Monday, March 19, 2018

Township of Charlottenburgh Plaque

A plaque commemorating the Township of Charlottenburgh stands north of John Street, east of Bethune Street, in Williamstown, Ontario.


In 1784 the settlement of Royal Township no. 1, later named Charlottenbugh for Queen Charlotte, wife of King George III, began with the arrival of followers of Sir John Johnson from the Mohawk Valley, many of whom had served in the King's Royal Regiment. These United Empire Loyalists were soon joined by Gaelic-speaking kinsmen from the Western Highlands of Scotland. In later years the community became a more diverse society wtih newcomers from both provinces and countries. The front of the Township on the north shore of the St. Lawrence extended from the mouth of the River aux Raisins to the Indian Lands on its western boundary. On January 1, 1998 Charlottenburgh united with the Village of Lancaster and the Township of Lancaster to form the Township of South Glengarry.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Duncan Cameron Plaque

In Williamstown, Ontario on the east side of Church Street in front of St. Andrew's church stands a plaque commemorating Duncan Cameron.


Born in Scotland about 1764 he settled with his parents in Schenectady, New York. His father served with a Loyalist regiment during the American Revolution, following which the family moved to Glengarry. In 1784 Duncan entered the North West Company where, as manager of its Red River Department, he endeavoured to persuade Lord Selkirk's settlers to abandon their lands. When Selkirk's forces attacked Fort Gibralter in 1816, Cameron was captured and taken to England. Released and compensated for false arrest, he returned to Williamstown in 1820. He died in 1848 and is buried here.

Erected by the Ontario Archeological and Historic Sites Board.

(He is buried in the grave yard that takes up the land surrounding St. Andrew's Church.)

Monday, March 12, 2018

Bethune-Thompson House

Bethune-Thompson House occupies an area of land south of John Street and east of the Raisin River in Williamstown, Ontario.


Built by Loyalist settler Peter Ferguson in 1784, the original log cabin on this site is one fo the oldest surviving buildings in Ontario. The cabin walls were constructed using a French Canadian technique called poteaux sur sole where vertically placed, squared logs were held together by horizontal plates located along the top and bottom. The larger home adjoining it was built in 1804 by Reverend John Bethune (1751-1815), the first Presbyterian minister in Upper Canada. This home also incorporated a French Canadian construction technique, columbage pierroté, which used a timber frame filled with masonry rubble. The fireplace overmantle installed by Bethune is one of the few remaining in the province. In 1815 David Thompson (1770-1857) acquired the house and lived here until about 1836. Thompson was an explorer and cartographer who surveyed much of what is now western Canada and mapped out the Canada-United States border. The house presents a unique architectural and historical record of early Ontario.

Ontario Heritage Trust, and agency of the Government of Ontario


Construite par le colon loyalist Peter Ferguson en 1784, la cabane en bois équarri initialement installée sur ce site est l'un des plus anciens bâtiments conservés en Ontario. Les parois de la cabane furent construites selon une technique canadienne-française appelée poteaux sur sole, où des troncs équarris placés à la verticale sont fixés dans des rondins horizontauz situés en haut et en bas. La maison plus grande accolée à la cabane fut construite en 1804 par le révérend John Bethune (1751-1815), le 1er ministre presbytérien de la province du Haut-Canada. La construction de cette maison incorpora, elle aussi, une technique de construction canadienne-française, le colombage pierroté, à savoir une charpente en bois comblée par une maçonnerie en pierre brutes. Le fronton de la cheminée, installé par Bethune, est l'un des rares examplaires encore visible dans la province. En 1815, David Thompston (1770-1857) acheta la maison et y vécut jusqu'aux alentours de 1836. Thompson était un explorateur et un cartographe qui arpenta une grande partie de ce qui correspond aujourd'hui à l'Ouest canadien et participa au tracé de la frontière canado-américaine. La maison constitue un important témoignage architectural et historique du passé de la province de l'Ontario.

Fiducie du patrimoine ontarien, un organisme du gouvernement de l'Ontario


circa 1804

environ 1804


Historic construction techniques and classic design are combined in this early Ontario home. The vertical log south wing may date from the 1780s when Loyalist Peter Ferguson settled on the site. The central part was build ca. 1805 as a manse for Rev. John Bethune, the first Presbyterian Minister of Upper Canada and was later the residence of explorer David Thompson. Beneath the studdo of the main block, the timber frame has three walls infilled with rubble stone and a fourth with "stick and mud." The five-bay facase, formerly flanked by similar wings, expresses the British classical tradition.

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
Government of Canada


Cette maison allie à une composition classique les techniques de construction de jadis. L'aile sud, en poteaux sur sole, aurait été construite dans les années 1780, par le loyaliste Peter Ferguson. Bâtie vers 1805 pour John Bethune, le premier pasteru presbytérien du Haut-Canada, la partie centrale de la maision, en bois de charpente recouvert de crépi, comporte trois murs remplis de moellons bruts et un quatrième, de torchis. La maison fut également occupée par l'explorateur David Thompston. La façade à cinq baies, autrefois flanquée d'ailes symétriques, reflète la tradition classique britannique.

Commission des lieux et monuments historiques du Canada.
Gouvernement du Canada

"The property on which the Bethune-Thompson House is located was originally granted to Peter Ferguson in 1784, a Scottish immigrant to the American Colonies who served in the King's Royal Regiment of New York. As a Loyalist settler to Charlottenburgh Township he settled on the west half of Lot 50, Concession 1 and built a log house. In 1804.

"Loyalist settler Reverend John Bethune (1751-1815) purchased the land from Ferguson and built a house, to which he later moved and attached the Ferguson log cabin to form a side wing of his house. Bethune was founder of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Williamstown and was the first Presbyterian minister in Upper Canada. He also founded congregations and preached at Cornwall, Lancaster, and Martintown. In 1815, just weeks after the death of Rev. Bethune, his wife Véronique (Wadden) Bethune, sold the house to David Thompson (1770-1857). Thompson, a retired North West Company partner mapped much of western Canada. He also worked for the Boundary Commission, mapping out the border between British North America and the United States. The Thompson family lived in the home from 1815 to about 1836, when the family incurred financial difficulties and left for Montreal.

"The property was sold to Farquar McLennan and his descendants lived in the house until 1937. In 1937, William Smart, the McLennan's farm manager, purchased the home and Mae Smart (daughter-in-law to William) sold the property to the Ontario Heritage Trust in 1977 to ensure the preservation of the property. The house underwent a major restoration in the mid 1980s.

"Archaeological excavations were conducted at Bethune-Thompson House in 1980, 1981 and 1993 and uncovered more then 36,000 artifacts. A number of mixing bowls, a pharmaceutical jar which dates from 1730-1830, a plate rim with a feather-edge decorative motif, attributed to the Wedgwood Factory, were all some of the items found on the property."

(From Statement of Significance, Canada's Historic Places.)

Bethune-Thompson House received recognition as a National Historic Site of Canada by the Government of Canada on October 10, 1966 and recognition as an Ontario Foundation Property by the Ontario Heritage Trust on June 6, 1977.

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Anti-Aircraft Gun & World War I Mortar

The Royal Canadian Legion, Heather Branch 357, occupies a place north of County Road 43 about 2.3 km east of Finch, Ontario. That Legion Hall displays two memorial artifacts: a 40-mm Bofors Anti-Aircraft Gun, used by Allied Forces during World War Two, and a First World War 24-cm mortar.

The anti-aircraft gun on display is a Bofors 40mm anti-aircraft gun. Designed in the early 1930s, thousands of these guns were manufactured and used in a large variety of roles by many countries. This gun is mounted on a wheeled carriage.

The mortar on display is an IKO 24cm (9.5 inch) Schwerer Flügelminenwerfer, literally translated as heavy wing mortar, serial number 2715, manufactured in 1917. It was allocated to Finch, Ontario, and shipped there by Canadian Pacific Railway on December 20, 1922. The projectile fired from this mortar weighed 100 kg (220 pounds) and was stabilized with fins or wings. It had a range of 1,000 to 1,200 meters (1,093 to 1,312 yards). IKO was the German Ingenieurkomitee (Engineering Committee) that designed the weapon, with it's manufacture outsourced to private companies such as Maschinenfabrik Germania in Chemnitz, Oberschlesische Eidenbahn-Bedarfs-AG in Zawaszski, or Wolf Netter & Jacobi of Strasbourg. The carriage for this mortar consisted of bolted wooden beams that in most cases did not last. The base structure of this one is imbedded in concrete. About three hundered of these were manufactured. This is one of two known to exist in Canada. The other is on display at the Royal Canadian Artillery Museum in Shilo, Manitoba.

Monday, March 05, 2018

Wellington Marbles

In Ottawa, on both sides of Wellington Street West between Spadina Avenue in the east and Gilchrist Avenue in the west, stand eighteen marble sculptures based on a fire hydrant theme. Officially called 'The Wellington Marbles,' I like to think of them as 'The Hydrants.'

Bee Hive

The plaque describing the sculptures stands on the southeast corner of Wellington Street West and Parkdale Avenue, next to the 'Corn on the Cob' sculpture. I will use descriptive names here to help identify the different pieces but the sculptures, as far as I know, do not have official names.

Northwest corner Somerset Street West and Spadian Avenue

Firefighter Boots and Fire Hose

South side of Wellington Street West at junction of Garland Street

Peas in a Pod
Southeast corner Wellington Street West and Irving Avenue

Fiddle Head

North side of Wellington Street West at junction of Fairmont Avenue

Paint Tube

South side of Wellington Avenue West at junction of Merton Street

Early Desktop Computer

Northwest corner Wellington Avenue West and Merton Street


North side of Wellington Avenue West at junction of Melrose Avenue

Books with Apple

Northwest corner Wellington Street West and Carruthers Avenue

Hot Pepper

South side of Wellington Street West about halfway
between McCormick Street and Parkdale Avenue

Corn on the Cob

Southeast corner Wellington Street West and Parkdale Avenue

Marcus Kucey-Jones & Ryan Lotecki


Each of the eighteen sculptures commissioned for Wellington Street West playfully captures a fire hydrant from which everyday objects emerge such as local foods, artistic tools, and musical instruments. By representing forms connected to the surrounding neighbourhood, The Wellington Marbles pay tribute to the local history and modern renewal of the community.

Quarried in Carrara, Italy, the marble used for this installation was selected for its fine quality and its association with classical art. In the same vein, the artists offer a series of sculptures representing contemporary imagery as a monument to the urban landscape.

The artistic practices of Kucey-Jones and Lotecki span many media and have brough innovative and imaginitive artwork to communities across Canada and the globe.

Commissioned by the City of Ottawa Public Arts Program

Marcus Kucey-Jones & Ryan Lotecki


Chacune des dix-huit sculptures commandées pour la rue Wellington Ouest est une amusante reproduction d'une borne-fontaine dont émergent des objets de tous les jours, notamment des aliments locaux, des outils artistiques et des instruments de musique. En représentant des formes liées au voisinage environnant, The Wellington Marbles rendent hommage à l'histoire locale et au renouveau moderne de la collectivité.

Extrait des carrières de Carrare, en Italie, le marbre utilisé pour cette installation a été choisi pour sa qualité supérieure ainsi que pour son association avec l'art classique. Dans la même veine, les artistes offrent une série de sculptures illustrant l'imagerie contemporaine en tant que monument dédié au paysage de ru urbain.

Les pratiques artistiques de Kucey-Jones et Lotecki, qui font appel à de nombreuses matières, ont donné des œuvres novatrices et pleines d'imagination aux collectivités d'un océan à l'autre et des quatres coins du blobe.

Commandée par la Ville d'Ottawa Programme d'art public

Paint Brushes

Northeast corner Wellington Street West and Hamilton Avenue North


Southwest corner Wellington Street West and Hinton Avenue North

Top Hat

Southwest corner Wellington Street West and Holland Avenue


Northeast corner Wellington Street West and Huron Avenue North

Teddy Bear in Safety Chair

Northwest corner Wellington Street West and Caroline Avenue


South side of Wellington Street West at the junction of Smirle Avenue


North side of Wellington Street West at the junction of Clarendon Avenue

Piano Keyboard

North side of Wellington Street West at the junction of Hampton Avenue