The Ottawa Journal from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on July 11, 1970 · Page 41
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The Ottawa Journal from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada · Page 41

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Issue Date:
Saturday, July 11, 1970
Page 41
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v, :n-..-. '.ff': (.'tis " ; e- ..... : IxVhiv; tern ; 3Pftc Original In the fox hunting country known as.the "shires" in the English midlands, the original Rockingham is commanded by the grey walls, bastions and turrets and this Norman gateway exactly as built by William the Conqueror nine centuries ago replacing a Saxon stronghola. It was captured by Cromwell's Ironsides. j - - . . - . ....... 7-t : : : . t : ' ; , r. . RENFREW Because he v . b ,: married ' beneath the isocial : strata :. which' Victorian Eng-. .;; .land thea prescribed John S. , . Wa.tson was sent from Rock- , i-ii inghain, the Norman castle of 5.:;., i ,; his ancestors Which had been' inbuilt by. William .the' Con-. :',, ; queror and . recorded in . the , . Domesday Book. -, . ; , ! r Fortunately, for , the Upper ... Ottawa, and particularly ; for Renfrew County, young John Watson and . his bride, the comely Jane Martin, came to jjhe. pine-clad Madawaska-' Range. Herein 1860, they estab- 'log homesteads, which was named Rockingham after its English origin. "Here, tooV. he perpetuated his name in a pioneering achievement with more honor t than he might have received by having his . name listed in the British 'Peerage' . .! ' i ' However,' before J o h n Watson ;lefti the ancestral alls , of f. Rockingham, :.that ' nad sheltered :watsons iur-lng the Wars of the Roses and its later siege "by Cromwell's; Ironsides, his . father relented to the , extent , of about $7,000 .which he be-, stowed on John and his bride . on ; condition ; the couple would emigrate to Canada. -. ic. ' ' -k THE ' ' SITUATION must, have i been painful to both fathef .and .sorii Jt stemmed kfroni the social and political .mores; of Victorian England, ijwhlchl with", its "two-power . havythen policed the worlds - 'and sent its younger sons to ?lark continents tog0vern "far-off sullen peoples half r ;devil arid half child," as Kip-: ' ling expressed it. I'1 This substantial f inancial" "Assistance may' have been a gesture of . parental concern '-' by a father with a. divided re-- jf,' sponsibility;- to . a rebellious -.on, and loyalty to the strict ffi code of the Watson lineage 5S '$ In Its Realty, to tlie Crown. 1 . ror teniunes waisuns nau . 5ot onJy,been owners of-this XNorman ieep ; dui were us custodians for the 'Monarchy. ST. LEONARD'S ANGLICAN CHURCH held its .last service in the summer of .1941. After triat, it was desecularized. The Ottawa diocese stilj owns the property and the' cemetery nearby where many of the original colony are buried. The building is now in a dilapidated condition, its bell tower intact but the bell purchased by a church in Killaloe; the pews were sent to " i 1'" '''''' I . l ' Saturday, July. 11, 1970 0'.-.' . ; ,:-! i .V 4 I Rockingham Rockingham was a favorite hunting box of the Kings of England and for centuries it was a Royal residence. Also, in the political turbu-' lence of the 18th century, as leader of the Whig party, it was a forebear, Charles Watson Wentworth, as Marquis of Rockingham, who for one' critical year was Prime Minister of England after the fall of the Grenville administration in the political upheaval over the passing of the American Stamp Act in ,1765. With this prestigious heritage the father must have felt keenly his duty in maintaining the gradations ;of, status in the Victorian : Establishment. But the son was probably just as determined to strike out on his own in a developing young country where status was not nearly as' important as establishing a viable settlement. " ' BEFORE JOHN departed for Canada " he assembled (again aided by his father) a crew . of building craftsmen to establish a colony in the wilds of Brudenell. More than likely that unbroken forest and mountain was selected in which to found a settlement because of the impetus given to colonization in the Upper Ottawa by the" construction of the Opeongo Road to link up with the Petersen Road in Haliburtori and then to Georgian Bay. . This project was widely advertised in England and to a lesser extent in jGermanyr In its "advertisriig it was statedlthatl'the Ottawa 'country- is" capable xf sus-"talnlng a population of eight milion-peopleJ!i 1 To . partly remedy this population vacuum, the Union Government ' in 1850 ordered the road . surveyed from FarrelPs Landing on the , Ottawa to Great Opeongo Lake in what is now Algon--quin-Park-HoweverTit-ter-" minated 40 miles short of hat objective at Bark Lake.. ' 1 i-Si: I -:: ". -J Tl.--.- '1-' .' .-. V. t, i ' .-g : ' ' " JL, ' lZA A ' ' A,:, : ": -E-r". 1 ' ' Tine , Quadville, the altar to uomoermere. 1 From Renfrew westward over the pre-Cambrian Shield it traversed the most magnificent mountain scenery in Ontario. Eagles are still re- .ported seen wheeling above . the escarpments , of the Opeongo Mountains, rising 800 feet above Lake Clear, and also Plaunt's Mountain, .Macdonalds Mountain, Foy- tnqunt Mountain and Mair's Mountain. Cloud shadows chase each other across deep valleys with their jewelled lakes and streams in what is still a land of enchantment. THE ADVERTISING promotion stressed a rosy potential rather than an immediate reality. To induce settlement, free lands of 100 'acres were allotted to each settler. The Road attracted almost " immediately a rugged breed of Irish settlers chiefly, but also numerous Scotch, English and Poles. By the end of .1858 some 200 families had settled along an uncompleted bush road, barely passable for wagons. . They designated their log u settlements with the names of battles of the Crimean .War (1854-6), British generals and Irish history, that constitute a unique and historic nomenclature, persisting to this day. (Two of the most historic names in the Opeongo country are Brudenell, and Balaclava. The first was named after the famous family of Brudenell whose seventh Earl of Cardigan led the immortal - charge rof "the Lightr Brigade" against - the " entire Russian" Army, at Balaclava.) -One of the most distinctive. settlements is that at Wilno.-It was founded by Polish exiles in a series of migrations to escape from Bis- . k marck's dream of world pow- 1 er. built on i bayonets. The, movement was given im-r " petus and direction by the. "organizing genius of Rt. Rev. B ronas Jankowskiwh6 founded the parish In 1875. rHe-named the settlement . mm . . jb m Ottawa Valley ays By Harry J .Walker V S3 5 i v'v 'v-i I JOHN WATSON, born, and reared in Rocking- , ham castle, was furnish-: ed with ample funds by . his father on condition . . he emigrate to Canada. He did, founding a new settlement in Renfrew . County.. Photos and Reproductions By Cal Green Wilno after the Pblish city of Vilna. ' - , ' ' ACCORDING to information from descendants, John T A . A. O waison ana nis pany ar rived in 1860 or 1861. ' They selected a forest area six miles from the Opeongo Road south of Wilno. It was watered by a turbulent creek, now known as Rockingham, creek Down this stream Tom Coghlin, a timber jobber,- who was on the scene before there was any habitation, floated his logs of red and white pine as far as the site of Madawaska. Also according to a descendant of the Watson colonists, when John Watson arrived the government "gave him 1,000 acres to keep a mill on the falls of Rockingham Creek." This was-one of Jthe first projects pf the settlement which had been named Rockingham. .In this English colony, John Watson was fortunate in . having as his second in command another talented man from his own English countryside in Northamptonshire. He was Joseph Kinder. In his young manhood Kinder had been a surveyor in Australia. He returned to England where he became a veterinarian in the then new profession of . veterinary medicine and acquired an expert knowledge of the new forms of vaccination developed for 'animals by Pasteur and Koch which were later found effective for man. , These skills and knowledge JKindec, applied,. inJiis treat- ment of the sick of the settle-, ment whose doctor he be- -came- He; Would never attempt a difficult . operation on a pa- .tient but he would -prescribe-medicine and he did deliver many babies. Thus Dr. Joseph 7 Kinder -wasthe Pearliest acting country and district family physician. He often travelled by horse from Rock- Ihgham to Maynooth and Cormac to answer calls. In Rockingham . he- married ELLIS KINDER (left), grandson of Dr. Kinder, at work outside his 109-year-old house, oldest still in use in the area. L Elizabeth Marshall who had come out from England. AMONG OTHERS in the originals were Carl Polter from Hamburg, Germany, married to Dorothy Nieman from Berlin. . Charley became the village blacksmith and yxnert builder of loe houses. Then there was Alf and Harr Smallpiece and their wives; Tom Martin, Joe Haw-: thorne, John Bond, Dick Acton, Joseph Ohlman, Albert Pomerening, John Wilson, Ernest Kurtwig and several others. The . one who became a sort of black sheep was un-. fortunate John Hu'dder. He was - clearing, his land by burning off the trees. But . the fire got out of control . and burned all the orime ' "timber off a wide area. 'j August - Sumac was the mail courier. He lived at Rosenthal and rode his nag to Rockingham. Here he would meet the stage coach from Eganville or Comber-mere. Then he would 'finish his route on foot to Palmer Rapids. ' r WITHIN A FEW years there was a thriving village of log houses built by the able tradesmen that came out with Watson and Dr. Kinder. In addition to the log dwellings there was a store, post . office, grist and saw mills, blacksmith shop (still standing) together with the oldest log house (109 years) in which Ellis,Kinder now lives, and a ubiquitous log stopping place 1 known as Jeffrey's Hotel. - The-1 first log;school was - built in 1865 and replaced by- a larger building in 1875. The Anglican, church,: na med St. Leonards after rits English counterpart, was built in 1867. -and-still stands deserted and .slowly disintegrating into its neglected cemetery where most of these people who -made it a corner of England now sleep. ' In his "Pioneer Reminis- cencesoftheJLJpperOttawa Valley," . Rev. Ernest Lloyd Lake has devoted a section to the subsequent story of . and the 'New9 Rochinyhfim Immediately after arriving in the lands of their wilderness habitation, John Watson and the entire colony began to build the new Rockingham settlement. In addition to log homes, there were a tavern, store, post office, grist mill, blacksmith shop, school, and the present abandoned St. Leonard's church. John Watson's life in the pioneer Rockingham he founded and in the County of Renfrew both of which he served with distinction. JOHN WATSON was present as representative for Brudenell at the formation of the Renfrew County Council and' voted for Pembroke as the County Capital. He served two consecutive terms as Warden of; the County of Renfrew in 1883 and 1884 during its formative period. A portrayal is given of .him in Mr. Lake's history: ' "John Watson is remembered as an hospitable and generous businessman. He operated the " village store" and-post office, and acted as lawyer, banker, and clergyman when community need, arose. He is pictured as "an impressive figure seated in a buggy behind a spirited horse with glittering harness. John dress ed in his accustomed white shirt, black tie, black suit and looked like a gentleman of the Queen's court as his snow-white hair was dramatically complemented by his black silk hat. ''The John Watsons had eight children, JackV Thomas, George, William, Mary (Mrs. J. K. Rochester of Renfrew), Margaret, Annie (Mrs. Joseph Acton), and Louise RN (Mrs. Alexander McLachlan)." Of these descendants, William Watson married Mary Ann Childerhose and their children were William, of Eganville; Mrs. Wheeler Sterling, Eganville; Mrs. George Harrison, Ottawa; and Mary and-John. . ' ... - " HIS QUARREL with his ' f a t h ? Mong d i ssolved in ' dust," John Watson now sleeps in St. Leonard's cemetery among those whom in life he led and loved. ' - Standing before his granite stone we could not resist assessing his life and contribution to his world as contributing more to social progress Jthananyoflhose pedigreed ancestors who dwelt "where the splendor falls on castle walls." Dr. Joseph Kinder left a large family of children and grandchildren. His sons were John, Harold, and Joseph; the daughters were Mrs. John Jessup, Mrs. John McFarlane, Mrs. Abraham Murphy, Mrs. Samuel Pell, Mrs. Qney Lar-will. ' Surviving Kinder grandchildren ' include Elias, Harold, Cecil and Williani, of Rocking-hame; Joseph and Russell, of Renfrew; Charlie, Ottawa; Mrs. S. Berger, of Renfrew; Mrs. J. Carswell, Maynooth; Mrs. H. Tolly, of Mitchell. "l n 1 V -x ': I ''-.,.f 0 wmmm OLDEST ORIGINAL HOUSE in the settlement is this one built in 1862. It is now owned by Ellis Kinder; a grandson of Dr.. Kinder.- ji.H, I ' ,'l'yiiy"'l'','"'l'l'l l-f ;''f,; n iiiinn iMiiiimiwi tmmrimt nn nwn m mf ) 'i r-L- DR. KINDER'S HOUSE is still standing on the farm of his grandson, Harold Kinder. " y 1 3 . :. - r1 r' J Uos? ? 1 0h .km MHI lt 1 . irt Wttrf vw- .... i t-, uwi.Mi".n',)y til Willi II l lull i 11 lilt l will' mrtftilftliWfl ,iiltTt--'r,T " " M 1 JJRSTlCUOOLJn-the-settlementf-originally- built of logs, was converted to a board-and-batten 4type. It is now used as a residence by Cecil Kinder, 'one of the crandsons of Dr. Kinder. -- ft fop DR. JOSEPH KINDER, .who came out to Canada with John Watson, became the' first family physician in the new Rockingham settlement. His practice served a wide area of the Opeongo country. The Ottawa Journal I - t " JZr Jib ... ; l A s S3 S3 "1 , mt . tXEA ti,., ti"f w- t d t ill f A '1

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