Letters Patent for Richmond Fair – 1847


The Fair” as we know it has been held every September since 1894 when the Carleton County Agricultural Society moved its fair from Bells Corners to its present site in Richmond. Agricultural fairs were not new to the village but records before this time are incomplete. We do know that as many as four fairs a year were held, often on the government lands on the east side of Cockburn St. at the corner of Strachan St. There are newspaper reports of the buying and selling of livestock and crops being accompanied by heavy drinking and fighting. The Government of Canada tried to regulate the fair by granting Letters Patent to the local sheriff. George Neville has transcribed these Letters Patent and provides us with a short introduction, his transcription, and a copy of the original document. Continue reading

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Richmond’s Strathcona Rifle Range

by Marion Scott with research assistance from Fred & Joan Darby, Bob Moore & Ian White

Richmond & Strathcona Rifle Range -1908
Richmond & Strathcona Rifle Range -1908

One hundred years ago in the summer of 1914, the great powers of Europe were lurching towards war.  Meanwhile, in Richmond, the Strathcona Rifle Range was at the centre of a kerfuffle between the Canadian Northern Railway and the Canadian Government.  Why, at a time when the British Empire required all the skilled marksmen it could find, did someone want to close a training ground for riflemen?  The answer seemed very simple. The railway executives thought their passengers and trainmen might get shot. Continue reading

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George Lyon & the Montreal ‘China’ Merchants

The end of the War of 1812-1814 brought changes in the lives of many of its veterans. Captain George Lyon of the 99th/100th Regiment decided not to return to his native Scotland. Instead, in 1818, he came to the Richmond Settlement in the wilds of Upper Canada.   Meanwhile, two militia officers, Joseph Shuter and Robert Charles Wilkins, both from respected Canadian families, became partners in the Montreal “China” trade. During the 1820’s Shuter and Wilkins were the exclusive suppliers of various types of ceramic dishes and glassware to the store established by Lyon. Continue reading

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Rielly/Brown House

97 Strachan St.

The Rielly/Brown House 2012
The Rielly/Brown House

This property situated at the corner of Strachan St. and Lennox St. has connections with several well-known families in both Richmond and Goulbourn Township. The Lyon, Shillington, Gemmill, Phillips, Rielly and Brown families have all owned the land. It has also been the site of not only the unique house which still graces the corner, but also, in an earlier era, a butcher shop, a bakery and a store.

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1851 “Canada Directory” vs Canada Census

Walling Map of Richmond 1863 courtesy GTHS
Wallings Map of Richmond 1863
courtesy GTHS

The 1851 “Province of Canada Directory”, which can be found in the Library and Archives Canada collection, provides us with a snapshot of the professional and trades people active in Richmond.  The Directory distinguishes between two Richmond Villages in Canada West.  Richmond #1 is our village in Carleton County while Richmond #2 is located in Middlesex County, 7 miles from Aylmer and 37 from London. Robert W. S. Mackay and his assistants compiled the Directory, which provides good information but also raises many questions.

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