Merrickville and District Historical Society - 2007 Lecture Series
2007 Lecture Series
Our talks have been a tremendous success. For a summary of the completed talks, click on the link provided in each listing below

Col ByThe year 2007 marked the 175th anniversary of the opening of the Rideau Canal. To help celebrate we ran a series of nine interesting talks all about the Rideau Canal. The series was designed to convey, chronologically, the history of the Rideau Canal from its inception to the present day.

The series was wonderfully received - with over 200 "season tickets" sold and, on average, some 240 keen Rideau history buffs in attendance for each lecture.

View a Summary of the Series and the Thank-Yous.

2007 Date   Topic/Speaker
March 18 HISTORICAL OVERVIEW by Professor Brian Osborne
Introduction to series and overview the history of the Rideau Canal. Read a Summary of the Talk
April 15 THE RIDEAU ROUTE by Ken Watson
A view of the landscape of the pre-Canal waterway. Read a Summary of the Talk
May 27 THE WAR of 1812 by Victor Suthren
The war, the troubled peace, the decision to build the canal. Read a Summary of the Talk
June 17 BUILDING THE CANAL by Mark Andrews
Col By’s innovative adaptation of European techniques to wilderness construction. Read a Summary of the Talk
July 22 BOOM CANAL YEARS by Bob Sneyd
The story of the years of great Canal success and prosperity 1832-1856. Read a Summary of the Talk
Aug. 19 ETHNIC SUBTERFUGE by Glenn J Lockwood
Social life of Rideau corridor 1830-1930. Read a Summary of the Talk
Sept. 16 THE ROMANCE OF STEAM by Coral Lindsay
The age of leisure steam boats and the canal's survival through troubled times. Read a Summary of the Talk
Oct. 21 ANOTHER RIDEAU WORLD by Jonathan Moore
The underwater archaeology of the Rideau Canal. Read a Summary of the Talk
Nov. 18 THE RIDEAU as LIVING HISTORY by Doug Stewart
The Rideau’s 20th Century evolution and its future promise. Read a Summary of the Talk


Brian Osborne is Professor Emeritus, Queens University, Kingston, Ontario. Professor Osborne is a historical geographer whose recent work has addressed the role of art, literature, and communications (canals, railroads, postal systems) in the development of Canadian national identity. He is currently Past President of the Ontario Historical Society.

Ken Watson has explored the Rideau through his research and has shared that research through the Internet and publications, notably, “A History of the Rideau Lockstations”, published by Friends of the Rideau. His most recent research examined the early Rideau surveys and the pre-canal Rideau/Cataraqui corridor between 1783 and 1832.

Victor Suthren is a writer and historian with an interest in colonial history of the 18th and early 19th Centuries. He served as Director General of the Canadian War Museum from 1986 to 1997. He has written twelve historical books, fiction and non-fiction including one recently published on the War of 1812.

Mark Andrews - As a Professional Engineer, Mark Andrews and author the definitive book on Colonel By, “For King and Country”. Mark Andrews is uniquely qualified to speak on the incredible technical accomplishment of building the, then most advanced canal system in the world through the wilderness that was Canada in 1832.

Robert Sneyd is a retired history teacher from Smiths Falls whose roots go back to the early days of settlement on the Rideau. He has developed a comprehensive interest in and knowledge of the Canal and its use during the boom era from 1832 to 1850 when it was the main transportation for commerce and immigration route from Montréal to the new Canada West.

Glenn R Lockwood was raised along Irish Creek, part of the original route proposed for the Rideau Canal in 1816. He has served on the executive of The Ontario Historical Society, and was chair of the City of Ottawa Cultural Leadership Committee and has written ten books about the social history of the larger Rideau corridor region.

Coral Lindsay - The Lindsay family operated the “the Lindsay Wharf” in Kars for over 100 years. During this period it became a key stopping point for the steam vessels that plied the canal, carrying cargo and passengers up and down the busy waterway. Over the years Coral Lindsay has collected a remarkable assembly of pictures from this era which she will share with us.

Jonathan Moore is an Underwater Archaeologist with Parks Canada who specializes in the underwater archaeology of the Rideau Canal. He will tell of some of the interesting discoveries beneath the surface we travel over.

Doug Stewart is the Director General of Parks Canada National Parks and was instrumental in organizing the application of the Rideau Canal to be considered as a World Heritage site. He will speak on the 20th century Rideau, its recreational use, decline, rebirth and conservation, and its present and future vitality as a heritage tourism resource, national historic site, world heritage site, its rebirth as a major cultural tourism destination and a place for local and national celebration.

View a Summary of the Series and the Thank-Yous.

Merrickville and District Historical Society
PO Box 294
Merrickville, Ontario K0G 1N0

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