The Irish Experience in the Ottawa Valley – Terry Currie
The Goulbourn Township Historical Society invites the public to its next historical presentation on the Irish Experience in the Ottawa Valley. We are pleased to have local Historian Terry Currie back with us for what should be a very interesting talk. The Irish influence continues today with the unique style of Ottawa Valley step dancing, fiddling and song.
Settlement of the Ottawa valley was initially discouraged by the French and British governments as the fur trade proved lucrative in the 18th century. Philemon Wright (from the USA) and his extended family arrived in the Chaudière Falls area in the winter of 1800. The first wave of United Empire Loyalists and disbanded military regiments came after the War of 1812. The early 1800’s also drew several cultural groups to the Ottawa valley, primarily Scots, French-Canadians and the Irish. The Irish were the largest group in Upper Canada for most of the 19th Century (Akeson – The Irish in Ontario). Immigrants included Irish protestant farmers and landless tenants attracted to farming, lumbering and labouring on the Rideau Canal construction. A subsequent wave included Irish Catholics thanks to the initiative of Upper Canada legislator Peter Robinson. The Irish have certainly left their mark in the Ottawa Valley!
The Presentation, free and open to the general public will be held at the Royal Canadian Legion – Stittsville Branch, 1:30PM Saturday October 15th 2016. Attendance, parking and refreshments are free. And, as always, remember to tell a neighbour, bring a friend.