Ottawa River talk with Gloria Tubman

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OTTAWA RIVER TRAVELS AND STOPPING PLACES

Participants took an imaginary trip along the Ottawa River with Gloria Tubman at the Pontiac Archives, June 13. From Quyon to Deux Rivières, she highlighted the stopping places used when the Ottawa River was the main route of transportation through the region.

Rapids were obvious stopping places, where travellers rested before hauling boats further up or down river. In between, easy landing locations also offered stopping places, particularly when they were connected to inland villages that developed with European settlement. These “resting places” ranged from a rudimentary building where you could lay out your bedroll on the floor, to hotels with beds and baths.

Tubman also underlined that, although the river was a border on maps, residents freely mixed as genealogical records attest. Public river crossings were more common back then with ferries in a number of places, and winter ice bridges were the norm until recently.

Some participants added their reminiscences of accommodations and other businesses that had endured into the late 1900’s, attesting to a flourishing tourist trade of earlier times.

“This talk is given as a thank-you to the staff at the archives for all they’ve done to help me with my research”, said Tubman, whose personal interest in genealogy has extended to learning the stories associated with the history and geography, as well as helping others to do research. – Deborah Powell

Photo – Gloria Tubman gives a talk on Ottawa River travel and stopping places, June 13 at the Pontiac Archives. (DP)