations and individuals who have collaborated with the Society. See the full list of honours and awards and view photos on Flickr from the evening.

What Lies Beneath: Cantley before the great flood

On April 15, more than 110 people visited La Grange de la Gatineau to experience an amazing journey through time in talk held jointly with Cantley 1889. Marc Cockburn, GVHS president, used Google Earth and archival photos and maps to reconstruct how the river looked before much of its natural and built environment was flooded in 1927, with the construction of the hydro dams at Chelsea and Farmer's Rapids.

The Babbling River: The Gatineau Valley in Verse and Song with Phil Jenkins
Phil Jenkins On March 18, author and songwriter Phil Jenkins entertained GVHS members and friends in a special evening of poetry readings and songs, which he titled "The Babbling River: The Gatineau Valley in Verse and Song." See photos on flickr.

Talk on the Early Days of Skiing in Gatineau Park with Charles Hodgson

A keen crowd of about 75 members and friends packed the lower level of the Chelsea Library on February 18 2013 to hear guest speaker Charles Hodgson talk about early skiing in Gatineau Park. Charles' talk was complemented with a slideshow of historic skiing photos, early trail maps, and excerpts from early Ottawa Ski Club newsletters. There was a lively discussion with the audience, many of whom were skiing enthusiasts, including one former Trail Rider and another long time skier who recalled working as a youth in the 1940s at one of the many Park lodges. The talk was preceded by the Annual General Meeting and an Archives Open House.


50th Anniversary award to the Gatineau Valley Historical Society

Caryl Green presenting a 50th Anniversary award to the Gatineau Valley Historical Society at a meeting of Chelsea Municipal Council held on October 1, 2012. Receiving the award on behalf of GVHS are: Carol Martin, Dave Yuill, Erik Rask and Allan Richens.

Vernissage for Bill Mason Exhibit

On September 30, over 80 people joined Bill Mason's family at the Chelsea Library for the opening of the GVHS exhibit "A life remembered: Bill Mason (1929-1988)". The municipality of Chelsea hosted this event, providing wine and cheese, and the Alpengruss restaurant in Wakefield supplied a carrot cake topped with a red canoe. See more photos on our flickr account.




May 2012 Annual Dinner and Awards Night
Awards 2012 Over 100 GVHS members and friends came together at Camp Fortune on May 28 to celebrate the Society's 50th anniversary year. The evening kicked off with a video on the history of skiing at Camp Fortune by Gatineau Park enthusiast Charles Hodgson. After the buffet dinner, the authors of the latest Up the Gatineau! Volume 38, were introduced to the audience - Landon Pearson, Wanda Taylor, Norma Geggie and Ken Buck. President Marc Cockburn then reviewed the impressive highlights of our last 50 years.

QAHN Awards

GVHS wins 2012 Richard Evans Community History Award The Society is thrilled to announce it has won the Richard Evans award for excellence in the promotion of community history, through its dedicated leadership in in the preservation and promotion of Quebec's The award was presented to GVHS representatives David Yuill and Louise Schwartz at the Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network (QAHN) annual general meeting in St. Lambert Quebec on May 11. See the QAHN website for more details. See qahn.org/news/gatineau-valley-historical-society-wins-richard-evans-award.

Michael Cooper wins the 2012 QAHN Marion Phelps Award
The Society was equally thrilled to learn that honorary GVHS member and former executive Michael Cooper has won QAHN's Marion Phelps award for 2012 for his work with the Fairbairn Heritage Centre. This award recognizes outstanding long-term contributions to the preservation and promotion of Anglophone heritage in Quebec. See qahn.org/news/wakefields-michael-cooper-wins-phelps-award.

Historic Walk in Gatineau Park with Katharine Fletcher

On Saturday April 28, and Sunday April 29, 32 Society members were treated to an expert tour of the Gatineau Park trail to the ruins of Thomas "Carbide" Willson's superphospate fertilizer plant at Meach Lake.
Local author Katharine Fletcher, led participants with a narration that synthesized historical facts, stories of human character, and of the ephemeral nature of both the built and natural worlds. Participants were given a sense of both the hardships and physical challenges involved in settling in frontier areas, and of the peacefulness that drew them Meach Lake. Along the way our discussions ranged from wildflowers and bear claws on beech trees, to the challenges in preserving and managing the heritage and natural resources of Gatineau Park.
Katharine is the author of Historical Walks: The Gatineau Park Story, which was initially published with assistance from the Society in 1988, so it was our great pleasure to re-connect with Katharine and to recognize her long-time support for the GVHS during our 50th Anniversary year. See photos of the event on flickr.

History of the Larrimac Golf Club with Larry Dufour

On April 23, GVHS members and friends listened intently to Larry Dufour's recounting of the 85-plus year history of the Larrimac Golf Club. Dufour, a life member, former President and manager of the club walked the crowd through highlights of the club's founding and other memorable events over the years, complemented by a slide show of historic photos. As well, several club members brought in some of their own memorabilia to share, and the club's newly-polished golf and tennis trophies were on display, many dating back to the 1930s and 40s.


The Great River Project with Ottawa Riverkeeper Meredith Brown

On March 19, 2012, the Ottawa Riverkeeper Meredith Brown shared her slide show about the Great River Project from the summer of 2011. She enthralled the large crowd in attendance with her engaging account of the people and places encountered by her team of scientists, naturalists, historians and photographers on their 900 km canoe trip down the Ottawa River. During this trip, she and her team documented the state of the river and explored its cultural heritage. The talk took place in the Great Hall at the new Wakefield-La Pêche Community Centre.

2012 Archives Open House and Annual General Meeting (AGM)

Over 50 GVHS members and friends crowded the lower level of the Chelsea Library on February 20 to hear President Marc Cockburn talk about the GVHS's accomplishments over the past 50 years. The AGM was held, reports were tabled and discussed, the new 2012 executive elected, and a motion was passed to rename the Society archives the Pat Evans Archives of the Gatineau Valley Historical Society.

Special 50th anniversary lapel pins were awarded to the 2012 Executive, to the Archives volunteers, and to members Richard Hofer (for his cemetery work), to Beatrice O'Byrne and Samuel Corriveau-Lambert of Chelsea Library (for the library's support of the GVHS) and to former GVHS director, Fergus Maclaren. Marc Cockburn with Erik Rask then highlighted some of the major changes and additions to the content-rich GVHS website, including the new Pat Evans Corner, as well as a selection of some of the new acquisitions of historic photos received over the past year. Marc's slideshow can be seen in the GVHS Presentations and photos of the event are available on Flickr.

Rene Neilson provided a special treat in the form of a 50th anniversary carrot cake while members browsed a small sampling of panoramas of local historic scenes, Scout logbooks created by Pat Evans, Maps of the Gatineau Valley, and other archives' treasures.

50th Anniversary Celebration Kick-Off

An enthusiastic group of about 75 GVHS members and friends gathered at the historic Wakefield Mill on January 16 to kick off 2012 - the 50th anniversary year for the Gatineau Valley Historical Society. MC Michael Cooper, co-president of the Fairbairn House Heritage Centre, welcomed all and encouraged bidding on the silent auction, a fund-raiser for Fairbairn's renovation. GVHS President, Marc Cockburn also spoke, revealing a special anniversary pin to be presented to those who have contributed to the success of the GVHS over the years. The first three recipients of the pins were Anita Rutledge, Norma Geggie, and Michael Cooper. Musician Gail Gavan and her band entertained the crowd with traditional and country songs from the Ottawa Valley. See photos of the event on flickr.

Canadian Genealogy Survey closes Wednesday November 30, 2011
GVHS members are advised that the national survey of family historians closes at the end of this month. The survey is still available at www.cusurveycentre.ca/gensurvey and takes about 20 to 30 minutes to complete. Over 2,000 surveys have been completed to date. See details in our fall newsletter.

Radon in the Gatineau
Radon in the Gatineau Dr. Don Hogarth, geology professor and author, spoke to GVHS members and friends on November 21 about radon and radioactivity in the Gatineau Valley. He also distributed colour maps and displayed part of his rock collection. Most interestingly, he detailed how he solved the 1957 mystery of the case of the missing uranium (which he recounted had disappeared as it was absorbed by the dark, peaty soil in which it was found). See the photos on Flickr.




Remembrance Day Feedback
Remembrance Day Feedback Mr. T. Robert (Bob) Fowler communicated with the GVHS recently, after attending our 2011 Remembrance Day ceremony. An author and historian, he has a strong interest in the military. After writing about Private Richard Rowland Thompson in his 2009 book on Canadian soldiers, Fowler visited his grave at the Chelsea cenotaph a few summers ago, vowing to return one November. He writes that he was impressed by the peaceful nature of the cemetery and its fine condition, and congratulated the GVHS on its Remembrance Day ceremony. Check out his blog and related photos on Flickr.


Remembrance Day Ceremony
Alex Topolski, Polish war veteran On Friday, November 11 the GVHS hosted a Remembrance Day ceremony at the Chelsea Cenotaph. The event included a thrilling fly-pass by a vintage Harvard aircarft from Vintage Wings of Canada. Photos and a video of Chelsea Elementary School children singing at the event can be viewed on our Flickr account. As part of this year's ceremony, two poems were read; Mayor Caryl Green read the late Doug Cowden's poem "It's Just a Piece of Cloth" and Chelsea Elementary School pupil Valerie Kapsa read a poem she wrote.

Image: Alex Topolski, Polish war veteran


Interpretive Hike to Brown Lake in Gatineau Park
Hikers at Brown's Lake On a perfect fall day about a dozen keen hikers joined Ken Bouchard on his guided walk to Brown's Lake. Brown descendant Debbie Dunn St. Jean provided added interpretation as the group walked along trails next to former farmland and viewed stone foundations of long-gone homes, expropriated by the federal government for Gatineau Park. See photos on our Flickr account, courtesy Debbie Dunn St. Jean.

Image: Hikers at Brown's Lake


Researching a Family Military History
Carol Reid, Canadian War Museum, with Marc Cockburn and Meredith MacLean On October 17, Carol Reid from the Canadian War Museum spoke to an interested group of GVHS members and friends about military genealogy. She provided a comprehensive introduction to on-line resources relating to Canadian military service records. See the photo on our Flickr account.

Image: Carol Reid, Canadian War Museum, with Marc Cockburn and Meredith MacLean



Gatineau Valley Postal History
Pascal LeBlond of Library and Archives Canada On September 19th, Pascal LeBlond of Library and Archives Canada presented a Postal History of the Gatineau Valley, and outlined the various reference documents available to any member of the public interested in researching this topic. His presentation will be posted shortly. See the photo on our Flickr account.

Image: Pascal LeBlond of Library and Archives Canada



Union Mission Church Park Dedication
Dedication Ceremony. Carol Martin and Marc Cockburn The Gatineau Valley Historical Society and the Union Mission Church Committee held a dedication ceremony and reception to celebrate the installation of the Union Mission Church Park in Kirk's Ferry. The ceremony took place on Sunday October 2nd at the site at #16 Brown Road in Kirk's Ferry. Thanks were given to Municipal staff, elected officials and Heritage Committee members for their support and vision in creating this memorial to Chelsea's past. See the photos on our Flickr account.

Image: Dedication Ceremony. Carol Martin and Marc Cockburn


Interpretive Hike from Larrimac to Meech Lake
Allan Richens leads 25 hikers GVHS Director, Allan Richens, was the guide for 25 enthusiastic walkers plus one dog, ranging in age from 8 to 80, on his annual interpretive hike which took place on a glorious Sunday, September 18. This popular hike starts at the Larrimac Golf Club and follows old farm lanes and bush trails, from Cooper's Trail to O'Rourke's Clearing, and past the former Carbide Willson Mill, ending at Meech Lake. See the photos on our Flickr account, courtesy of Heidi von Graevenitz.

Image: Allan Richens leads 25 hikers


48th Annual Auction of Antiques and Collectibles
Auctioneer Revel Steward and auction director was R.J. Hughes Read about another successful GVHS auction that took place on Saturday August 20, led by GVHS Director R.J. Hughes. See details in our Fall newsletter and photos in our Flickr account.

Image: Auctioneer Revel Steward and auction director R.J. Hughes



November Talk on the War of 1812

Vic Suthren, the former head of the Canadian War Museum, addressed GVHS members and friends on Monday, November 19, 2012 at the Meredith Centre in Old Chelsea. His talk to an interested audience of about forty was on the War of 1812, which he called "the war no one wanted." Wearing period dress, he also demonstrated the use of some replica artifacts such as a musket. This was the last talk of 2012 for the Society's 50th anniversary year. See photos on flickr.

Remembrance Day Ceremony 2012

Under dull skies, Chelsea residents gathered on Sunday November 11 at the Chelsea Cenotaph to participate in Remembrance Day ceremonies. Participants included troops from a Canadian Regiment from Petawawa and the Canadian Forces Health Services Centre, Ottawa, representatives from local Chelsea churches, and local politicians and officials including MP Mathieu Ravignat, MNA Stephanie Vallée, and Chelsea Mayor Caryl Green. Led by GVHS President Marc Cockburn, the program included prayers, the Last Post, the placing of wreaths, a poem read by Chelsea Elementary School youth and a hymn sung by the Chelsea Youth Choir.
For the second year, Vintage Wings of Canada arranged a flypast, with three vintage aircraft swooping along the Gatineau Valley, over villages and towns including Danford Lake, Kazabazua, Low, Venosta, Wakefield and Chelsea. Their story called "Up the Valley of Remembrance on Yellow Wings" can be read on their website under "Vintage News".

Talk on Filmmaker and Artist Bill Mason (1929-1988)
Ken Buck Almost 100 GVHS members and friends packed the Chelsea Library on October 15 to hear Ken Buck's talk on his long-time friend, the award-winning filmmaker and artist Bill Mason. Ken, who first met Bill when he moved to Meech Lake Road in the late 1960s with his wife Sue, gave the audience a personal perspective of Bill as a friend and neighbour. He highlighted Bill's energy, enthusiasm, sense of humour and spirituality, through anecdotes and a slide show. The slides included family photos, as well as some of Bill's many hand-drawn cartoon-style greeting cards. See more photos on our flickr account.

British Home Children in Western Quebec
Held at the Mill Road Community Space in Chelsea on Monday, October 17, 2016.
It was a full house last night at Mill Road Community Space to hear Gloria Tubman share her research on tracing British Home Children.

See also article "GVHS sheds light on legacy of 100K displaced children" in "The Low Down to Hull and Back News" in the October 12, 2016 issue.

The GVHS is seeking information on Home Children who were placed in the Gatineau Valley.