GTHS presents "What Went Down in Struggle Town?"

  • Goulbourn Museum 2064 Huntley Road Ottawa, ON, K2S 1B8 Canada

Tracey Donaldson, Acting Manager along with Acting Education Officer Sarah Holla from the Goulbourn Museum, present – What Went Down in Struggle Town? This presentation will examine the settlement, historic figures, and structures, which have defined the narrative of Stanley’s Corners.

Settlement of land in Upper Canada became a priority for the British Government following the conclusion of the War of 1812. Discharged soldiers who accepted land grants were the first to settle in Goulbourn with their presence creating a line of defense for Upper Canada against the Americans.

               Wallins Atlas 1863

               Wallins Atlas 1863

                 Belden’s Atlas 1879

                 Belden’s Atlas 1879

At the intersection of 9th line and Regional Road 5 (Flewellyn and Huntley Roads), a small community known as Rathwells Corners grew as a busy stopping point between Richmond and the Upper Ottawa Valley. By the 1850’s John Rathwell an early school teacher taught at a school located just west at Black’s Sideroad. Also his wife kept a stopping place or hotel at Rathwells Corners. By 1879 there was a store, St. Thomas Church, a saw mill, and a school. Later the community also supported a cheese factory, cement factory, post office and blacksmith shop. Eventually the Rathwell’s sold the Hotel to John Manchester and in turn to Jonathon Stanley. The small community then became known as Stanley Corners. It was nicknamed “Struggle Town” by the early Irish settlers, the history of Stanley Corners is marked by success, prosperity and tragedy.

                SS#10 Stanley Corners 1926                   From Farms and Families

                SS#10 Stanley Corners 1926
                  From Farms and Families

Were the settlers justified in nicknaming the community Struggle Town?

This presentation at the Goulbourn Museum, Saturday, May 13, 2017 starting at 1:30pm accompanies the Museum’s outdoor exhibition, which will formally launch during the summer event, Father’s Day Flashback: Ireland’s Own in June 2017.  As usual, attendance, parking and refreshments are free.  And remember, “tell a neighbour, bring a friend.”