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Gatineau River Heritage Paddle: A Guide

Farm Point (see Origin of Name and Claim to Fame below)

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  • Copeland Ferry

    Former Copeland's Ferry Site

    William Copeland owned land on both sides of river, with his own farmhouse located further south. His ferry operation was the mainstay for people on the east side of the river until the bridge constructed. Copeland's ferry, also known as a scow, was not a cable ferry as others down river were, but used the movement of the currents and eddy.

  • Copeland Homestead

    William Copeland farmhouse and original outbuildings (still a private residence)

    William Copeland farmhouse

    The farm was homesteaded starting in 1834 by Thomas Copeland, his two sons and their families. They were Irish, British Wesleyan Methodists and had the first church in the area on their land. The initial farm was 74 acres of which 40 acres were cultivated. They grew wheat, peas, oats and potatoes. When they started they had one horse, 4 sheep and 4 hogs.

    By the time of Thomas Copeland's death in 1858, the family had acquired 600 acres on both sides of the river. Copeland, one of his sons William and their wives are buried just north of the main house at the foot of the hill by the tall pine.

  • Brucite Plant

    Former Brucite Plant

    Alcan Plant

    There was a brucite plant on this former Maxwell property (Maxwell settled the same time as Copeland of Wakefield, around 1830). Opened in 1942, the plant was operated by Alcan. It was not a very lucrative enterprise but gave much needed work to the area after the depression, employing between between 90 and 100 men, mostly from Farm Point and Wakefield. A small business in crushed stone continues today.

    Crew at the Alcan Plant

    Brucite is used in the manufacture of refractories (heat resistant bricks used in high temperature ovens and kilns). From this rock comes magnesium oxide and lime byproducts, resulting in the white sludge one can see in the river banks nearby. The brucite was shipped by rail to another plant at Kilmar for making of brick. Low grade ore was crushed and sold at $5 a load as gravel for driveways and roads. One can still see evidence of this in many of the laneways in the surrounding area. The mining occurred in a quarry south of the plant, and moved in by truck. It later produced fertilizer magnesia. The plant closed April 1968 and was only partially dismantled.

    William Copeland farmhouse

    This site, now called Morrison's Quarry, is home to the highest bungee jump attraction in North America.

  • Lnwarn Lodge and Island View Restaurant

    Site of former Lnwarn Lodge and the Island View Restaurant

    Lnwarn Lodge

    Lnwarn Lodge was situated near the present site of the Farm Point Community Center, which itself is called the "old Farm Point school" by locals. Lnwarn Lodge began operation sometime around 1909 and could accommodate up to 100 guests. Its name, pronounced "Len Warren," was derived from the names Leonard and Warren Cox whose family had a cottage at Farm Point. Their connection to the proprietor, Allan P. Thompson of Bermuda, was not known. A brochure of the day proudly describes its amenities:

    Lnwarn Lodge is situated on fifty acres of land bordering on the Gatineau River, with tennis courts, nine-hole golf links, gardens and groves, instantly accessible to the City of Ottawa. House and grounds lighted throughout with electricity. The dining room at Lnwarn Lodge is supplied daily with every possible delicacy. Prime beef from the Ottawa Market, little chickens that come unplucked from neighbouring farms, home grown vegetables.

    Comet cottage

    The Island View Restaurant was close to Lnwarn Lodge, and took its name from its pleasant view of an island in the Gatineau River. At some point the lodge went into a decline and little else is known about it demise. The restaurant is gone as well.

     

    Lookout of Freeman Cross

    Entrepreneur Freeman Cross built a lookout on top of the hill beside the hotel to watch traffic on the river. His unique cottage, behind Lnwarn Lodge, was built of logs standing on end and was known as the "Comet".

  • Freeman Cross sawmill/power plant/toy factory

    Site of former Freeman Cross Sawmill, Power Plant and Toy Factory

    Freeman Cross saw mill

    Cross harnessed the water coming down from Meech Creek, the final outflow from Meech Lake, by building a dam in 1908. This provided power for his saw mill which produced railway ties and board lumber. The sawmill employed about 20 men, who worked 10 hour days at 25 cents an hour, with no coffee breaks.

    Cross built a power plant in 1912 and produced among the first electric power available locally to the public at the time. The dam broke in 1934, following the spring thaw. When his property was expropriated by the Gatineau Power Company for its hydroelectric project of 1926, he took legal action through the Superior Court of Quebec for better compensation. For a short period around 1910, he also operated a toy factory, producing wooden toys.

  • Island with Star Cottage

    Site of former island with its "Star" Cottage

    Star cottage on island

    Cross harnessed the water coming down from Meech Creek, the final outflow from Meech Lake, by building a dam in 1908. This provided power for his saw mill which produced railway ties and board lumber. The sawmill employed about 20 men, who worked 10 hour days at 25 cents an hour, with no coffee breaks.

    Swinging bridge to the Star

    Cross built a power plant in 1912 and produced among the first electric power available locally to the public at the time. The dam broke in 1934, following the spring thaw. When his property was expropriated by the Gatineau Power Company for its hydroelectric project of 1926, he took legal action through the Superior Court of Quebec for better compensation. For a short period around 1910, he also operated a toy factory, producing wooden toys.

  • Brucite quarry

    Site of former brucite quarry

    On the hills to the west, one can see the Dery Quarry, formerly the Cross Quarry owned by Stephen Cross, the brother of Freeman Cross. The open pit mines are on the north side, with the slag on the south. The brucite was trucked to the Alcan Plant further north, for processing. This quarry is no longer in operation.

  • Stephen Cross sawmill/store/cheese factory

    Site of Former Stephen Cross Sawmill, Store and Cheese Factory

    Stephen Cross home

    The farm was homesteaded starting in 1834 by Thomas Copeland, his two sons and their families. They were Irish, British Wesleyan Methodists and had the first church in the area on their land. The initial farm was 74 acres of which 40 acres were cultivated. They grew wheat, peas, oats and potatoes. When they started they had one horse, 4 sheep and 4 hogs.

    By the time of Thomas Copeland's death in 1858, the family had acquired 600 acres on both sides of the river. Copeland, one of his sons William and their wives are buried just north of the main house at the foot of the hill by the tall pine

  • Caves Farmhouse and Scow

    Site of former Caves Farmhouse and Scow

    Caves scow

    The Caves family owned farm property on both sides of the Gatineau River and operated a small private scow just south of here to transport their farm animals, hay, and machinery back and forth.

  • New Levi Reid barn

    Levi Reid Farm (Site on the Mont Cascades Golf Course)

    From the river, you can see greens of the Mont Cascades Golf Club, which opened in 1976 on land which for many years belonged to farmer Levi Reid. The original Reid buildings were on land flooded in 1927. The house and barns were taken down and Reid was paid $300 to build a new barn and $200 for the house. Today the barn survives as part of the clubhouse for the golf course.

    This is part of Cantley's Mont Cascades resort area which also includes 300 acres of ski hills (established in 1971 by John Clifford) and a popular summer water park. Lovely country homes are nestled in the hills beyond.

  • Levi Reid farm

    Levi Reid Farm (Site on the Mont Cascades Golf Course)

    The Mont Cascades Golf Club opened in 1976 on land which for many years belonged to farmer Levi Reid. The original Reid buildings were on land flooded in 1927. The house and barns were taken down and Reid was paid $300 to build a new barn and $200 for the house. Today the barn survives as part of the clubhouse for the golf course.

  • Levi Reid scow (ferry) route

    Former site of Levi Reid scow

    Levi Reid on his scow

    This public ferry was operated from the Levi Reid farm on the east side of the river to just north of the Meech Creek, where it empties into the Gatineau River. It took both children from the east shore to the Farm Point school and families to the Protestant Church. It was named for its owner, who was known for sporting a gold earring.

    In the winter, there were ice bridges built at the main ferry crossings by strengthening the ice with water shovelled out of cut holes in the ice for four or five nights. Branches of evergreens were used as markers to guide the way for people crossing the frozen river. This meant there were only a few weeks a year, when children or others could not get across the river to school, church or stores.

  • North Rapid

    Site of Former North Rapid

    Levi Reid on his scow

    As one heads south, this is where the first of five rapids was found.

Farm Point

Origin of Name
Possibly named because of the number of farms once found in this area.

Claim to Fame
Home to one of the first electric power plants in the area, built by entrepreneur Freeman Cross.
Also possible site of drowning of Stephen Bingham, former mayor of Ottawa, and expert logger. In 195 the "River King" was called out in the middle of the night to clear a log jam at Cascades, just south of Farm Point. Afterwards, he headed north by horse and carriage to lodge in Wakefield for the night. Along the way he fell asleep, just before his horses stopped for water by the Gatineau River. One horse lost its footing, causing the carriage to overturn into the river, drowning Bingham.