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People of Note

Highlighted here are some local heroes as well as people of national renown who have been attracted to and, in some cases, helped shape the history and development of the Gatineau region.

Nicolas Gatineau

The river

In the 1830's immigrants were catching wind of the opportunities for settlement in the Gatineau region; families came in large groups for support. One such group was headed by William Farmer, who came from Bridgenorth, Shropshire, in the year 1834. The entourage Farmer brought with him included his family and a housekeeper, a lawyer, a tutor, a millwright, a waiter and his family of seven, a gardener and seven family members, and a general purpose man with his nine relatives, in addition to the livestock and financial resources to support the fifty-six immigrants, that was typical of a wealthy immigrant of that time.

More of the river
The spectacular and forbidding Gatineau River, namesake of Nicolas Gatineau.

Despite his retreat to Upper Canada in 1846, William Farmer's endeavour resulted in the naming of Farmer's Rapids where his settlement landed on the Gatineau River.

Richard R. Thompson

Richard R. Thompson

Private Thompson performed enormous feats of gallantry in the Boer War, and was the only Canadian ever to win the Queen's Scarf of honour.

The scarf, personally crocheted by Queen Victoria is displayed in the National War Museum in Ottawa. Among the many possible awards for military distinction, it is one of the world's rarest: there are only eight Queen's Scarves.   See more...

Mackenzie King

Mackenzie King
Mackenzie King and Pat c. 1940.

The difference between bounty and disaster was, as is customary in history, partly the result of accident. The happenstance was the visit to Kingsmere in 1900 of an unlikely young civil servant named William Lyon Mackenzie King.

He first saw Kingsmere on Thanksgiving Day, when he and his inseparable friend, Albert Harper, cycled from the city and had their lunch on King Mountain. That expedition was to affect King's life profoundly, and to lead eventually to the creation by his government of the Gatineau Park.

It was in the Gatineau Park that King created his home and his image. Here he would be the lord of the manor, but of a manor which he had created, not, as in the case of Laurier House, in the shadow of another. As early as 1926 King was writing in his diary: It will make a wonderful park to give to the nation some day, a true memorial. It was a promise that he kept magnificently..   See more...

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