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150 Years of History in the Hills

The following article first appeared in "The Low Down to Hull and Back News" in the August 23, 2017 issue. Reprinted with permission.

Summertime on the courts and diamonds

150 Years of History in the Hills
Some Tenaga (now part of Chelsea) residents practicing at their nine-hole 'chip and putt' golf course, 1942. Also known as a 'pitch and putt', this is an amateur sport where the hole length is typically less than 70 metres. Photo courtesy Green family collection.

In the hot and hazy days of summer, cottagers and locals in the Gatineau Hills have always had many ways to spend their leisure time. Golf courses (most quite modest) and tennis courts once abounded in the Hills, and some are still around today. If you preferred team sports, there were baseball leagues to join. Fishing by the shore or boating by canoe, rowboat, or - eventually - motorboat, were favoured alternatives for recreation on the lakes and rivers. After the Gatineau River was reigned in following its damming in the mid-1920s, sailing, and, later, pontoon boating became popular ways to experience the beauty of the river's landscape.


 
150 Years of History in the Hills
Youngsters Kenneth and Lyla Cross (with others) at the Meech Creek fishing hole, with their homemade fishing rods, 1915. Photo courtesy Linda Payne Bardell.
150 Years of History in the Hills
Kingsmere resident Peter Maynard at bat during a baseball game at Chelsea Elementary School. Photo is looking east with the Reids' farm and the Merediths' cows in the distant background, 1958. Photo courtesy Heather Quipp.

 
150 Years of History in the Hills
The now-ubiquitous pontoon boats were once a rarity on the Gatineau River. This custom craft may have been one of the first to experience the river landscape. Most likely homemade, this one was a bit of an oddity at the time. If you look closely you can see the partially covered paddlewheels as well as the pontoons. 1975. Photo courtesy of the Low Down.
150 Years of History in the Hills
Even the women of the day found time to play baseball. Here's a women's baseball team in Meech Creek Valley, circa 1930. Players are unidentified. Photo Courtesy Steve Waterston, from the Brookdale Farm (Hyde Collection).

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