Life at Burritt’s Rapids
One Hundred Years Ago
and Now.


Published in The Perth Courier, Jan. 26, 1906, and credited to the Almonte Gazette.

Transcribed for the LCGS website by Charles Dobie.
A couple of words were unclear on the photocopy and will be corrected asap.

           The Township of Marlborough’s population in 1802 was 85. Six years later Robert and Duncan McCartney, Boswell and Mary Seaton moved into the township. In 1793 there was no sign of a village where Burritt’s Rapids now stands. Among the very first settlers were John S. French, who settled on the island ; Stephen Lane, Joel and Samuel Smades. The first mill at the Rapids was built by Terrance Smith. The first church erected in Marlborough was built at the Rapids about 1821 and was the Church of England. The second church was built by the Methodists about 1856. A man by the name of [Losse?], a Methodist minister, settled about half a mile below the Rapids in Marlborough. The first resident clergyman of Burritt’s Rapids was the Rev. William Patton.

           The first permanent settlers were the Burritt brothers — Colonel Stephen Burritt, Colonel Edmund and Colonel Henry Burritt. The latter laid out Burritt’s Rapids on lot 5, in the 1st concession of Oxford. Colonel Daniel located on the north side of the Rideau, lot 25, in the 1st concession of Marlborough. The Burritts were known as staunch defenders of the British flag. Jemima Ward, great grandmother of Hamlet Burritt was, upon one occasion during the Revolutionary war, sent to watch for Mallory‘s gang (a band of rebels who plundered Loyalist families in the vicinity of Arlington). As Mallory approached, Jemima blew a horn ; the result was that Dr. Adams shot Mallory dead. Her action in the matter becoming known to the continental authorities, the heroine was compelled to fly for protection to Burgoyne‘s camp.

           Among the pioneers of the Rideau were Colonel Stephen Hurd, a son of Ashael Hurd, who settled on lot No. 21, 1st concession of Marlborough. Tyrus Hurd, grandfather of Colonel Stephen Hurd, was killed in the Revolutionary war, while fighting for King and crown.

           The first school in Burritt’s Rapids was built in [xxxx?] the farm of Geo. L. Burritt ; the first teacher was William Soules. The second school was held in a stable near the residence of Daniel H. Burritt. The locks on the canal at the Rapids were built by Philoman Wright & Sons. The locks at Merrickville were constructed by two men by the name of Stephens. It is asserted that after they had paid all expenses, it required a yoke of oxen to draw the half-dollars, which they cleared on the contract. The first settlers at Bishop’s Mills were Chauncey and Ira Bishop, who built the mills about 1849. — Almonte Gazette.