HCMPL0717141T.doc - RENFREW COUNTY HISTORY First Post...

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RENFREW COUNTY HISTORY First Post Offices Traced The following historical data on the first post offices in this section of Renfrew County has been recently added to the files of the Ottawa Valley Historical Society by the Curator of the Champlain Trail Museum, Mrs Carl Price. From the time Champlain sailed up the Ottawa River in 1613, the river was the most utilized route for travel. There was no setlement at Pembroke until 1828 when Col. Peter White arrived in this vicinity, started a clearing and built a home in the wilderness. Despite the difficulties involved in reaching the new settle ment, its growth was fairly rapid; a man named McKay soon built a sawmill on the Ottawa River, near the mouth of the Muskrat. His name was perpetuated in the naming of McKay street, Pembroke. East of the Muskrat's source, Muskrat Lake, stretches the largest of Renfrew County's townships, Westmeath. The name of this township, organized in 1830, is from an Irish county. A large portion of it forms a peninsula around which sweeps the Ottawa River. On its north side the river expands into Coulonge Lake, on its west into Lower Allumette Lake. POST OFFICE It was not Pembroke, but Westmeath township, a few miles south which got the first post office this far north in Renfrew County. In 1837 Caleb Strong Bellowes, one of the earliest settlers, became postmaster when Westmeath post office was established on his farm at the northwest corner of the 6th concession road and the 10th side road. In the early 1850's Westmeath post office moved to Goddard's Corners, overlooking Lower Allumette Lake. This village has since been called Westmeath. Previously it had been suggested that it be called Tuckerville, as George Washington Tucker was one of its earliest pioneers and had owned all the land on which the village was built. For many years people locally called it Front Westmeath, because of its location. Mark M. Drew, who had a tannery and shoe store, was postmaster after the war. Then Westmeath post office was moved to the grocery store of Alexander Fraser.
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  • Fall '17
  • managment
  • Ottawa River, Pembroke, Ontario, Ottawa Valley, Petawawa, Ontario

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