Tour Locations | Ottawa: Pioneering Days

  • LOCATION 18 | Ottawa: Pioneering Days

    Lumbering and By's House

    On your right are some tablets about the history of lumbering in this area.

    Make your way over to them to have a look.

    [3 SECOND PAUSE]

    In Wright's time, this area was covered with huge pine trees, up to 180 ft high. The Napoleonic war was underway and the British needed masts for their ships. Wright cleared land to farm but soon turned to lumbering. A pioneering move by him to float a raft of logs down river to Quebec City saved his finances, which were getting thin. More settlers came and Ottawa became a lumber town and remained so for the next 100 years. The trees were cut and "skidded" by horses onto the river ice in the winter.
    In Spring, the logs were “driven” down the rivers to Ottawa. Work in the lumber camps was hard and dangerous. Over time, the men became very skilled at the trade. Sawmills were built to use water power from the falls to produce planks. This power was most important in those days because steam power had only just became available and electric and petrol power would not be around for another 100 years.

    [2 SECOND PAUSE]

    Now turn with your back to the river.

    [2 SECOND PAUSE]

    Can you see the foundations of a stone house just ahead?

    This was Lt. Col. By's house. He was the man who managed the building of the Canal. You'll hear more about him and the canal soon. There's a display by the foundations that you might want to read.

    Feel free to go over and have a look at the display.

    [2 SECOND PAUSE]

    When you're ready, continue along the path in the same direction you were going, keeping the river on your right.

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