Ottawa Past and Present - 1927. By Mr A. H. D. Ross, from papers of Thomas Burrowes)


Cat No.:   CA0260:

In the preface the origins of this book are given as due to the donation of a cache of papers to Mr A. H. D. Ross, the author, which were the legacy of Thomas Burrowes of the Royal Engineers. Thomas had been one of Col. By's principle assistants in the planning and building of the Rideau Canal and was responsible for some of the well known pen and wash drawings of the building of the locks. More was added to this material from other expert sources filling in further detail about the origins of white settlement in the area so that the finished product - this book - is a remarkably detailed record of the people and events that established not only the city of Ottawa but also the principle towns and communities in the surrounding area.

Starting with the exploration of the Grand (now Ottawa) River by Samuel Champlain the story moves along to the establishment of the first settlement of farmers by Philimon Wright and then to the selection of the Rideau River as the basis of the construction of the Rideau Canal. The enormous influence this canal construction project had on the development of the area can be appreciated when it is realized that it was then the longest canal in North America and was intended to provide a safe route for powered vessels to supply the military establishment in Kingston as a “lesson learned” from the war of 1812.

Mr. Ross's account is about the people as well as the events, and he manages to relate the names of many of the local pioneers, even when their part in events was relatively minor, making this a gold mine for those searching for signs of their ancestors part in the building of the area.

Having established the outline of building the area’s community Mr Ross then goes on to provide a chapter each on important topics such as: Churches & Schools, Doctors & Hospitals, Newspapers & Libraries, Lumbering, Railways, Events and Milestones. The concluding chapter is an appreciation of the city of Ottawa as it stood shortly before the book's publication in 1927.

There is also one more interesting chapter which provides an explanation for the naming of all but a few of the streets in Ottawa. Many are, of course, references to saints and to world figures and events. Equally, however, many commemorate the founders and contributers to the growth of Ottawa. Finally the Author provides a 15 page index to his work which is estimated to provide reference for approximately 850 people's names. Even with such a complete index our search-ability features will still be a great asset in speeding up your access to the gold mine of historical and genealogical information contained in this fascinating history. The FastFind feature has also been enabled on this CD.

About this book:

This book has been loaned to us through the good will of the Ottawa Historical Society so that we could scan it and make it available to you. The Ottawa Historical Society houses its library in the Bytown Museum, sited on the lock-side in downtown Ottawa. Please join with us in thanking both the Ottawa Historical Society for allowing us to borrow this valuable old book and to the museum staff for their assistance in accessing the library. Copies of the CD have been presented to the Ottawa Historical Society for everyday use so the life expectancy of the original book can be vastly increased.

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

FastFind:  Yes;  ISBN No.:   978-1-897405-15-4 ;