Welcome to the Gatineau Valley Historical Society

Founded in 1962, the Gatineau Valley Historical Society promotes matters of historical or heritage significance in the general area of the Gatineau Valley in Quebec. Browse this site for news on our upcoming events and publications. Access our content-rich resources including newspaper and other articles on local history, historic photos, maps and oral history.

The GVHS archives in the lower level of the Chelsea Library is open on Mondays and Wednesdays from 1:30 to 4:00 p.m. or by appointment.

See current GVHS Newsletter Number 2014 - 03, September 2014

In Memoriam - Gudula von Schoenberg Marshall - 1940-2014

Coming Events

A very special evening
A double feature with a talk on the history of the Gatineau and Ottawa Valley forest industry and a book launch

Monday, October 20, 2014 in the Chelsea Library, 100 Old Chelsea Road, Chelsea QC

auction 7:30 PM - Hurling Down the Pine Book Launch

To celebrate 50 years of publishing, the Society is pleased to announce the publication of the fourth edition of Hurling Down the Pine by John Hughson and Courtney Bond. First published in 1964, the third edition was released in 1987 and has been long out-of-print. This book recounts the story of the Wright, Gilmour and Hughson families, who were timber manufacturers in the Hull and Ottawa region and on the Gatineau River.
Copies will be available for sale for $25.


auction 8:00 PM - Dr. Helen Parson - "The Forest Industry of the Ottawa and Gatineau Watersheds in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries".
Dr. Helen Parson has been invited back to expand on the short talk she gave at the Society’s annual dinner last May. Dr. Parson, formerly with the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University, will be presenting an overview of the forest industry in the Ottawa and Gatineau valleys from the square timber trade on.

auction Remembrance Day Ceremony
Tuesday, November 11, 2014 at 10:30 am
Chelsea Pioneer Cemetery and Cenotaph
587 Route 105, Chelsea
at the graveside of Private Richard Rowland Thompson, the only Canadian to receive the prestigious “Queen’s scarf”.

Other News

Top 40 Movers and Shakers of the Hills
The GVHS is proud to note that three members of its current board are included in the "top 40 movers and shakers of the hills" as recently rated in an informal poll by The Low Down to Hull and Back News and posted it it's Special 40th Anniversary Edition. Congratulations to President Marc Cockburn, Past President Carol Martin and Director Shirley Brown, numbers 11, 12 and 35 respectively, and the 21 other Society members recognized on this list for their service and efforts to the wider community.

Community volunteers lend a helping hand to enhance the entrance to the Old Chelsea Protestant Burial Ground

This September (2013), GVHS members Carol Martin and André Renaud, who are members of Chelsea's municipal cemetery committee, were given a small budget to improve landscaping at this cemetery. The volunteer landscapers who planned and carried this out are members of the Wakefield Walkers and the Gatineau Valley Gardeners: Dave Dunphy (who is also a GVHS member), Dan Paré, and John Udvarhelyi.
Dave, Dan and John designed and created two garden areas. Around the "historic site" sign at the entrance, they constructed a box, filled it with new topsoil, and planted three bright, blooming chrysanthemums. Along the path leading to the cemetery, at the information panels, they then built a dry stone wall and filled it with topsoil to create another small garden. This area will later contain some shade plants, mainly hostas, offered by local gardeners. We all worked to prune back some overgrown shrubbery and tree branches on the north side of the cemetery, as well.  P.S. We spent $235 and a few days. Many thanks to all!

Chelsea's Old Town Hall Plaque Unveiled

In July 2013 a plaque, saved from Chelsea's original town hall, was erected beside the entrance to the present Town Hall, with signage beside it giving the history of the community's three town halls. In November 2004, volunteers from the GVHS obtained permission from the Hendrick family to remove the plaque before the property where it was located was sold. They formed a work party to successfully cut it from the building, and it was then stored on municipal property until funds were committed to re-erect it as a monument.
GVHS members André Renaud and Carol Martin, members of Chelsea's Culture and Heritage Committee, worked with Ronald Rojas, Director of Recreation and Culture, Councillor Charlotte Laforest, and Mayor Caryl Green to realize the project.

New Publication of interest to GVHS members
Historic Churches of the Ottawa Valley by Alan H. Bentley - $25 - see press release.
The recently-published Historic Churches of the Ottawa Valley is Alan H. Bentley's illustrated account of many of the historic brick, stone, and wooden churches found in Ottawa and its surrounding communities. It's an interesting snapshot of the early beginnings of these churches.
The book can be purchased locally at the Earle Pub in Wakefield or can be ordered from Alan H Bentley at 51 Midland Crescent Ottawa ON K2H 8N2. He can be reached by email at alanbettybent@rogers.com. It's also available from the publisher, General Store Publishing House at www.gsph.com.

See event archive for past events.

Browse images from Gatineau Valley Historical Society events

Want to contribute? Become a member? Contact us at info@gvhs.ca or any member of the GVHS Executive.