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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Wee Bit of History -Part 1, Part 2

Part 2


Logging was the first Industry in the Townships as noted by Lumber Baron John Egan in a speech to the Lumberman's Association in 1851, "That works such as "Dams'"and "Slides" were built. on the Chalk River as early as 1838". To accommodate the Lumberman in moving their logs down the Ottawa, Lumber Companies used "tugs" to tow the booms of logs, thus became the need for Stopping places to supply the tugs with fuel, "wood". Many "stopping" places were in operation in the Townships of Rolph & Buchanan in the late 1800's. This method of transportation continued well in to the 1930's, long after the Pembroke/Mattawa Road was built, with Construction of the road beginning after the 1854 survey was completed.

One of the Early Tugs on the Ottawa River

Railroad Station, Chalk River, late 1800's


In the early 1880's, with the building of the Railway through the Townships of Rolph, Buchanan & Wylie the areas where stations were built, namely, Moore Lake, Bass Lake, Wylie and Chalk River, once again the population in the Townships grew rapidly.


In 1918, with the approval from the Dominion Forestry Branch construction on a Forestry Research Center began in the township of Buchanan.


In 1945, construction of a Research Center in Buchanan Township began and caused a great population "boom' in the townships.


Construction by Ontario Hydro on a Power Dam at Rolphton, in 1945, also helped swell the population in the Area. Using the well known "Swisha" Rapids for its site. Power was first produced in 1950.


In the fall of 1956, a joint venture between Ontario Hydro, Canadian General Electric, AECL, and the Provincial Government saw construction of a Nuclear Power Demonstration Plant get under way, near the hamlet of Rolphton.

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