Beacon Hill and Rothwell Heights Neighbourhood, Ottawa, Canada
September 15, 2004:
Hello - this summer, while driving the backroads of Hastings Cty., I stumbled
onto a Carleton County atlas, portions of which I photographed (see below).
It appears the Bytown or Bust website also has a copy of this atlas. I am
wondering if you folk are related to the Rathwell family whose land I grew up on...
I was particularly pleased to note in the Carleton atlas lots owned by
Robert Skead and B. & S. Rathwell, both in the neighbourhood known since
1952 as Rothwell Heights (West of Greens Creek). The area was developed
by a former Ontario Cabinet Minister, Bert Lawrence. I was raised on
Amberly Place, from 1962 on, and so finding this atlas provides me with
the origins of the Skead Road and Rothwell Heights placenames.
I recall the presence of a mysterious old man, known collectively
by the kids as "the old farmer". This gentleman lived as a hermit, in a
small one-room frame cabin, heated with a woodstove - no electricity or
plumbing. The cabin was hidden under some big maples at the end of the
Taunton Place dead end, a beautiful spot. I never really spoke with him
directly - either because he kept to himself or out of childish fear -,
and so do not know his name. I believe he died sometime in the late '60s.
His cabin was abandoned, complete with clothes, books and personal papers,
coal oil lamps, furnishings, the whole works. We played there for a few
years until older kids set fire to it one night.
The early '70s saw the land surveyed, the old man's house, horse barn,
and sheds were bulldozed, and us kids lost our paradise of bike trails,
woodlots and groundhogs. The old stone-walled well disappeared as well.
I still recall that the small horse barn still held many implements,
harnesses, etc. Fascinating for us kids. I have some b/w pictures of
the barn somewhere in my things. With these developments, the S. end
of Amberly Place was paved and extended all the way to Skead Road
(by then Blair Road). We lost our rural mail delivery boxes. We also
lost much of the wildlife that made the area so magical for us.
Can any of you shed light on this man's identity? What crops came off these
farms? Can you tell me when either family left their farms or sold their land,
and to whom? Was it directly to the Lawrence (Laurence) family?
"Red Bridge", a round-log single-lane bridge built to cross the ravine that
now forms part of Niven's Woods Park in Rothwell Heights' third (lowest)
level, was on Skead land and a stone's throw from Skead (Blair) Road.
Elegantly engineered, Red Bridge was strong enough to support a car.
Someone who lived nearby kept a dozen beehives on a plateau above the bridge.
I last walked across Red Bridge in the '80s and it has since been removed.
Fortunately, I have a 35y.o. b/w picture of this bridge. Any information
on this bridge's builders/owners, reasons why, the beekeeper, etc. would
Thanks. All the best in your own searches,
Montreal Road is the main thoroughfare on this map.
Rockville (Rockvillage) is at the corner of Montreal Road and
Carson Road. (Thanks to Al Crosby for this information).
The Ottawa River is on the right, which is North
Map Source: Belden's 1879 map of Carleton County
Note for search engine (names on map): Blaisdell, Clark, Lang, Snow,
Cameron, Stephenson / Stevenson, Kenny, Tierney, Hopkins, Dennis, Cole, Lefleur / Lafleur,
Graham, Young, Combs, Warnock, McLaughlin, Coombs / Coomb
September 17, 2004:
more from Pierre:
... I recall inquiring at the time where the beacon was, thinking it had been on
the little hillock immediately to the N.E. of the Montréal Rd. / Ogilvie Rd.
intersection. From Belden's, I now gather the lighthouse downstream from Duck
Island was probably visible from Naskapi ridge, hence Beacon Hill...
John Kenny has some information regarding early days at Green's Creek
February 6, 2006:
Thanks to Al Crosby who has sent in some information regarding the location of
Rockville / Rockvillage:
For Mr. Lewis, I have a Gloucester map from 1896 that shows Rockville at the
current intersection of Codd's / Carson Road and Montreal Road. There were two
quarries there as late as 1970.
... Al Crosby
Note: Mr. Crosby has also contributed some information regarding the Lang family.
E-mail Al Crosby and Al Lewis
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