Salute to the Irish


Due to the unprecedented pandemic of the COVID-19 coronavirus, your executive has decided to cancel our March 21 2020 event – A Salute to the Irish – Music and stories with Kevin Dooley and Doug McKenna.

A Salute to the Irish – Music and stories

with Kevin Dooley
Saturday March 21 2020 1:30pm
Royal Canadian Legion – Stittsville

Join us for an entertaining afternoon of Irish music and stories presented by well know performer Kevin Dooley.

Early settlers of Goulbourn Township were chiefly of Protestant Irish descent, some of them veterans of the wars with Napoleon, giving a distinct Irish character to Goulbourn Township.

Music was one of the skills these settlers brought with them. An example was William Alexander, an early pioneer from the County Tyrone. He was a violinist of note, and during the time he ran the hotel on the 3rd line Huntley his violin was much in use. He specialized in old Irish dancing airs, but also played sentimental pieces very sweetly. Every time he played a piece for his guests he called its name. He could play about 150 different tunes.

Come and help us celebrate the Irish heritage of Goulbourn Township with the toe-tapping entertainment of Irish entertainer Kevin Dooley. This is a public programme presented by the Goulbourn Township Historical Society. Admission, parking and refreshments are free!

Working Tools

Working Tools

Saturday February 15th 2020 1:30pm

Ottawa Public Library – Stittsville Branch

Dr. Ken Hartin’s collection of antique tools

Nigel Kilby, far left, a member of the Goulbourn Township Historical Society’s re-enactment committee, shows an historic wooden tool to fellow members, from left to right, Bram Blenk, Angela Kilby, Jennifer Chaplin and Lynn Blenk at the Historical Society’s annual meeting in 1987 (from the Stittsville New Dec 16, 1987)

Discover our display of working tools of the past and how they were used around the home.  These include irons, saws, spades and cutters.  Many of these tools can still be found in outdoor sheds, basements or workshop in working order as they are hard to break, even outlasting modern items.

Do you have an old working tool that you would want to show and possible identify?  Bring it along and together we might figure it out!

This even if free and open to the general public. Drop in during the afternoon and see out exhibit. As always there will be refreshments.

We also encourage you to view our annual photo exhibit in the Library’s “ArtSpace” during the month of February. This year we are also focussing on tools of our ancestors.


2020 AGM

AGM – January 18 2020

The Goulbourn Township Historical Society AGM and dinner is scheduled for Saturday January 18th 2020 at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 2 Mulkins Street, Stittsville. Arrive at 12:45pm for registration and a delicious dinner followed by our meeting to begin around 2 pm.

This is a social time to visit with and get to know other members, as well as an important function for our Society.  We need your support to enact our business !  So come and meet your friends in the Historical Society.  There will be a time for you to share any ideas for programs or services you would like to see the Society undertake. There will be a delicious, hot dinner at a cost of $20 per person, followed by the general meeting.

In order to arrange catering, please RSVP by Friday, January 10th to: .Payment can be made at the door when you arrive.

Unable to attend?
Please mail your membership payment (single $15 / family $20) to our address listed below. Should any information regarding your GTHS membership change please notify the membership co-ordinator, Nancy Peppy, at  This will help to ensure that we have the correct and precise details when tax receipts, newsletters, programme information or any other correspondence is sent from the Society.”

Call for Volunteers


Are you interested in local history and looking for a way to contribute to your community?  The Goulbourn Historical Society has several vacancies on its Board and is looking in particular for people with marketing experience as well as people with ideas for planning programs throughout the year. These are volunteer position and require a once-a-month attendance at a Board meeting.

 Your fellow Board members are an amiable group who all enjoy learning more about the former Goulbourn Township, which includes Stittsville, Richmond, Munster and Ashton and all the agricultural land around them. The Historical Society prepares exhibits for public presentation, offers a regular speaker’s program, undertakes research about aspects of the Township’s history, publishes brochures and books from time to time, photographs buildings of historical interest, does some costumed interpretation presentations, and maintains a digital photograph collection and keeps records of Family History and Social History files.

If you are interested in applying to become a Board member, please send an expression of your interest along with a brief bio to  by January11th 2020.


Remembering Stittsville’s fallen

Stittsville War Memorial
Honouring those who died in service for Canada

On Monday, Nov 11th 2019, a new memorial plaque was on display next to the Cenotaph for the Stittsville Remembrance Day ceremony.

GTHS committee members Bob Halberstadt, Edna Marlow, Joan Darby & Fran McCarthy (missing are Valerie Wright& Judith Richardson)

Stittsville's War Dead

Stittsville residents that died serving their country in war

The plaque commemorates thirty-nine members of Canada’s armed forces, all from the Stittsville area, who gave their lives in the two World Wars and the War in Afghanistan.  The plaque represents the vision of GTHS member Valerie Wright, who conceived the memorial, methodically researched local history files, and organized a GTHS subcommittee of volunteers to see the project through to completion.   The committee plans to install a permanent version of the plaque in the vicinity of the cenotaph sometime in the future.

Many thanks go to Edna Marlow, who organized and led the subcommittee with help from Fran McCarthy, Joan Darby, Judith Richardson, and Bob Halberstadt.  

The Goulbourn Township Historical Society is honoured to financially support this project.

The subcommittee also wishes to thank: Tom Louks and the Richmond Legion for their donation of a permanent sign.  Glen Gower, Jennifer Shepherd and the City of Ottawa for their support; Peter Holmes and Lorraine Satchell for their knowledge and helpful advice and the Stittsville Glass & Sign Co. for creating the plaque.



Brawling Bytown – The Shiners’ War

Conflict and Confrontation: The Shiners War and Violence in Early Bytown

by Grant Vogl
at the Royal Canadian Legion – Stittsville Branch
on Saturday Nov. 16, 2019, 1:30pm

“A greater set of ruffians than the whole population of Bytown would be hard to find…”
Founded in 1826 as a canal worksite, Bytown (now Ottawa) quickly gained a reputation as one of the most violent towns in all of British North America. Conflict was everywhere.
 When work on the Rideau Canal was completed in 1832 the burgeoning lumber industry became one of the few means of employment. Many canal workers, who had little experience felling trees or sawing timber, sought to open up employment opportunities through intimidation of the existing and largely French-Canadian workforce. In 1835 the conflict became organized under leaders like Peter Aylen, the self-styled “King of the Shiners.”
This presentation will explore the conditions that created conflict in Bytown from the early days of the Rideau Canal through the period known as the “Shiner’s War” and to the town’s re-branding as Ottawa in 1855.


Grant Vogl is the Collections and Exhibitions Manager of the Bytown Museum in Ottawa, Ontario. Grant manages the Museum’s historic artefact collection, permanent, temporary, and community galleries, and has curated numerous special exhibitions highlighting the events, people and stories that have made Ottawa history.

This  free event is open to everyone. It is being held in the Stittsville Legion on Saturday November 16, 2019 at 1:30pm. Parking and refreshments are free. Please tell a neighbour and bring a friend.