Peter KILDUFF
Early Resident of Ottawa / Bytown (1832)

frontpage1.jpg
Painting by Ruth McMillan in 1976
Shows the Head of the Rideau Canal Locks in Ottawa, Canada in 1893
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New February 17, 2009:

My name is Peter Connors and I am originally from Ottawa. I have been researching my mother's 
family "Kilduff" for some years. Recently I found information about my great grandfather 
Peter Kilduff. In a reference to a book titled "Great Lakes Ships We Remember" by 
Peter J. Vander Linden and John H. Bascom of the Marine Historical Society of Detroit, there 
is reference to Peter Kilduff supervising the building of the steamship "Peerless" for the 
Ottawa River Navigation Company. He is mentioned as an iron worker in Ottawa and I am certain 
this individual is my great grandfather. He operated from a shop on York Street and among 
his works, was the erection of the roof on the Library of Parliament in Ottawa. 
All the other works I have discovered, were building related projects in Ottawa.
In my search for information on my great grandfather Peter Kilduff, I uncovered an article 
in Heritage Ottawa Newsletter, Summer 2003 Volume 30, No: 2. In a report by Elizabeth KRUG, 
titled "J Bowes & Son, Architects, Ottawa: A Forgotten Legacy".  At page No. 3, Fig 2 states 
in part, " Inscribed : Plan referred to in contract no 4025 signed at Ottawa this 21st day 
of November AD 1872; signed Peter KILDUFF, Hector LANGEVIN (Minister of Public Works, see 
Langevin Block.....etc, National Archives Acc. RG11M 79003/29-22 NMC124952. I tried to get 
a copy of this contract from the Library and Archives Canada. On August 16th 2006 I received 
an e-mail indicating they could not find the contract. I have received from them, copies of 
books of account "Subject 1025 Public Buildings Ottawa" dated 1872 recording the accounts 
between Peter KILDUFF and the Department of Public Works. Of interest is his offer to supply 
"THE IRON DOORS" that saved the Library in the fire on Feb 9th, 1916, first at 20 cents per 
100 lbs and later at 27 cents per 100 lbs.
 
There is a family story that Peter Kilduff and Sir John A. MacDonald where friends from 
their days in Kingston, Ontario. Allegedly MacDonald gave a bible or prayer book to my 
grandfather, Peter Alexander KILDUFF as a baptismal gift. According to the story, the 
book was later donated to the Library and Archives Canada by an uncle of mine. A search 
of the Archives failed to discover it. The friendship part of the story is somewhat 
confirmed by a copy of letter in my possession, confirming the appointment of my grandfather 
(Peter Alexander Kilduff) as an elevator operator in the Langevin Block, (Sparks Street at 
Elgin Street) as ordered by the Prime Minister on the 10th of May 1889. It appears to me, 
that filling an elevator operator position would not be in the normal functions of the 
Prime Minister. My first thoughts on the construction of the Peerless that she might have 
been built for the Dominion government and that the contract might have been a favour from 
the Prime Minister. Discovering that she was built for a private firm eliminated my 
suspicions. (Peter Kilduff was involved in the construction of the luxurious steam boat
called the Peerless. See our steamers page, look under date of February 16, 2009 ... Al).
 
The Kilduffs at one time, lived in a log house on the east side of Bank St., just south 
of the present day Laurier Ave  The cabin was torn down in the 1950's. I have a original 
photo showing a date in a bottom, corner log. The date, "1828"  makes it one of the earliest 
buildings in Bytown.
 
I would appreciate if you would post my  original e-mail on your website. As I mentioned 
before, I only heard or discovered information on Peter Kilduff doing iron work on buildings 
and the boat construction was something new. I have also discovered that the ship parts 
were made in England and that Kilduff only put the vessel together in Ottawa.  
 
Thank you again. 
 
Peter Connors


E-mail Allan Lewis

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