School House Museum

Rolph, Buchanan, Wylie and McKay
Historical Society

35753 Hwy. 17,  Laurentian Hills, Ontario

Tel: (613) 584-2917  Email:


Facebook @Schoolhouse.Museum.Ottawa.Valley

Museum Hours:

July and August
Thursday thru Monday 10:00 - 4:00
By Appointment


FREE this year **

**Thanks to a grant from Deep River and District  Community Foundation


Renfrew County Museum Network
Ontario Historical Socieity

Ontario Museums Association

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What's New


Membership Form

How to get here


See Us on Facebook

About us

Online Information

Virtual Tours

Workshops and Activities

Tamarack Archive Online



Wee Bit of Townshp History
Part 1, Part 2

"Community Memories" Projects (CD copies available)

History in the New Millenium

Native Artifacts Collection

A Whispered History: The People of Buchanan Township

Community Links:

Town of Deep River

Town of Laurentian Hills

Townships of Head, Clara, Maria

Other interesting Links

"Algonquins to Atoms Along the Ottawa" (A look at the history of the Ottawa River)

Virtual Museum of Canada 

Head Clara Maria Local History Online

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History In The New Millenium

(RBWM Historical Society)

by John Wright

Our Virtual Museum Page

 As we entered the new Millenium, and as the "Digital Age" opened before us, we saw a need to move into it in order to fully fulfill our mandate as set out in the Objectives of our Constitution, to "Preserve and Present Historical data pertaining to the area".

To this end in 2003 we joined the Canadian Heritage Information Network, a branch of Dept of Canadian Heritage, Govt of Canada and with financial support to purchase Computer equipment from the Virtual Museum of Canada we produced a history of the building of the Hydro Electric dam at Rolphton/DesJoachims. The following is summary of this project which can be viewed through a link from our website

The School House Museum's presentation of "The SWISHA Project" leads the viewer through the 1940s construction by the Ontario Hydro Power Corporation of a major hydro electric power dam on the Ottawa River at Des Joachims (pronounced locally as D`Swisha

Quebec, Canada. It includes life in the construction camps, the dislocation/relocation of communities up stream, the effect of the dam on the lumber industry on the river, the creation of the Hydro Colony at Rolphton, Ontario, life in the Colony, the dismantling of the Colony and relocation of its buildings. The viewer can access details of the project in Ontario Hydro's 1948 Publication, "Des Joachims Generating Station, Ottawa River," and a month-by-month account of the dam's construction as detailed in the final edition of the Ontario Hydro Construction Division's publication, "DesJoachims News." An account of the project, as seen through the eyes of freelance writer, Bruce McLeod, and published in the November 1950 issue of Maclean`s magazine under the title, "The Biggest Damn Dam I Ever See," brings a human touch for the viewer. The presentation concludes with an acknowledgment of the sacrifice made by those who lost their lives during construction.

In 2005 the School House Museum was successfull in having the application for a second "Community Memories" project accepted by the Virtual Museum of Canada. This project tytled "Coppsville/ Clarksville aka Chalk River" targeted the birth and growth of the community of Chalk River.

The Coppsville/Clarksville aka Chalk River's summary follows.

In this project, the School House Museum will endeavor to open a window in digital format on the history of the community of Chalk River , Ontario, Canada. We wish to thank local historian Mr. Maurice Blimkie for his granting of unlimited access to his 1979 publication, "Historical Account Of The Village of Chalk River." In this book Mr Blimkie documented a wide range of facets of the community's past. We hope to draw upon these threads of history, expand upon then, and extend them into the present day (2005).

For background purposes, the Introduction to Mr Blimkie's book follows.

For many years before its name became synonymous with the Canadian nuclear industry, Chalk River, Ontario was a vibrant centre of activity in the Upper Ottawa Valley. Most early pioneers lived within a three-mile radius of the village as it exists today, but some settled as far away as the Deep River and Wylie districts. The School House Museum explores mysteries and misconceptions about the town, such as its origins and how it got its name. Many believe, for example, that Chalk River owes its existence to the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway (C.P.R.). While the railroad did contribute to the areas development, farmers and lumbermen who relied on the Ottawa River for transportation had settled in the region long before the railroad was built. Using digital technology, the School House Museum opens a window on all these aspects of Chalk River history.

Encouraged by the success and acceptance of it's first two projects, the Schoolhousae Museum made application in 2007 for a third Community Memories project, "Valley Carvers, Past and Present". This project was accepted and with input from other Museums in the Renfrew County Museums Network, went on line at Easter of 2008.

The Summary of "Valley Carvers " follows. 

The woodcarvers of Renfrew County have earned national and international renown for works spanning a broad spectrum from the finest wooden jewellery to the tallest totem pole in Ontario.This Community Memories exhibit chronicles the lives and showcases the artistry of Renfrew County's woodcarvers from 1846 to the present day.To achieve this substantial project, the Schoolhouse Museum collaborated with other members of the Renfrew County Museums Network, documenting woodcarvings from all corners of this expansive county.While some woodcarvers made a living selling their works, many indulged in the craft for personal satisfaction, giving their carvings to friends and family as gifts. These works have also been recorded after an extensive search of the county through local media. In order to present a full and accurate history of Renfrew County's celebrated art form, the exhibit features newspaper clippings and photographs saved by descendants of early carvers, as well as excerpts from books and articles, including the Tamarack Magazine of Deep River High School.

We would like to thank all who assisted in the creation of this project, including, but not limited to, carvers currently active, retired carvers, families of deceased carvers, members of the Renfrew County Museums Network, Folk Art collectors,and the local Media.

Rolph, Buchanan, Wylie and McKay
Historical Society Cook Book  

With input from many community members, the RBWM Historical Society Cook Book was assembled and released in printed form in December of 1987 as a fund raiser toward the purchase of the current Museum property. Museum records show a price of $6.95 each, and in January of 1988, sales income of $977.00. In 2004, all 204 recipes were converted to digital format and released on CD.

Copyright© 2000-2020, All rights reserved. RBWM Historical Society and Schoolhouse Museum
Last updated: July, 2020