Early Stage Coaches in the Ottawa, Canada, area



The WATT family ran a line from their store to Bytown (see below by Taylor Kennedy). 
Other early (1830's) stage coach lines went from Bytown to Aylmer, Quebec to take people 
to the steamboat docks for travel westward up the Ottawa River (settlers and lumbermen).
Also, the Bytown and Prescott Stage Coach travelled south from Bytown along what is 
now Highway 31. At South Gloucester it jogged west and followed Concession 4 of 
Osgoode Township (the Stagecoach Road even today) towards Kemptville and Prescott.

Here is some information from Taylor Kennedy:

Hey Al
The Watt family store was near "Hearts Desire" in a dip of Greenbank Road. This is 
also where the post office was and the first postmaster was D. Clothier in 
1875. He is recorded on Ann Kennedy's death registration as receiving the 
news from Timothy Kennedy who farmed beside her in which my Kennedy's were a 
couple of farms north of her. ( I have always had a feeling that she was 
closely related to us and don't know why) Maybe because she was widowed and 
was brought over by her sons but her will only states her daughters. This is 
where the land searches will be handy.
Anyways I would think the Watt Stage Coach followed the Rideau to Ottawa.
At Hearts Desire was where Patrick Madden built a cheese factory and 
Patrick Brophy was employed as the cheese maker.

From the Kennedy Story by Desmond Kennedy ;

The stage coach, which had been operated on week-days between Jockvale and 
Ottawa, and which brought the mail to the Jockvale Post Office , continued 
to operate for five years or so after the railroad came through but, with 
the advent of rural mail delivery (RMD, as it was called) that service was 
no longer needed.  I can recall that in 1916, when the Parliament Buildings 
burned, we first learned of the fire when Con Watt, who drove the stage, 
brought the news on his return from his daily run to Ottawa. Our first 
telephone and radio were still some years in the future.


I was reading about some municipal offices such as "Pathmasters" who a 
section of compulsory road work under their jurisdiction. One was Martin 
Tierney in 1837 who had from "Hogs Back to Black Rapids" and another pathmaster 
was Daniel Fogarty who was also on St. Patricks Church committee in 
Fallowfield.

Another important position back then was the official position of "Fence 
Viewer". Their function was to determine what was a lawful fence and imposed 
fines as required. A lawful fence had to be HORSE HIGH, BULL STRONG AND 
SKUNK TIGHT.

E-mail Taylor Kennedy and Al Lewis if you have stories to share about the Stage Coach Lines.
Back to Bytown or Bust - History and Genealogy in the Ottawa area