Preserving and Promoting local history for the former Rideau Township
Log Fence

Dr. Lockwood presenting

Two of the early families who settled in the Rideau Corridor were the Lockwood's and the Edgar's. Dr. Lockwood is a descendent of those Lockwood's.

The histories of the Lockwood's and Edgar's were well recorded. The families kept diaries, a golden find for historians. Dr. Lockwood made excellent use of the diaries and various artefacts to present both a view of life in the corridor and the humorous side of that life.

Life was not easy or particularly rewarding in those early days. The land in several areas in this part of eastern Ontario was both low lying and wet, and/or very stony and difficult to work. Soil quality in the farms was not necessarily good. There was a certain amount of crime and violence to deal with. Families who had worked hard to eek out a living frequently couldn't and had to move on. It was a less than romantic picture of the times but our ancestors prevailed for which we owe them our thanks and deep gratitude.

To complement the difficulties of the subjects of the talk, the audio-visual equipment had its problems. Dr. Lockwood had a slide tray that didn't like our slide projector. One of our members rushed home to get her projector while another tried to get the first one working. Much embarrassment and consternation. Finally one worked and the very good show went on.

Social History in the Rideau Valley

Presentation by  Dr. Glenn Lockwood

Rideau Branch, Ottawa Archives, North Gower
September 19, 2007

Glenn Lockwood is the author of 10 books about the social history of the larger Rideau corridor. He grew up in the Toledo-Newbliss area in Leeds County and has been the recipient of several awards for his work. Toledo is south of Smiths Falls on the highway to Brockville.

Dr. Lockwood signing his Brockville book

After the American revolutionary war in the United States there were a number of Americans who for various reasons saw fit to emigrate to Canada. (The United Empire Loyalists, UEL) The reasons included their unwillingness to swear allegiance to the new government in Washington, their perception of an improvement in their fortunes by coming here and just being forced out of the U.S. by neighbours for various other reasons.

Ontario settlement began first in the more southerly regions along the St. Lawrence River and then as that land was taken up, in the more northerly regions including along the Rideau Canal corridor between Kingston and Ottawa.