The Way We Were

The following article first appeared in "The Low Down to Hull and Back News" in the July 06, 2011 issue. Reprinted with permission.

Gatineau resort outings stuff for social pages century ago

foreword by Louise Schwartz

One hundred years ago, readers of the Evening Citizen could follow the social pursuits of their neighbours through a regular column known as "Restful Resorts around the Capital."

Lacking a byline, the column reported on the comings and goings at various popular cottage destinations around Ottawa. Here are selected excerpts from the column of Saturday July 31, 1909.

Kirk's Ferry

The Way We Were
A group of young women and girls pose for an unknown photographer, no doubt before or after a picnic and a walk in the woods. Three of the women are Selwyn sisters, whose family bought a cottage in Kirk's Ferry in 1902 (photo circa 1905). Courtesy of Louise Schwartz.

Mrs. McKechnie entertained a large crowd of friends to a hay cart ride Tuesday evening to Cascades. A jolly evening was spent by all.

Mrs. Seybold motored from Kingsmere to Kirk's Ferry on Tuesday

Mr. Walter Walby, owner of the Island View Hotel at Farm Point has donated a cup for a series of baseball games between the summer residents of Farm Point and Kirk's Ferry. The arrangements are already underway and the first game is booked for today, weather permitting

Mr. And Mrs. W.A. Grant and children, who spent some days recently at their home in the city, returned to their cottage today.

North Wakefield (now known as Alcove - Ed.)

Surely a more beautiful spot on the picturesque Gatineau cannot be found than at North Wakefield, where the village nestles at the foot of the mountains, besides the river with its flotilla of logs; and a large number of visitors from Ottawa and other places are enjoying the scenery and breezes.

Mr. and Mrs. S. Gillespie and little son Godfrey of Quebec are at the popular resort, North Wakefield House.

Berrying is the order of the day and parties may be seen any time carrying pails, full of the luscious fruit.

Walking parties comprised of Mrs. Hill, Miss M. Reid, Misses Belle Sproule, Dora Sanderson, and Isabel Hill walked to Wakefield during the week


Chelsea had a diamond sensation on Sunday. However, it wasn't a robbery but a loss. A well-known Ottawa lady was sitting in the shade on the river bank contemplating the beautiful scenery and, unable to resist the scenery, removed her shoes and stockings to bathe in the flowing stream

She first removed her rings, valued, according to different parties, at from three to eight hundred dollars and laid them on the rock beside her. A gust of wind rolled the jewelry into the briny, accompanied by the wild screams of the owner. Some young men happened by and one of them undressed and gallantly dove in and after some difficulty recovered the lost articles and restored them to their happy and grateful owner

Two Italian gentlemen, artists by profession, begin their duties this week in the decoration of St. Stephen's church, Old Chelsea. A gang of men have put up the scaffolding which will remain up for a couple of months.

A band of willing workers composed of the "idle" gentlemen summer residents of Chelsea had a "bee" on Wednesday and constructed a neat open air dressing pavilion for ladies at the beach at the old boom road. The ladies will appreciate this dressing room as one of the former years was destroyed by the high waters this spring. As a consequence the swimming hole was utilized almost entirely by the sterner sex so far this summer

Madame Dupuis, who lives with her family on the riverfront, Chelsea, in the section known as Indian Hill, had a narrow escape from drowning recently. While bathing in the river near her cottage, she stepped into a spot that deepened suddenly and in a moment was beyond her depth. She managed to struggle into a shallow spot before her strength failed her. The recent rains raised the water several feet and changed the river bottom. This particular spot was always considered safe until now.

An enquiry into the trespassing of the cows on the Island has cleared the police department of all blame. It is within the province of the game warden to attend to this work and after a recent interview with a committee of the board of control it is expected that he will be more mindful of his duties in the future. These cows were causing much damage and annoyance to the Island residents.

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