Archibald McDonell sells his land in Chichester 1901

March 19, 2015

Finding the following deed was very satisfying.  I am grateful to the researcher who assisted me.  I wanted to know when Archie sold the land in Chichester and left for Minnesota.  This deed placed that event.

Sale of Land, Chichester Twp., Pontiac Co., Quebec: Archibald McDonell, farmer Chichester Twp., to John J. McCrea Lumber Jobber of the Allumette Island.  It is interesting that this deed is typed and not in handwriting.  The McCrea name is spelled a variety of ways like McRea in these deeds.

1901 Archie McDonell Deed selling land in Chichester

1901 Archie McDonell Deed selling land in Chichester – partial

 AL 80 17 684 RB Registrar Foncier, (20 Chichester, pg. 1 de 2, No. 17684 or 171184 Deposited and entered the 31st day of October 1901, at 9 am, W ______, Registrar.

Before me, D. Leguerrier the undersigned, public notary in and for the Province of Quebec, residing at Fort Coulonge and for the present at Chichester in the county of Pontiac, aforesaid Province.  Mr. Archibald McDonald, farmer, of the Township of Chichester, aforesaid County, he has sold and conveyed with legal warranty and free and clear of all encumbrances, unto Mr. John J. McRea also farmer and lumber Jobber, of the Allumette Island in aforesaid County of Pontiac hereabout present and accepting purchaser for himself, his heirs and assigns.  A lot of land containing one hundred acres, be the same more or less and known and designed to the official plan and book of reference of the Township of Chichester as being the lot number thirty five (35) of the second range of the Township of Chichester in aforesaid County of Pontiac.

Included in the same deed of sale, the possession and enjoyment he, the said vendor has the Government buildings, consisting of horse and cow stable, store house, pig pen, poultry house and machineries shed and all the plants now standing there, the whole unto the charges of the vendor, at present, of the Culbute Channel. 

And included also the property and ownership that he, the said vendor has in the two additional buildings in the Government house, to wit: a summer kitchen, a winter apartment built in the main body of the Government house, the said additional buildings constructed and executed by the said vendor at his own costs and expenses, though without authorization of the Government, but needed by the vendor to keep his children at home and have them work on the farm for himself, on account of insufficiency of the Government salary. 

And more over and included in the same deed of sale and conveyance, all the moveables lying on the said premises. With all and every the rights, members and appurtenances thereto belonging, of which the said purchaser ____cares to have a perfect knowledge and therewith to be content.  The vendor is lawfully seized of the said property the same having been acquired by him from the Crown Land department, Quebec, and delivers, at these presents, the Crown Land deed.  To have hold, use and enjoy the aforesaid conveyed and sold Lot of Land, buildings and premises, and moveable, with their rights, members and appurtenances unto the said purchaser his heirs and assigns as his and their own proper freehold forever by virtue of these present, to enter upon and with.  The present sale and conveyance has been thus made for an in consideration of proper price or sum of five hundred and fifty dollars paid cash at the execution hereof by the said purchaser to the said vendor the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledge, where of quite.  Done and passed under the number eighteen hundred and sixty three, at the domicile of the vendor in the Township of Chichester aforesaid, on the sixteenth day of September on thousand nine hundred and one, and after due reading hereof the parities vendor an purchased have signed with me said Notary (signed Archie McDonald. John J. McCrea, D. Leguerrier N.P. Certified true copy of the original remaining in the office of the undersigned Notary, D. Leguerrier, N.P.

Archie and Mary McDonell had lived on the land in Chichester for 44 years or about and Archie, if he was born in 1838, would be 63 years old in 1901. The reference to the Culbute Channel and the description of the buildings is worth obtaining this deed and add credibility to the story that he was the locksmaster for the Culbute locks. His children decided that he and Mary needed to sell and come with them to Minnesota. He lived till 1912 and passed away in his sleep.  Mary followed in 1913. They are buried in the cemetery International Falls, Minnesota.

This also implies that in 1901 there were a lot more buildings on the property and I wonder if they are there anymore.  What about government papers hiring Archibald as the lockmaster or more on the building of the locks which government body was involved.  The possibilities are there for more research.


Revisiting the Culbute Locks in the Ottawa River north of Allumette Island…

January 15, 2015

Archibald McDonell, my great-grandfather was the locks master for the Culbute Locks.  I wrote about his involvement with the locks in the post:

Archibald McDonell as the Culbute Locks Master,” June 9, 2011

My Aunt Miriam, sister of my father Keith, wrote about it in her notes but she spelled it “Kilbute.”  I wrote to Libraries and Archives in Ottawa the Canadian national archive and they knew very little about these locks.

At the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, my husband found a book in which Archibald was featured as the lock master.  Here is the source.

Source:  The Upper Ottawa Valley, by Clyde C. Kennedy, Renfrew County Council, Pembroke, Ontario, pg. 137-139, 1970 FHL Book#971.38 H2 (This is a book at the FHL and is not on microfilm.) I am sure copies are in other archives. 

When I toured the area of the Upper Ottawa River in 2012, I visited Allumette Island, toured Chapeau and crossed the bridge to Chichester exploring the mainland north of the island.  Here are two of the posts I wrote:

Touring the Upper Ottawa River Pontiac Co., Quebec, Allumette Island and Chapeau,” May 27, 2012.

Touring the Upper Ottawa: Chichester Township, Pontiac Co, Quebec,” June 4, 2012.

In the above post I had some photos of the Ottawa River from the bridge that spans the area from Chapeau to Chichester covering the Chenal de la Culbute on the Ottawa River.  This is on the north side of the island of Allumette, but I was not able to find the remains of the Culbute Locks.  I was told you had to have a boat to get there, so that was not something I was able or willing to do.

A very nice reader contacted me back in September, 2014 when I was touring in Canada my second time and shared some photos of the canal and gave me another source for information.

Source:  History and Development of a Transportation System on and around Allumette Island and Morrison Island,” Municipality of Allumette Island Tourism Committee, 75 Notre Dame, Isles-aux-Allumettes, QC Canada, July 2006.  The Pontiac Archives in Shawville has a copy.  I probably looked this when I was there visiting.  It has some nice photos of the canal but it is under copyright so I cannot share them; however, this link has some of the same photos and another one that gives a long view of the locks.  You will have to scroll through the website.

http://www.awholebunchofings.com/2011/01/lost-steamships-and-locks-on-ottawa.html

Here are the two photos that Gerald shared with me and I thank him for them.

Culbute Locks courtesy of G. Beaupre

Culbute Locks courtesy of G. Beaupre 2014

Gerald wrote in Sept 2014: I was at the Culbute yesterday, the water is high this year, I did not go as far as the locks, I canoed from my home on the Petawawa river to the rock portage. I am looking for the best portage trace to go around  the Culbute (a set of 3 significant rapids). The area is dense forest with hills, boulders and swamp, not an easy task.
Culbute Locks 2014 Courtesy of G. Beaupre

Culbute Locks 2014 Courtesy of G. Beaupre 2014

I am still trying to picture where the locks are located in relationship to the villages of Chapeau and Chichester.

Culbute Locks Location courtesy of G. Beaupre

Culbute Locks Location courtesy of G. Beaupre

This article was interesting:  Steamboats and Canals on the Ottawa River, Cultural Heritage Ottawa River.org: http://www.ottawariver.org/pdf/10-ch2-8.pdf.  It is interesting to me that the end of the Culbute locks varies from when 1889 to 1896 from the sources I have read. What follows has even another opinion.

Lumber interests persuaded the government to build a canal on the Culbute channel at the Calumet Rapids, known as the Rock Portage. Construction of the locks took place from 1873‐1876, involving two combined locks and opening up 124 kilometres of interior river navigation (Canadian Public Works Association 124). The Culbute Locks were outmoded before they were even completed. They were abandoned soon after their construction (Legget 1975: 174).  

I find it rather fun to see mentions of the Culbute Locks on the internet now. When I was trying to find out more about these locks I was overwhelmed with the Rideau Canal information.  Now, in 2014 and 2015 there is much more about all canals and one can get very involved and fascinated about the history of canals in Canada and also in the United States.

You can become a member of a society about Canadian canals:

http://www.canadiancanalsociety.org/canadian-canals.html


Touring the Upper Ottawa River: Pontiac County, Quebec – Allumette Island and Chapeau

May 27, 2012

My tour on Monday, May 21, 2012 continues.  I headed east back out of Pembroke turning onto Hwy 148 east of the town by the Esso gas station.

There are three bridges that take you to Allumette Island and cross over Cotnam and Morrison Islands. The first is under going repair so there is a stop light that monitors the traffic.  The second comes quickly and you are then greeted by a big blue sign welcoming you to Quebec.  If you decide to take photos of the bridge, be careful for the auto’s speed along and don’t wait for anyone and there is not much space along the highway to walk safely.  Each bridge gives you different views of the Ottawa River.

Welcome to Quebec

The Ottawa off the 2nd bridge to Allumette Island

The next bridge is the one that finally places you on Allumette Island but the sign reads instead:  L’Isle-aux-Allumettes (below on the map it reads lle des Allumettes – there is a ˆ over the l.)

The Big Sign

The small sign for Allumette Island

Just beyond the sign is a grocery store and other businesses including a gas station and restaurant. It was very busy at this store and it was open even on the holiday.  I found a map titled  Outaouais/Gatineau which gives more detail. They feature cities on the Quebec side but not the towns I am interested in.  The Renfrew County Ontario side is on the map but some it blotted out.  It goes all the way to Hawkesbury, Ontario but emphasizes the Quebec side.  It is very interesting to me that they only feature certain communities.  Apparently when you are too small you don’t get mentioned?

Get your supplies here!

Hwy 148 travels up the eastern side of the island to Waltham and another bridge.  I turned at Ch. de Pembroke and headed for Chapeau 12 kilometres on the north side of the island.  It curves around and you are pretty much in the center of the island. Farms and fields stretch out on both sides of the highway and it is flat. First is the Dejardinsville sign which you can turn left and go exploring but I continued on to Demers Centre which is four corners filled with mostly lovely homes and at least one business.  I guess they call them hamlets?

The next stop for me was the what is called the new St. Alphonse Cemetery on the right side of the road. easily to spot but you do have to turn quickly or you can miss the entrance.  You can pull in through the gate/sign and drive through part of the cemetery. It was well-kept.

St. Alphonsus Cemetery

New St. Alphonse Cemetery overview

UPDATE 7/09/2012:  Here are additional overview photographs of this cemetery.

 

St. Alphonsus Cemetery (new)

During my trip I will stop at various cemeteries and take overview pictures of them.  There are websites that you can go to and get photos and listings of the tombstones and those buried there, as well as publications.  When I return from this trip I will post more photos and information about each cemetery that I did visit.

The journey continued to Chapeau which was very exciting for me.  As you enter Chapeau you will see their fairgrounds to the right.

Chapeau Fair

Chapeau is actually two levels, so when you come from the south you come to the upper level where the municipal building is located on Notre-Dame street and the catholic church, St. Alphonse is situated on Ch. St. Jacques with the library behind the church.  If you continue on Ch. Pembroke you drop down to the lower area next to the river and can cross the bridge to Chichester Township.

My first stop was the St. Alphonse Catholic Church where I dallied a while taking pictures of the church and the cemetery which is behind the church and over a block.  The church is very difficult to photograph because there is limited room to back up (cliff) and the spire is so tall so that is why this photo looks slightly distorted.

St. Alphonse Catholic Church

There is a green park area next to the church and it has their war memorial.

Chapeau’s War Memorial

Crossing the bridge to Chichester is a little less scary than the crossing from Pembroke to the island.  I was able to stop and take pictures and not fear for my life.  The Chenal de la Culbute is part of the Ottawa River which splits and circles the island with the major portion of the river flowing along the west and southern part of the island, while the northern part is the Chenal de la Culbute.

The Chenal de la Culbute to the east

Chenal de la Culbute – looking west

This was very exciting for me because my great-grandfather Archibald McDonell was the locks master.  The locks were operated from about 1870 to 1891.  The history books and articles keep changing the date when it was abandoned.  Archibald is listed as the lockmaster in the Canadian census for 1891 so I tend to think he was still involved at that date.  It was made of wood so a lot has rottened away.  I tried to figure out its location but failed.  I was told by a volunteer at the Pontiac Archives in Shawville that you would have to go to the remains by boat.

So I put out a challenge to someone who knows where the remains of the locks are in the Chenal de la Culbute and would be willing to take pictures for me.  Just leave a comment if you wish to contact me to help?  I am wondering if they widened the Canal and was told that there were a lot of dams.  When I first started research back in 1999 the Culbute lock was not mentioned nor did anyone know about it but I am seeing more on-line.  I will revisit later with additional information.

When I was preparing for this trip, I tried to find auto tours.  I stumbled onto this website for the Outaouais Heritage WebMagazine that has some very interesting articles and auto tours click on the Outaouais Pontiac Heritage tour and then go to the page 3 for more choices for tours.   http://outaouais.quebecheritageweb.com/attractions-and-tours

On the Chichester side you can look back toward Chapeau and you will see the beautiful St. Alphonse Church rising above the trees.  Driving along the Ch. St. Jacques going west and then returning you can see the spire in the distance.

Looking back to Chapeau


Archibald McDonell as Culbute Lock Master

June 9, 2011

Miriam, Archie’s granddaughter, wrote the following in her notes:

Archie the Lock Master

As you can see Miriam misspelled the name of the locks and that caused a bit of a problem.  Still she was on the right track.  It is spelled formally: Chenal de la Culbute.

Unfortunately the Archives in Ottawa did not know anything about these locks which are in the Ottawa River a little north of the Island of Allumette. 

Apparently the locks were built about 1870  and were in service in the area from that time to around 1894.  There appears to be some confusion as to when they were actually abandoned.  

The exciting news is that Keith’s grandfather Archibald is featured in a book as the Lock Master:

Source:  The Upper Ottawa Valley, by Clyde C. Kennedy, Renfrew County Council, Pembroke, Ontario, pg. 137-139, 1970 FHL Book#971.38 H2 (This is a book at the FHL and is not on microfilm.)

Culbute Locks:  “Dredging the shoals along the channel was completed in 1883, but in 1886 Archibald McDonell, Lock Tender, was writing in his report; “Last fall after water got low it was almost impossible to open them (the gates) then it took about half a day to get them opened.”  The inevitable decay and distortion of the timber structures had become serious and the end was in sight for the Culbute Canal.  The steam railways had extended into the Ottawa Valley and the steamboats were losing their importance, except for sight-seeing excursions (the tourist business began years earlier) and for towing booms along the great widenings of the Ottawa where the current was imperceptible.  Archibald McDonell reported for 1885 only 20 passages of the canal by steamers, six by scows and six by row boats.  The structures “…are rapidly becoming so completely decayed as to render some wholesale substitution for them inevitable,” wrote D. Stark, Superintending Engineer, Ottawa River Canals, Ottawa, in 1888.  “The expense of keeping them (the locks) in repair is annually becoming greater, and if they are to be maintained in existence at all, their replacement by structures of stone becomes the only practical mode of dealing with them.  The Culbute Locks were abandoned to the forces of the river and Nature’s wood-rotting agents in the fall of 1889 and only the excavations and relatively small portions of the timbers remain to indicate the changes that were made to the highway of the voyageurs.”

There appears to be more information on the Internet these days about the different locks that were constructed and used during this time frame including the Culbute Locks.

If anyone has additional information about the Culbute Locks and photographs I would be most grateful if they would be willing to share?


Archibald and Mary McDonald

March 20, 2010

Keith’s grandparents were Archibald and Mary McDonald.  Archie and Mary settled in International Falls sometime after 1905.  They had migrated from the Upper Ottawa River Valley to Bemidji, Beltrami County, Minnesota.  Their children felt they were getting to old to manage their farm in Chichester, Pontiac Co., Quebec so the remainder of the family made the move to Minnesota.  Two of their sons, Ronald and Alexander, were already in Minnesota.  So Mary, Archie, and two other children, Jack and Nellie, moved to Minnesota around 1901. 

Mary McDonald

 

Archibald McDonald

 

I have so very few photographs of my great grandparents.  These two photos are taken from a much larger family picture I will share in the next post.  It really focuses in on their faces, clothing and personalities.   

This was taken in Bemidji in 1905.  My great-grandfather looks like a sea-captain in this photograph.  He wasn’t a sea-captain but he was the locks master for the Culbute Locks located on the Upper Ottawa River.


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