Work Horses of the early days in the Ottawa and Gatineau Valleys, Canada
and Farm Machinery used in the 1800's

(No tractors here!)



March 8, 2006:

In looking through old photograph albums of early farm families, you will often 
find pictures of their workhorses. The horses were often a farmer's pride and
joy. In addition to being 30-year workmates and companions, the horses were
often shown at local fairs.

One of the photos I have is of my uncle Bill Herbert with two of his horses.
Written on the back of the photo is "Prize Horses" (no mention of Uncle Bill).

The following photo is from the Maxville area -- my wife's side of the family.
She knows a lot about the early Scottish settlement in Glengarry County.
The old chap on the left, Archibald Dewar, was a pioneer settler born in Scotland.


April 11, 2006:
Wesley Cutt on a Potato Digger South Plantagenet Township -- Riceville, Ontario

November 20, 2008:
An Old Farmer's Advice
* Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong. * Keep skunks and bankers and lawyers at a distance. * Life is simpler when you plow around the stump. * A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor. * Words that soak into your ears are whispered...not yelled. * Meanness don't jes' happen overnight. * Forgive your enemies. It messes up their heads. * Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you. * It don't take a very big person to carry a grudge. * You cannot unsay a cruel word. * Every path has a few puddles. * When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty. * The best sermons are lived, not preached. * Most of the stuff people worry about ain't never gonna happen anyway. * Don't judge folks by their relatives. * Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer. * Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll enjoy it a second time. * Don't interfere with somethin' that ain't botherin' you none. * Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance. * If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin'. * Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got. * The biggest troublemaker, you'll probably ever have to deal with, watches you from the mirror every mornin'. * Always drink upstream from the herd. * Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment. * Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin' it back in. * If you get to thinkin' you're a person of some influence, try orderin' somebody else's dog around. * Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God. Thanks, Howard, for the above words of wisdom. ... Al
December 5, 2008:
Cutting Ice on the Ottawa River (Notice the Bridge in the Background) Photo Source: Library and Archives, Canada as reprinted in Harvests Past by Pat and Frances Patterson Cutting Ice on the Ottawa River

June 19, 2009:
The following photograph shows men and horses working in a lumber camp in the Gatineau Valley. Photo Source: Historical Walks: The Gatineau Park Story, by Katharine Fletcher, page 7 Horses working in the Lumber Trade

January 15, 2010:
Photo Source: Our Times, A Pictorial Memoir of Ottawa, page 105 Central Experimental Farm, Department of Agriculture, Ottawa, Canada,1927

June 2, 2010:
Horses Versus Oxen on the Pioneer Farm Source: The Pioneer Years, by Dave Broadfoot, page 50

Robert Affleck Loading Hay at Middleville, Ontario Photo Source: Lanark Legacy by Howard Morton Brown, page 181 Haying

September 17, 2010:
Stump Puller at the Middleville, Ontario, Pioneer Museum Photo Source: Bytown or Bust Stump Stump

New June 21, 2012: In the early 20th century, tractors began to replace work horses on the farm.
E-mail Taylor Kennedy and Al Lewis Back to Bytown or Bust - History and Genealogy in the Ottawa, Canada area