History of
Eardley, Luskville & Breckenridge

The Champlain Sea covered the region from 12,000 to 9500 BC, up to an altitude of about 200 metres. Large amounts of clay, alluvium and sand were deposited. Later on, the continent rose as the heavy glaciers retreated, allowing the Ottawa River and its streams to build up a network of terraces, sometimes very furrowed, in the marine sediments, and creating zones where landslides and erosion are likely to occur. The terraces can be seen between Fort Coulonge and Montebello, but are particularly well developed in Luskville. (History of the Outaouais, page 28).

Eardley Township
Eardley Township was surveyed by 1806. Probably the first European settlers in Eardley were Nathan Merrifield and Martha Stafford in 1806, at what is now 1609 rte 148 (lot 4, range III, Eardley township). (Reference: Joan Jowsey: Thomas Jowsey, his descendants and other pioneer families of Eardley Township, Québec, 1981. In library of Aylmer Heritage Association and Ottawa Public Library.) This farm is next to the river between Elm and Maple. Nathan and Martha Merrifield and some of their children and their daughter’s families (Lusk, Perry and Jowsey) were buried in a private cemetery here and some were later moved to Bellevue cemetery in Aylmer.

In 1817, there was legislation granting money to improve roads. £955 was granted to make a road through Hull Township (from Aylmer) and three miles into Eardley - the Eardley Road. The road ended at the Ottawa River near the mouth of Breckenridge Creek. From there a ferry crossed to Upper Canada (Ontario).

Luskville, the Lusk Falls and Lusk Cave near Lac Philippe are named for Irish settler Joseph Lusk (1783-1879) who settled at Ghost Hill Farm, (range 5 lot 6) near Breckenridge Creek in the Township of Eardley in 1820. His wife was Esther Balmer. Their 6th son, Isaac, built the stone house at Ghost Hill Farm in 1881. The Balmer brothers were other early settlers, in 1824. Joseph Lusk was an important person in the township. In 1842 he owned 600 acres. By 1861 four sons had moved to their own farms and Joseph Sr still owned 200 acres. He was the enumerator for district one (ranges 1-5) of Eardley for the 1861 census, when he was 77 years old.

In the middle of the 19th century, most men in rural areas described themselves as farmers, but were also involved in forestry. For example, Joseph Lusk Jr (age 42) and his family were listed as operating a farm in the 1861 census of the Township of Eardley. However, as noted in the margins of the official census form, this family was also engaged in lumbering, especially in winter. Their business employed five men and produced 800 pine logs annually. Along with the farm, this operation allowed the Lusk family to provide for their 9 children. (1861 census and History of the Outaouais page 179).

Breckenridge Creek is named after the Breckenridge family who settled on a farm at range 5 lot 7, next to the Joseph Lusks. Breckenridge Station was just north of Breckenridge Creek (the station building was moved to du Village in Luskville in the 1980s). Andrew Breckenridge was a son of Hugh Breckenridge and Jane Ferguson of Hull Township, who came from Scotland. Andrew’s wife Mary Moore was a daughter of Levi Moore and Phoebe Mulligan who had a farm at range 2 lot 1 (now 1508 route 148). The name Breckenridge is now applied to the whole area between Breckenridge Creek and Terry-Fox Road.

Heyworth is a small hamlet of residences and commercial properties and Centre Eardley United church (1877), named after the Hayworth family. John Hayworth (1791-1879) came from Yorkshire, England, and his wife Isabella Thomson (1796-1855) was born in Roxburghshire, Scotland.

Churches and chapels
Luskville’s first chapel was built in 1862. St. Augustine’s (Anglican) was the first stone church in Eardley, built in 1881 (now a residence at the junction of Braun road and highway 148). Saint-Dominique’s church* (Catholic) was built of stone in 1884. in Luskville village.
Other churches still standing in Eardley are the Zion Methodist (1866), St. Luke’s Anglican (1874), Lower Eardley Methodist (1874, now a residence), and Centre Eardley Methodist* (1877). (* indicates moderate regional heritage value according to the Inventaire des lieux de culte du Québec <www.lieuxdeculte.qc.ca/>)

In 1877 the first Eardley Town Hall was built in Luskville and is still used as municipal offices.

The first post office in the region was opened in Luskville in 1884, operated by the Desbiens family.

In 1975 the township of Eardley joined with the village of Quyon and North and South Onslow townships to form the municipality of Pontiac.

Mayors of the municipality of Pontiac 1975 on:
William Burke, January 1975 to November 1979
Marcel Lavigne, November 1979 to November 1990
Eddie McCann, November 1990 to November 1994
Marcel Lavigne, November 1994 to November 1998
Bruce Campbell, November 1998 to November 2004
Eddie McCann, November 2004 to

Last updated: 07/11/22