The Thomson Family in the Westboro - Ottawa community 1800's - Maplelawn
August 14, 2015:
Thanks to John for the following contribution:
I pulled most of the Thomson info from Ottawa- Westboro web sites.
All Saints' Church in Westboro
On the second Tuesday of June 1865, there was a ceremony to lay the cornerstone for the construction of All Saints' Church
on the north side of Richmond Road in the very centre of what was to become the Village of Westboro.
The Union newspaper described it as follows:
On the 15th inst., the cornerstone of the new Church was laid by his Lordship the Bishop of the Diocese of Ontario
(Rt. Rev. John Travers Lewis) on the farm of Messrs. John and William Thomson, Richmond Road.
The site of the church is beautifully situated on the north side of the road, about the commencement of
Mr. Thomson's farm, in the vicinity of the School house. The piece of ground on which the sacred edifice is to be
built has been liberally granted for the purpose by the Messrs. Thomson. The day was beautifully bright, and the green
surrounding foliage in the vicinity had a most pleasing effect. Two o'clock was the hour appointed for the laying of
the stone. Punctual to the time, a goodly number of ladies and gentlemen, both of the township and city, had assembled.
Among the local dignitaries that day were Thomas Fuller, the architect of the plans for the church, and
James Skead, a local businessman who would soon be appointed Senator. After the ceremony, the dignitaries were
invited for lunch to the "hospitable cottage" of Mr. and Mrs. G.B. Pelham on the northeast corner of Richmond Road
and Kirkwood Avenue.
Thomson house - Richmond Road, Ottawa
In 1817 the Thomson family, being the elderly William Thompson, his wife and three sons and six daughters, arrived
in Canada without much money. The Thomsons were allotted about 400 acres of land that extended from the present
Carling Avenue to the river. Their's were the first farm and frame building on Richmond Road. Maplelawn, the stately
manor house at 529 Richmond Road, was built for William Thompson in 1831-34.
"The entrance has a crystal-clear fanlight and eight-paned sidelights with extremely fine muntins. The main staircase,
free hanging, has an exquisite nested newel and fine stringer trim. There are corner-boxed doors, decorative paneling,
excellent plasterwork, wide pine floors, inside shutters, three unusual fire places, a stone-walled garden and, in the
attic, tie beams and king posts resembling early church architecture."
(National Capital Region Heritage -- National Capital Commission)
The elder William Thompson would die in 1833 while his two sons William and John worked the land as successful farmers
and lumbermen. The stone wall around the garden is the premier example of a Georgian walled garden remaining from
the pioneer period of Upper Canada. The tottering old pine tree was brought back from an owner's honeymoon in Quebec.
The McKellar - Thomson House, another fine stone house at 635 Richmond Road just west of Maplelawn, was built for
Archibald McKellar by the Thomsons around 1840. The Maplelawn property was passed to the Cameron family, then to Thomas Cole,
then to John E. Cole who subdivided and developed in the area including Highland Park. Maplelawn is now a fine
restaurant and the walled garden is maintained as a public garden by volunteers.
William Thomson had a daughter Georgina that married George Rule. Note: see posting dated December 30, 2015
Their daughter Georgina Rule married John Cook. Note: see posting dated December 30, 2015
Submitted by John.
December 30, 2015:
I am a Gr.Gr. grandaughter of Georgianna Ruel who was the daughter of Issabella and George Ruel.
George Ruel was from Angers, Quebec.
In your post about William Thomson who built Maple Lawn Estate you stated the following:
William Thomson had a daughter Georgina that married George
Their daughter Georgina Rule married John Cook."
Actually, George Ruel was father to Georgianna. He was drowned shortly after coming to Canada.
Georgianna was about 2 years old at the time.
Isabella Ruel as a widow, then married William Thomson. They lived at Maple Lawn until it was sold.
After Mr.Thomson's death, Isabella married again and settled in Quebec along Mountain Road.
Georgianna met a young man named John Cook who came from England.
John is my Gr.Gr.grandfather.
I thought you would like to have the correct information.
I enjoy Bytown or Bust, and thank you for keeping the history alive and
available for us all.
E-mail John, Mavis Cook-Thompson and Allan Lewis
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