PO Box 523, Station B, Ottawa, ON, K1P 5P6
As most of our older members, but few of our newer members know, the Historical Society of Ottawa is in strong financial shape because of former president George Neville’s prudent leadership. And now the next generation of directors are having fun finding meaningful projects to support around town that showcase local history. On September 30, 2022, on only the second ever National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, Ottawa Historical Society partnered with the Ottawa-based First Nations Child and Family Caring Society and Beechwood Cemetery for its annual educational activities. Our…
Over the years, the Historical Society of Ottawa has had many presentations about people who have had a significant impact on the history of Ottawa and the Ottawa Valley, and we’ve always been able to count on guest speakers who have researched their subject well, but its quite rare to have a presentation from a speaker who personally knows the subject of the presentation and has had that historic person as a guest at his Kingston home. In fact, for our Oct 26, 2022 Zoom presentation we had two speakers…
REGISTER at http://tinyurl.com/HSO-30-Nov-2022 for our free online presentation scheduled for Wednesday, November 30th at 7pm. The Ottawa Valley has been home to the proud Algonquin people for as many as 8,000 years. Long before the arrival of Europeans, the Algonquins lived, hunted trapped, fished, socialized and traded on both sides of the Ottawa River and along its tributaries. Councillor Merv Sarazin, band councillor Pikwakanagan First Nation and direct descendant of the Grand Chief Constant Pinesi, explores the Algonquin people's vital connection to this history. Here is the Zoom registration link: …
Rod MacIvor enthralled us on November 16, 2022, with tales from his four decades as an award-winning Ottawa-based photojournalist, while sharing images of some the most remarkable photographs he has captured over the years. His seemingly endless portfolio of iconic photos included those taken of Pierre Trudeau and family (including the former PM's ground-breaking trip to Cuba in 1976), the Royal family, Wayne Gretzky, Jean Chrétien and more. Rod shared some fascinating inside stories including dust-ups with Cuban security and providing Margaret Trudeau with photography lessons. Rod shared many humourous…
Thursday, 27 October 2022 18:32

Philemon Wright & His Town

We returned to our in-person Speaker Series on September 14, 2022, after a two and half year hiatus, with a fascinating presentation by Rick Henderson, great-great-great-great-grandson of Philemon Wright. Rick's presentation included not only thoroughly researched detail and a great selection of images, but also an excerpt from his recently completed "A Walk in Wright's Town in 1830" virtual tour of the Ottawa Valley's first permanent settlement. In his talk, Rick traced how, arriving over two centuries ago, Philemon Wright and his family carved out a thriving community, launched the…
Members and guests who attended the October 2022, in-person, HSO presentation at the Auditorium of the Main Branch of the Ottawa Public Library were treated to a tour de force by Jean-François Lozier, Curator at the Canadian Museum of History. Jean-François told a story that, while familiar to Ottawa’s Francophone community, is mostly unknown in the city’s Anglophone community—the “Battle of the Hatpins” or la battaille des épingles. In this David-Goliath struggle, Francophone parents, in particular mothers, fought the Government of Ontario in 1916 to have their primary-aged children attending…
Monday, 04 July 2022 11:03

Thank You, Karen Lynn! Welcome Emma!

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After four years as our President, the Board of Directors and HSO members would like to thank Karen Lynn Ouellette for a job well done. As former Past President George Neville can attest, the president’s job is a tough one—herding cats at the best of time! Doing it while holding down a full-time job made it all the more challenging for Karen Lynn. And let’s not even talk about the difficulties posed by two years of COVID, and running a virtual organization virtually, so to speak. But she did it…
One early April afternoon, Karen Lynn Ouellette and myself had the honour of attending the last class of Dr. Sarah Templier’s Canadian Digital History course at the University of Ottawa. This was a big day for Dr. Templier’s students who in groups of two or three presented their digital history projects. All the projects were related to the Historical Society of Ottawa. Besides enjoying the wonderful presentations, our job was to help Dr. Templier and PhD candidate, Celeste Dagiovanni, to judge the students’ work, and to select the top three…
Thomas Barber is proud of how much the Black community in Ottawa has prospered over time. Thomas tends to look at a darker past not with anger or bitterness. Instead he tends to see Black History in Ottawa as a series of challenges overcome and lessons to be remembered. Understanding the past is key to measuring how far we’ve all come in establishing a more inclusive community, and it’s to our benefit that Thomas relates the past with insight and humour. Much of Thomas’ presentation highlights his family members' journey…
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