Pioneers of the Upper Ottawa and the Humors of the Valley - South Hull and Aylmer edition


Cat No.:   CA0189:

A companion piece to his previous book, The Hub and the Spokes (CA0001), this is another of the light hearted information books written by American author Anson Gard. Maintaining his Mark Twainish humorous style he continues to describe his semi-fictitious adventures under the aliases of Rube and his companion, The Colonel, but this time in the setting of the northern bank of the great Ottawa river in the companion cities of South Hull and Aylmer, including their surroundings. Both books are available on one CD, product number CA0196, titled, Anson Gard's Ottawa Valley.

In this book Anson Gard is less concerned with the (then) current state of the cities but concentrates his attentions on the origins and development of the area with particular concern being paid to identifying and describing the pioneers and their families. He expended a great deal of his time in researching this book interviewing the children and families of the pioneers for anecdotes and reminiscences of those bygone times and of the people. Having extracted his material from these not always willing interviewees he sets down their recollections for us to read in a way which brings them to life and frequently raises a chuckle.

Although published as a single volume there are actually four complete and separate parts to this book, outside the Introduction and Appendix sections. Part 1 describes the topographical and social development of South Hull while Part 2 provides a similar description for Aylmer and includes a commercial directory for 1851. Part 3 is entitled The Humors of the Valley and is a romp through a miscellany of amusing and interesting tales, mostly concerning the Ottawa Valley although Anson also throws in a few stories from other valleys he and The Colonel have visited. Part 4 is perhaps the most valuable to the genealogist in that it provides biographical notes (and a few stories) about as many of the pioneer families of South Hull and Aylmer as he could lay muster to. The Appendix contains all the bits and pieces which came to light between the completion of the manuscript and the completion of the book making process. It should not be ignored however as it contains a complete listing of the names of the militiamen of Hull for 1821 amongst several other valuable history fragments.

Anson Gard makes no secret that this was a sponsored book, written at the behest of his sponsors to help to commemorate their names and their deeds. And he has fulfilled his commission with great panache. Always a consummate name dropper, Anson is at his best when writing of the deeds and doings of the people he comes into contact with. While it may have been his original intent to bring these northern folk to the attention of his countrymen his legacy is in bringing the names and histories of these same folk to the later generations. There is a subtitle to this book, South Hull and Aylmer edition, which might bring you to expect variants composed about other cities and areas and yet there is no record of any other edition so either Anson grew tired of the title (for he did write more books about other areas) or he never found another group of sponsors willing to support his further work in this vein.

Altogether this book comprises of 332 numbered pages and an additional 30 unnumbered illustration pages. It has been scanned to make it fully text searchable using the Search or Find functions of the common PDF interpreter applications such as Adobe Reader (compatible with V4 or above, V6 or higher recommended.) We have provided a free downloadable sampler of the book on our Downloads web page.

We are indebted to the Historical Society of Ottawa for kindly loaning us this book, so we could reproduce it for you on CD. Please join with us to thank them for their public spirited generosity in allowing us to make this valuable book more accessible. Another successful Archive CD Books Canada cooperative project. Also thanks to the Bytown museum who house and maintain the Society’s book collection.

You can also reach the Sampler by clicking on the following link Sampler

You can return to this page by closing the Sampler Page when you are ready to purchase.

No. of CDs is:  1 ;   Format is:  PDF ;   Searchable?:  YES;

FastFind:  No;  ISBN No.:   1-897338-61-9;