Village of Quyon
(Also see Onslow and Quyon history)
The descriptions follow the old highway 8 (Clarendon), a quiet winding paved road, as shown on the map from right to left (from Aylmer to Wyman), with side trips along Ferry and St John, and Egan streets. A longer side trip along Pontiac road to Pontiac Village is on the next page.
Dépanneur Marcotte (PetroCanada) is on the right. As well as fuel, you can buy groceries here, and there are toilets and a laundry. The road leading to the ferry (formerly Onslow road) turns south off Clarendon Street, opposite the Dépanneur and gas station. Turn onto Ferry road.
On the left is the Quyon Agricultural Fair Ground. This former Wright property was bought by the Pontiac Agricultural Society in 1920. It is now operated by Quyon Ensemble. This fine rural park has a half-mile track for horse racing. The Quyon fair is held on Canada Day weekend, with livestock exhibits, horse and tractor competitions, craft and garden produce shows, concerts and fireworks.
The ferry to Fitzroy harbour, Ontario leaves from the wharf at the end of Ferry and St. John street. Turn right at the end of Ferry and right again, and return to Clarendon Street along St. John Street which has many interesting heritage houses of various ages and styles, a few of which are mentioned here.
The large new house at 2 St. John Street, facing the river, was built in 1989 by Lester and Jean McCann.
The Rectory of painted brick, at 5 St. John Street, also overlooks the river. Built by the Irish priest Father Kiernan in 1893. 1 The Rev. Michael Costello lives here. There is a carriage house at the rear.
On the left is the Catholic Church of the Holy Name of Mary. St. Marys is the third oldest parish in the Diocese of Pembroke, established in 1848.
The original church in Quyon was built in 1877, of frame construction with a brick veneer just to the west of the present church, which was built in 1907. (Or the present church was built around the earlier small wooden church.1)There are two cemeteries: on Ch. du Cimetière, on the way to Pontiac Village (from 1927), and an older one at Pontiac Village where there was an earlier St. Marys Catholic church.
Both 4 and 6 St. John Street are red brick. Billy Maclean, the brother of Angus Maclean who ran the first gasoline engine powered ferry, lived in No. 4, (c. 1910, IPBRO).
Fred Davis, a mayor of Quyon (1913-1922), and owner of F.A. Davis General Store, lived at No. 6 (c. 1910, IPBRO). His father was a boat captain. The first horse driven ferry was owned by Augustus Davis, beginning about 1885.
No. 10 is an imposing two-and-a-half storey brick house in the Queen Anne style, built by E.R McColgan (c. 1927, IPBRO). About 1951 it became a convent of the Sisters of St. Joseph, of Pembroke, and they had a school here for about 40 years.
On the right at 12 St. John Street is the new Quyon Library, built in 1999.
No. 18 has unusual towers. It is an old house that has been extensively altered. Locals knew it as Malek Mulligans house.
No. 22 is a two storey white clapboard house, originally owned by the McColgan family. A daughter married into the Kavanagh family who were later owners.
At the end of St. John Street, turn left back onto Clarendon Street.
Gavans Hotel is on the north side of Clarendon. The Gavans were a family of storytellers and singers and passed down the Irish tradition. Lennox Gavan was the owner of Gavans (he died in 1989) and his daughter Gail, a country music singer, made her debut here and carries on the family heritage of Irish traditional music.1
St. John the Evangelists Anglican Church on the north side of Clarendon Street. The first church was built of wood in 1855. Stone for the present church was brought across the river from Ontario around 1880, and the building consecrated in 1882. The architecture is typical of anglican churches of the second half of the 19th century with a small entrance at one side, steep roof, small windows and buttresses.1 The bell and organ had been in use in the earlier church. The final service was held here on 24 June 2012, and the church is now secularized (deconsecrated) according to The Equity. The future of the building is to be determined.
The right hand photo shows the cemetery. The oldest tombstones date from the 1850s. Those of the pioneer Wyman family are here.1
Opposite St. Johns Church, just after McCanns Chips, is #1148 Clarendon, a red brick house with tower, built about 1870 (c. 1880, IPBRO). The house was built by a family named Leeder. It was restored to its original splendour by Mae and the late Ervin McCann who had a barber shop here.
#1145 Clarendon (c. 1895, IPBRO).
#1124 Clarendon is Marché McCann.
The National Bank is on the right, at #1137, a red brick building (c. 1930, IPBRO). Note the decorative brick cornice under the roofline, and lintels over the windows.
Also on the right is #1125 (c. 1880, IPBRO). This has a traditional roof of fish-scale embossed metal sheet.
On the left is Quyon Post Office, a modern building, opposite the McCann house at # 1107.
On the left at #1098 Clarendon is the Onslow Methodist Mission, (now Quyon United Church). The Mission started in 1859 and the church was built in 1873.
#1074 is the Maison de la famille, providing social services such as a childrens playgroup, weekly womens meetings, a clothing counter, tax clinics and office services.
#1073 Clarendon is a large red brick house, newer front addition.
The old brick house was the James McCann house.
To the right is Egan Street, which leads back to highway 148 and continues north as Wolf Lake Road (chemin du Lac-des-Loups). There is a small riverside park on the corner.
Dowds Mill, at #5 Egan street, burned down and was rebuilt several times. The present building was built after 1906 when an earlier mill building burned down. (Until 2010 it was M & R Feeds mill, now owned by the municipality of Pontiac.). It is on the site of the original saw mill built by John Egan in 1846.1 Hector Mayne McLean bought the large flour mills in Quyon in about 1890 when he was living in Quyon, which he later sold to the Dowd Milling Company, before moving back to Eardley in 1897. A mill built by Hamilton Steward Dowd in 1896 was a water-powered flour and grist mill on the Quio River. The Kearns family were long time operators and also supplied hydroelectricity to the village from about 1922. Later owners were Steele and Balharrie. The dam and weir are in ruins (right hand photo).
At one time there were many mills in Quio and on the Chats Islands, operated by the Egan, Mohr, Wright, and OConnor families.
Across Egan Street from the mill is #8, a large frame house with dormer windows in the roof. This was the Kearns family home, c. 1923 (IPBRO).
A little further along is #18 Egan, c. 1890 (IPBRO), a neogothic-style house in excellent authentic state1.
Return to Clarendon, continuing west:
The house at #1027 Clarendon, on the right was built for W.H. Meredith, mayor of Quyon from 1895-1904. He was from Wales and his wife from England. Later it belonged to the Jim Amm family, and for some time more recently was the home of Robin Fuller and daughter, with a wonderful English cottage style garden.
The house at #1023 Clarendon is of similar design, probably of similar date (about 1900?).
Hayes Funeral Home is across the street at #1040 Clarendon (c. 1895, IPBRO), with interesting woodwork. This was the home of the McAdam family (Mr McAdam was in charge of the Quio boom in logging days), and later the Kennedy family, before the Hayes family.
Next door is #1030, c. 1900 (IPBRO).
#1019 Clarendon is now Murdock Glass, with a prize-winning formal garden. It was earlier owned by the Delisle family, who came from England.
Nestled in the pines opposite at #1020 Clarendon is the two-and-a-half-storey neo-classical style frame house built by Walton Smith in 1860-2 for his father-in-law Samuel Percival. The eaves are decorated with delicate trim. After John Egan died, Walton Smith was probably the most important person in Onslow and Quyon, having been Egans assistant.1 Walton Smith was mayor of Onslow (1858-1865 and 1872-1874), warden of Pontiac county, and first mayor of the village of Quyon (1875-1878), which became a separate municipality in 1875. Walton Smith served as Quyons postmaster for 26 years.
In 1873 the house was bought by William Mohr, son of the pioneer John C. Mohr, for his son George Mohr and remains in the family.
The red brick house between 1019 and 1011 Clarendon was the former Anglican rectory.
#1011 Clarendon street is known as the Village Doctors house. It was built as the home and office of Dr. Ashley around 1875 (c. 1890, IPBRO). Dr. Dowd followed and then in 1935 Dr. R.M. Hudson took over. His son, Ian Hudson inherited the house in 1991 and lives there until recently.
What is now known as the Bert Kennedy Centre at #885 Clarendon was the Quyon Model School from 1904-1950. This school went up to Grade 9. Originally there was a second-storey, but this burned down. From 1950 until the early 2000s it was the Womens Institute building. It is now used as a community centre, the Bert Kennedy Centre, named after a long-time volunteer.
In 1950 the Onslow Intermediate School was built on the south side of Clarendon, on the corner with Pontiac road, consolidating four one-room rural schoolhouses, and teaching grades one to ten until 1962 when grade 10 students were bussed to Shawville. In 1968 Onslow Intermediate became Onslow Elementary, with grades 7-9 students attending the regional high school.
If you are interested in history you should take the left turn after Onslow School to see the site of Pontiac Village - follow the blue signs to Tim Hortons Camp des Voyageurs. [ Side trip to Pontiac Village ]
To continue west up the valley, keep west along Clarendon Street in Quyon.
The descriptions follow the old highway 8 (Clarendon and MacKechnie), a quiet winding paved road, as shown on the map from right to left (from Quyon to Wyman).
#791 Clarendon, originally Boyer.
#783 Clarendon, ODonnell farm for several generations.
Just before highway 148 is the Hillside Bed & Breakfast (458-2324).
At 223 Clarendon (also visible from highway 148, on the south side) is the Joseph Wyman farm settled about 1835 by Joseph Wyman Jr and his wife Sally Olmstead. Later Joseph Sr and his wife Susan Simonds came from near Aylmer to live with them. Joseph Wyman Srs oldest sister Abigail married Philemon Wright, who helped his brother-in-law obtain several hundred acres here in Onslow township. The Wymans, like the Wrights, came from Woburn, Massachusetts, and brought in many other settlers from there. Joseph Jr started the mail service between Aylmer and Portage du Fort, at first once a week, on horseback. By the early 1850s this had become a 6 passenger stage coach service, continuing until 1887, a year after the railway (PPJ) reached Waltham. His mail route, more or less the work of one man, is the old winding Aylmer road, later highway 8, which you can still follow. The farmhouse on Clarendon is not the original 1835 building. It was built about 1900 (IPBRO) and is now the home of Robert Keon. Another Wyman family farm is on the north side of highway 148 (right hand photo).
Cross highway 148 and continue on MacKechnie (old highway 8) towards Wyman.
On the left at #1210 MacKechnie is Bonnieshale farm, settled about 1840 by Archibald MacKechnie. Bonnieshale is famous for its Ayrshire cattle on 450 acres. Ronnie MacKechnie carries on the farming spirit of his father, Wyman MacKechnie, who documented much of Onslow and Quyons history. Wyman MacKechnie was the son of William Walker MacKechnie and Susan Wyman Edey.
A little further on, on the right is #100 Wyman. This farm was first settled by Richard Edey, fourth son of Moses Edey, who arrived in Aylmer in 1805. Richard Edey married Mary Wyman (Joseph Jrs sister) in 1841. Their children were Joseph, Moses (who became a well-known architect in Ottawa), Richard Jr (1849), Susan Wyman (1851) who married William Walker MacKechnie (see#1210 above), Elizabeth (1854) who married Egerton Mohr, and Lucy Wyman Edey (1857).
Later it became the Campbell homestead, and is now the home of Alfons Kuhn, who grows ginseng. (Northern Lights Ginseng Farm). You can see the shaded fields on the left of MacKechnie.
When you reach the junction with Gold Mine Road, the town line, you leave Onslow (Municiplity of Pontiac) and enter Bristol. You are now in Pontiac county (MRC Pontiac). The PPJ Cyclopark starts here, the bicycle trail using the line of the Pontiac Pacific Junction railway and continuing 72 km to Waltham. If you continue on the old highway 8 for one kilometre you return to highway 148. At this junction is an information centre for the PPJ, and a car park where if you brought bicycles, you can leave your car and continue by bicycle on the PPJ through Bristol to Shawville and beyond.
1. According to Manon Leroux, LAutre Outaouais, 2012.
IPBRO = Inventaire du Patrimoine bâti de la région de lOutaouais.
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Updated: Friday, 11 August, 2017