Hull township and the municipality of South Hull

Aylmer, Québec, its heritage, by Diane Aldred, 3rd edition 1989.
Aylmer d’Hier/of Yesteryear, by Lucien Brault, 1981.
The Aylmer Road, an illustrated history, by Diane Aldred, Aylmer Heritage Association, 1994.

Hull township (canton de Hull) was named in 1792 or 1796 and surveyed in 1802 by Joseph Bouchette. On the 1831 map of Ottawa County, District of Montreal, Lower Canada, it is clear that Hull township straddled the Gatineau River and included the present cities (in 2001) of Aylmer and Hull and the municipalities of Chelsea and Cantley. (Map NMC 0016836 in the National Map Collection, National Archives of Canada.)

The first settlement in Hull township was “Wright’s village” in 1800, (now Île de Hull and Wrightville districts of Hull). The village of Aylmer (at Symmes Landing) was incorporated in 1847, and named after the Governor General of the time. The town of Hull (ville de Hull) was incorporated in 1875, using the name of the township.
The municipality of South Hull was formed on 23 July 1879, made up of the agricultural land between Aylmer and Hull.

The South Hull municipal council met first in the village of Aylmer’s council room, and then in the Aylmer town hall, the former courthouse (now the library).
On 2 June 1902 a bylaw was passed to control taverns, inns and bars in the municipality, suppress gambling, prohibit horse racing on Sundays, and prohibit obscene language and indecent placards or words upon houses.
In 1917, motor cars were limited to 20 miles per hour.
When King George VI and Queen Elizabeth visited Ottawa on 23 May 1939, they also visited a farm near Allen Road in South Hull.

South Hull’s first town hall, was officially opened in 1939, on the 60th Jubilee of the municipality, by Dr. Rodolphe Leduc of Maniwaki, M.P. for Gatineau county. The dedication ceremony was presided over by Elwood Edey, clerk treasurer, and Mayor Fred Ferris welcomed the guests. Erected at a cost of $7,576, paid in cash, with no increase in taxes, the hall was a building measuring 67 by 36 feet. The ground floor contained the main hall with a stage at one end and a committee room and secretary’s office. The basement had a kitchen with wood stove, where the Aylmer East Women’s Institute could prepare food for special functions.

At the opening, Dr. Leduc said that South Hull, with the lowest tax rate of all municipalities in the Dominion, was an eloquent tribute to the sound administration of the Council. The harmony which prevailed between French and English speaking residents was an example to the whole Dominion.
Other speakers at the opening were J.C. Nadon, MLA for Gatineau; members of the township council: E.E. Lusk, W. Maxwell, W.L. Allen, T.C. Radmore, A. Grimes and A.H. Richard; and W.H. McConnell, 83 years of age, the only surviving former mayor of the municipality.

Land for the hall was donated by T.G. Mayburry for one dollar on condition that the land be used only for municipal purposes. Alan Horwood, an Ottawa architect who lived on Garden Road, drew up the plans. Roy McConnell constructed the building.

Lakeview Terrace
After the Second World War (1939-1945), a number of former soldiers established a veteran’s housing project, with the help of the federal government — Lakeview Terrace. Originally this land was owned by William McConnell, who transferred it to his daughter Mary, wife of Robert Conroy, an Aylmer lumber merchant. Two years after Robert Conroy Sr. died, Mrs Conroy and her sons Robert and William began a sawmill business at Deschênes. The 230 acre Conroy farm contained a large farmhouse, a butter factory and creamery, barns big enough for 400-500 cows, a piggery for 150 pigs, a hen house, horse stables and silos. In 1902 the farm was bought by Patrick Clarke who operated the “Silver Springs Dairy” and sold spring water as well as milk in Ottawa. After a period in the 1920s and 1930s when the farm was owned by John Lumsden, Pat Clarke reacquired it, and sold it to the administrators of the Veterans’ Land Act (VLA) in 1942. For a time the VLA experimented with suburban lots of half an acre. The purchaser had to agree to develop fruit and vegetable gardens so that if he lost his job or ran into financial difficulties he could feed his family and sell excess produce to make a bit of money.

Champlain Park
Champlain Park was developed by a former prisoner of war and cabinet maker, Heinz Kroeger. After spending the war in prison at Val Tétreau, he returned to the area in 1948 and worked as a builder. By 1958 he had bought the Allen brothers’ farm, sub-divided, and started building about a hundred houses. This contributed to the urbanization of South Hull, which led to the desire to change the name of the municipality. In November 1964, the name Lucerne was adopted, to commemorate the Lucerne Club of Montebello, of which several residents were members.

Municipal fusion
1st January 1975, the municipalities of Lucerne and Deschênes joined with Aylmer to become the city of Aylmer, despite the strong opposition of the Lucerne council.
The former South Hull municipal hall became the new city of Aylmer’s police station.

Mayors of South Hull
William McKay Wright 1879
Claudius Maxwell 1881
William Simmons 1887
Robert H. Conroy 1892
S.H. Edey 1905
W. H. McConnell 1909
Samuel Stewart 1912
W. H. McConnell 1919
William Maxwell 1921
Fred Ferris 1931
Arthur Grimes 1948
Hibbert Vipond 1949
T.C. Radmore 1952
T.G. Mayburry 1957
Jules Loeb 1961
Dr. Gaston Isabelle 1963

Mayors of Lucerne
Dr. Gaston Isabelle 1964
Gilbert Nadeau 1966
Raymond Roger 1967
Dr. Maurice Beaulieu 1969
Denis Roberge 1971
Henri Laflamme 1973-4

Secretary Treasurers
David Stewart 1879
R.C. “Bud” Stewart 1908
Luther Edey 1914
William H. Stewart 1914
W. Dalton Edey 1934
R. Elwood Edey 1947
W. Dalton Edey 1950
R.G. Breckenridge 1960
H.M. Bouchard 1961
J.G. Archambault 1969

Schools in South Hull Township

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Updated 07/6/19