I start today where I left off in the Bytown Museum. An axe of the 19th century and branding irons for marking timber are seen here.
Another icon of the 19th century in what was Bytown and what would become Ottawa was a woman whose influence remains today. Sister Elisabeth Bruyere led a company of nuns from Montreal to Bytown. She set to work establishing a school, hospital, orphanage, and other institutions. Her order of nuns is still active today, with their convent alongside the chronic care hospital that bears her name.
The Great Fire of 1900 would bring largely to an end the timber era, wrecking havoc on both sides of the Ottawa River before it finally was brought to an end.
These items speak to that time- a tea cup, a pitcher embedded with glass, and what's left of a billiard ball.
For much of its early decades, Bytown had a reputation as a rough place to live in, with violence a way of life. The Stony Monday Riots was one such example.
But even in normal times, with a population consisting of a rough sort of people, you were going to have trouble. A display case features panels and artifacts about how dangerous the town really was.
By 1855, Bytown would be incorporated as a city- with a new name, taking on the name of the river it overlooked.
A set of three display cases, side by side, shows the development over time. This first one features things as it looked at the end of the Rideau Canal building project. At lower right, at the heart of a square, is the only building to appear in all three dioramas- Notre Dame, though it started out as St. Jacques.
Here they all are, side by side. In the middle is the city as it looked upon incorporation in 1855. In the foreground, how it appeared in 1918. Things change.