Historical Plaques of the United
Counties of Prescott and Russell
In 1805 Thomas Mears and David Patee leased island in the Ottawa where they built a sawmill and a grist-mill. They constructed a dam across the channel to Hawkesbury West and there purchased 1,000 acres of land. In 1810 half of these properties were mortgaged to William and George Hamilton who later obtained full ownership. The Hamiltons enlarged the sawmill and made it one of the most productive in the province, exporting large quantities of "deals" (softwood planks) to Britain. The mills were owned by the Hamiltons with the nearby "Hawkesbury Post Office" settlement in 1858 to form the incorporated village of Hawkesbury.
The earliest settlers in this area, Joseph La Rocque-Brune and Raymond Duffaut, had located by 1791. Five years later Nathaniel Treadwell, a land surveyor and speculator from Plattsburg, New York, acquired the seigneury of Pointe-a-l'Orignal, some 23,000 acres. By 1812 a small community was established here named L'Orignal after the moose found in the Pointe area. In 1816 it became the capital of the newly-created Ottawa District. The court-house was erected in 1825 and four years later a post office was opened. An influx of French-speaking settlers increased L'Orignal's population which numbered 400 in 1850. In 1876, with a population of over 800, it was incorporated as a Village.
Ministry of Culture and Recreation
In 1816 the Ottawa District was established and the Courts of Quarter Session, which at that time possessed local administrative as well as judicial authority, were held in the Township of Longueuil. In 1824 Jacob Marston donated a plot of land in this vicinity for the portion of the present building, constructed by Donald McDonald and Walter Beckworth, contractors, was completed. Designed in the Loyalist Neo-Classic style, this is the oldest remaining court-house in the province. Extensive additions were made in 1861-62.
The Presbyterian congregation at L'Orignal was organized about 1822 by the Rev. John McLaurin, who visited L'Orignal as minister of the Church of Scotland for the Lochiel pastorate. In 1823 McLaurin became the teacher at the Ottawa District School in L'Orignal and conducted worship in the school or court house. He assumed official charge of the L'Orignal and Hawkesbury congregations in 1832. The present church was begun that year under his direction but for lack of funds was not finished until about 1836. The site for the church and manse was the gift of Charles Platt Treadwell, Seigneur of Pointe a L'Orignal. In 1825 the congregation of St. Andrew's joined The United Church of Canada.
This area, the present township of Longueuil, was granted in 1674 to François Prevost, Town Mayor of Quebec, and was the first seigneury in what is now Ontario. Known originally as the seigneury of "Pointe a L'Orignac", it was not developed until the Hon. Joseph Le Moyne de Longueuil, seigneur since 1778, granted portions to settlers during 1784-90. Nathaniel Hazard Treadwell purchased the seigneury in 1796, built mills and roads and expanded settlement. A United States citizen, Treadwell left Canada during the War of 1812 and forfeited his lands, but later regained these and sold the seigneury to his own son Charles in 1824. By 1873 most of the seigneurial lands had passed out of the family.
Constructed in 1817-1819 by Montreal craftsmen for John Macdonell and his Métis wife Magdeleine Poitras, this house was one of the finest of several built in the area by retired North West Company fur trading partners. An elegant local adaptation of the Palladian style, it was situated in an extensive working estate with easy access to the river and Macdonell's forwarding business. The family called it Poplar Villa. Its impressive stone exterior and exquisitely detailed interior proclaimed Macdonell's position as a major business and political figure along the Ottawa River.
Commission des lieux et monuments historiques du Canada
Lemieux was settled around 1850 as a milltown to service the local lumber industry. Eventually a farming community evolved which was designated the Parish of St. Joseph de Lemieux in 1891.