Highway 148, Breckenridge

The descriptions follow the highway as shown on the map from right to left (from Aylmer to Wyman).

Most of the dates of buildings come from the Canadian Inventory of Heritage Buildings (CIHB files at the Aylmer Heritage Association). Ownership in 1861 comes from the 1861 census and agricultural census.

What is now (in 2000) the Davis farm (#1494) on the right side of the road was owned by James Klock in the 1860s. A low stone wall close to the highway was the remains of the 1870 barn. The foundation wall was replaced by a gabion wall (inside a wire cage) in June 2000. In August 2017 this in turn was removed during the widening of route 148.

On the right, (#1508) close to the highway you’ll see a small barn made of squared logs (1870). Behind it is a large barn (1899) and a bit further on a farmhouse (1908). This was the Moore farm, settled by descendants of pioneer Dudley Moore. In 1861 Levi Moore lived here, with his wife Phoebe (Mulligan) and sons Joseph, John and Thomas, and daughter Olive. For many years the Kidder family farm, it has been owned by André and Chantal Quinn since 2007.

Domaine Bellevue Estates at #1521 (between Mélèze and Sumac on the river side of the road) was part of the Kerr farm. In 1861 Samuel Kerr, age 32, lived on the farm with his wife Margaret Jane, age 21, and three children age 3, 2, and one years, in a one-and-a-half-storey log house, with unmarried farm owner Daniel Weir, age 75, (a relative of Margaret’s), and two servants. In the census listing the name is mis-spelled “Carr,” which is how the name was often pronounced. (More information on the Kerr family.)

Just before the dépanneur, high up on the right is a small one-and-a-half-storey house (#1534). Foran house, about 1858 (IPBRO).

Dépanneur Eardley (#1536) is on the right. Eric Levasseur and family will supply you with cold drinks, fresh bread and groceries, videos and propane. There is a Bell phone booth here.

# 1546 is an old one-and-a-half-storey house with a newer addition.
Just past the dépanneur on the right is a popular chip wagon. There are a few picnic tables here.

At the corner of ch. Lilas on the left, is a small house (#1565), owned by the Foran family.

Deep in the woods on the left (#1561) just before chemin McKay is the two-and-a-half-storey stone house built for Michael Foran (1816–), one of the oldest stone farmhouses in the area (mid-1860s), replacing the original one-and-a-half-storey log house mentioned in the 1861 census. The stonemason was Mr. Mullarky of Aylmer. In the 1881 census Michael was living here with his wife Margaret, age 57, and seven children between 24 and 14 years old.

In 1955 Dr. Wallace McKay and his wife Helen bought the farm from Percy Foran and in the late 1960s subdivided it into residential lots, forming the McKay project (“Wallen Heights”).

Hurdman Heights
The Herdmans (later “Hurdman”) were Wesleyan Methodists. Henry Herdman Sr. emigrated from Ireland to New York City in 1811, and then moved to Hull township (on Klock between Cook and Pink) in 1818 with his wife Elizabeth Maxwell Faris. She was also born in Ireland and was first married to Robert Faris with whom she had three children, born between 1808 and 1811. After Robert Faris died she married Henry Herdman. Five of their children settled on farms along the next 2 km of highway, from 1844 on. More information on the Herdman/Hurdman family.

After the junction with Maple Lane the highway cuts through the farm (#1583) settled in 1844 by William Maxwell Herdman (1819-1881) the second son of Henry Herdman Sr. and Elizabeth Herdman. He married Mary Moffatt (1828-1891), whose family had settled in neighbouring Hull township (near the junction of Vanier and Montagne) in 1822. By the 1881 census William and Mary were living here with five daughters ranging from 22 to 9 years old. Their son died in infancy.
On the left is the one-and-a-half-storey stone farmhouse with a veranda on three sides, built in the mid-1860s to replace the original one-and-a-half-storey log house mentioned in the 1861 census. Note the traditional roof of fish-scale embossed metal, original double-hung windows and storm-windows held on by toggle bolts on the ground floor, and decorative trim, “gingerbread”, on the veranda. There’s also a post-and-beam frame barn dating from about 1880. (1870, IPBRO.)


On the right side of the highway are several barns that are being restored, including a post-and-beam frame horse stable built in 1860, a post-and-beam building of white-pine probably constructed in the 1880s connecting the other two barns, and a cedar-log barn built in the 1840s (right hand photo).
More photos of the barns. This is now the Jamie Laidlaw farm.
More information on the William Herdman & Mary Moffatt farmhouse.
More information on the two farms - William Herdman and Henry Herdman Jr.

The next farmhouse (#1620) seen peeping through the trees on the right hand side, back from the highway, was built in 1845 by Henry Herdman Jr. (1816-1907) the oldest son of Henry Sr. and Elizabeth Herdman. It is one-and-a-half-storeys, built of log covered in white clapboard, with a green roof. Henry Jr. settled on the farm in 1844. In 1858 he married Martha Jowsey (1840-1924). In the 1881 census they were living here with three children from 21 to 15 years old. Their daughter Anna (1862-1959) married Richard McCullough Ritchie (1851-1940), and the farm remained in the Ritchie family until 1998. The farm is called Old Lodge Farm after the Orange Lodge which was located there before a new lodge was built on Elm road in 1875. It is now the Pedersen farm.
The small barn of squared logs visible when you have passed the entrance, was constructed in 1910 with logs from the Orange Lodge.

The view of the Ottawa river from this point on for a couple of kilometres is wonderful, particularly at sunset. Pinhey’s Point is on the Ontario shore across the river, first settled by Hamnett Kirkes Pinhey in 1820.

Looking southwest (back and left) from the left hand bend, you can just see the roof of a wood frame house (#1609) built by Thomas Jowsey in 1826. (Photo shows a closer view.)

This farm was the first to be settled in Eardley township, by Nathan Merrifield from New England, and his wife Martha Stafford, in 1806. Their first home was a log house near the Ottawa River, and their second home was built higher up the hill, also of logs. Nathan was drowned at the Remic Rapids (near Champlain Bridge) in 1826 when returning home from Montreal with a load of supplies. That same year Thomas Jowsey married Rosannah Merrifield, daughter of Nathan and Martha, and built the frame house. Thomas and Rosannah’s daughter Martha Jowsey married Henry Herdman Jr., owner of the neighbouring farm across the highway.
Nathan and Martha Merrifield and some of their children and their daughters’ families (Lusk, Perry, Jowsey) were first buried in a private cemetery here and some were later moved to Bellevue cemetery on ch. Aylmer.
The farm was bought by Frederic E. Bronson in 1940 and is now owned by his grandson, Ian Laidlaw.

Continuing northwest, there are two small houses close to the highway on the left. The first (#1613) was the Lower Eardley Methodist Church (later United), built in 1874 of red brick with lighter brick detailing above the windows and at the corners.
The second house (#1615) is a stone schoolhouse, built in 1900. Eardley No. 1 school.

This is the view of the Gatineau Hills from the highway (driving northwest). In October 2010 Videotron is planning to erect an 82 m high cellphone tower here, at the far corner of the field.

Next on the right (#1622) is a large two-and-a-half-storey stone house with two-storey veranda, built by James Hurdman (1824-1908) in the mid-1860s. In the 1861 census he was single and living in a one-and-a-half-storey log house. The story is that he built the stone house one foot larger all around than the Michael Foran house at #1561, in the spirit of friendly rivalry. The barn nearby displays the name Hurdman Heights. James was the third son of Henry Sr. and Elizabeth Herdman. James married Grace Radmore (1844-1873) and then Jane Rolston. In the 1881 census James and Jane were living here with four children. This is now the Rolston-Trimm farm.

On the left at the far side of the junction with Elm, very close to the highway, is a small one-and-a-half-storey house, about 1890. This house burned in November 2010, and was demolished in January 2011.

From the highway, to the right on Elm you can see another small red brick house (#81 Elm) with a magnificent garden. This was the Orange Lodge, built in 1875 to replace the log Lodge at #1620.

The Orange Lodge was not just a Protestant social organisation, it was anti-Catholic and anti-French. According to John Ralston Saul, “The Orange movement provoked the Métis persecution, attacked francophone rights and caused Ontario also to lose close to a century of balanced evolution. Its infection of society can still be felt when unilingual movements or other reflections of prejudice break out.”

Further along Elm is a red brick house built in 1907 by Howard Hurdman (1872-1926), the son of James and Grace (Radmore) Hurdman. (#185 Elm). It is now the Varney farm. (c.1920, IPBRO.)

Back on the highway, close to Elm is a large white and green barn with a green roof (#1640). This has recently been restored. The internal structure is original (about 1880 according to the Canadian Inventory of Heritage Buildings, but possibly earlier), with no nails being used in the construction.

This farm belonged to Elizabeth Herdman Bebee (1816-1908), Henry Herdman Jr.’s twin sister. She married Steadman Bebee, a lumberman, in 1846. He died in 1856, aged 69, and Elizabeth continued farming the property to support her four young children. In the 1861 census she is listed as a “farmer” and widow, living in a one-and-a-half storey log house with her four children. By then the 190 acre farm was shared with the TR Milk family: Richard Milk living in a one-and-a-half storey log house with his wife Margaret Corbett, their eight children and three servants. The Bebee children married into the Breckenridge, Pink and Lusk families. The large new house (1997) is the home of the Richard family.

Charles Herdman (1826- ?), fourth son of Henry Sr. and Elizabeth Herdman), and Fanny Stephenson, lived in the next farmhouse on the right (#1652) in a one-and-a-half-storey log house with their three children in 1861. They married in 1855. This house could date from between 1847 and 1855 if Charles built it in his early twenties or on marriage. This family later emigrated to Australia. Charles’ nephew Thomas Robert Hurdman (son of Thomas Maxwell Hurdman, the 5th son of Henry Sr. and Elizabeth Herdman) eventually took over the homestead, followed by his son Russell Hurdman.
The present owners, Alain David and Mayumi Sakamoto, are lovingly restoring the windows and doors and exposing the wide logs. Photo at left is c. 2000, photo at right 2008.

Across the road at #1655 is a barn (c. 1930, IPBRO) which featured in the CBC TV miniseries on the Avro Arrow, complete with the view of the Ottawa River behind.

Just before Braun road you will see St. Augustine’s Anglican Church (#1686) on the right very close to the highway. Land for the church was donated by Robert Jowsey in 1876, and the stone building was consecrated in 1881. It is now a home.

Part-way down the long hill (Ghost Hill) you can catch a glimpse of the stone farmhouse (#1728, Ghost Hill Farm) built in 1881 by Isaac Lusk, the 6th son of Joseph Lusk.

Joseph Lusk (1783-1879) and his wife Esther Balmer (1789-1873) came from Ireland and settled on the farm in about 1820. Their first house was built of logs. In 1861 Joseph and Esther were living here in a one-and-a-half-storey log house with Isaac (age 23), and their 5th son Thomas (age 30) and his wife Elizabeth Moore and three young children. Joseph’s children married into the Merrifield, Finlay, Agert, Finley, Milks, Moore and Faris families. The Lusks gave their name to the village of Luskville, the Falls and the caves near Lac Philippe. Betty Hay (Lusk) and family lived here, followed by her daughter Diane Aldred (Hay) and Alan Aldred. The farmhouse is still owned by descendants of Joseph Lusk.

At the bottom of the hill the road crosses Breckenridge Creek and curves right. Just before the Creek on the right is #1746. Diane Aldred grew up in this house, and her father Bruce Hay ran a store across the road. Diane will be remembered for her books on Aylmer’s heritage houses.

Thanks to Diane Aldred’s vision, the Nature Conservancy owns more than 250 hectares, including the original Lusk farms, as the Breckenridge Creek Nature Preserve, not accessible to the public. This is a start at conserving the Breckenridge Creek watershed, which supports species of biological importance and is an important wildlife corridor connecting the Ottawa river and Gatineau Park. The preserve includes many different habitats, including shorelines, marshland, various woodlands, cow pasture, limestone cliffs, and a beaver pond visible from the highway.

Breckenridge Station was on the left after the corner. The station building was moved to 130 ch. du Village in Luskville in the 1980s. The Breckenridge family is of Scottish origin. In 1861, Andrew Breckenridge and his wife Mary Moore (a daughter of Levi Moore, #1508), owned a farm here. Andrew was a son of Hugh Breckenridge and Jane Ferguson of Hull township.
The name Breckenridge is now applied to the whole area between Breckenridge Creek and Terry-Fox (the municipality of Pontiac / city of Gatineau town line).

IPBRO = Inventaire du patrimoine bâti de la région de l’Outaouais.

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Updated: Friday, 11 August, 2017