Heritage Highway - the scenic route to the Pontiac
by Mo Laidlaw
Photographs by Mo Laidlaw and Armand Ducharme
Maps by Mo Laidlaw
This web page is the updated version of the guidebook to heritage buildings, mostly on the old highway 8 and present highway 148, through the Municipality of Pontiac, between Aylmer, Québec (now part of the city of Gatineau) and Pontiac County (MRC Pontiac).
The first edition of the book (printed in 2000) has 10 maps and more than 100 colour photographs. It is no longer in print, but is in the city of Gatineau library in Aylmer (Bibliothèque Lucy-Faris) and the Aylmer Heritage Association library.
If you have information about historic houses that have been left out, more details on any of the houses or their builders or owners, or ancient or modern photos, please contact Mo at:
EU Editions, 1583 Highway 148, Breckenridge, Pontiac, QC J0X 2G0
Telephone: (819) 682-5371
Map of the municipality of Pontiac, Québec.
According to the 1861 census and agricultural census for Eardley and Onslow townships, most settlers were farmers. For example in Eardley district one (ranges 1 to 6), there were 27 farm households (including William Erwins family who also kept a tavern), and only five families who didnt own farms, including a wheelwright (Vincent Bodine (Beaudoin)), a blacksmith (Moses Pacquet), a teamster (Menazie Bélisle), and labourers. The names of the farm families will be familiar to locals, but the spelling may have changed: Klock, Moore, Dozois, Foran, Davis, Jowsey, Herdman, Perry, Lusk, Perrault, Hayworth, Breckenridge, Borgeois, Sheehan, and Derois for example (in Eardley district one). Many of the farmers, their sons and farm-workers worked in the lumber camps in the winter.
Most farmhouses in this area in 1861 were one storey log houses, but there were also several one-and-a-half-storey, with the windows of the top floor above the eaves, also built of hewn or sawn log. Many had a centre door, and a cross-gabled peak as in the photo.
Usually a summer kitchen would be attached at the back giving the house a T or L shaped plan. This typical one-and-a-half-storey farmhouse design is the local vernacular. Today they are covered with clapboard or stucco and are among the oldest houses in the area (from 1825). Some stone houses were built in the same style, such as the J.C. Mohr house in Onslow township (1846), Richard Cruice house in Aylmer (1850s) and William Herdman house in Eardley township (perhaps 1862).
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[ Eardley Road, Aylmer ] [ Hwy 148, Breckenridge ] [ Hwy 148, Heyworth, Luskville, Eardley ]
[ Highway 148, Onslow ] [ Village of Quyon to Wyman ] [ Side trip to Pontiac Village ]
[ Books about the area, heritage houses and early families ]
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Updated: Friday, 22 June, 2007