Old Ottawa South Community Association

  • Ottawa South History Project

Billings Estate Commemorative Wall

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m 4792 small The first permanent European settler in the area of Old Ottawa South was Braddish Billings in 1812 along the banks of the Rideau River. His holdings were primary on the south bank of the Rideau but included the north bank (later Old Ottawa South) up to present day Cameron Avenue. On the south bank just east of Billings Bridge at the (relocated) outlet of Sawmill Creek along the National Capital Commission's Rideau River Eastern Pathway is a commemorative stone wall in honour of the Billings family, the bridge, and the synonymous village that grew up on the edge of his property.

There are two plaques on this wall, the first is shown below:

Plaque with image of chimney

The text of the plaque is as follows:

This commemorative wall has been built by the National Capital Commission from the stones of the chimney and fireplace of an early barn and blacksmith shop on the Billings property (1814). The chimney, shown in the sketch below [see full image above], was removed in 1960 to make room for new road construction. La Commission de la capitale nationale a érigé ce mur commémoratif au moyen de pierres tirées de la cheminée et de l'âtre d'une grange primitive et d'une forge sur le domaine Billings (1814). On voit ci-dessous [voir l'image entier ce-dessus] la cheminée, qui a été démolie en 1960, lors de la construction de la nouvelle route.

The second plaque is shown below:

Brief history of Braddish Billings early settlement

The text of the plaque is as follows:

The first settler established here, Braddish Billings (1783-1864) from Brockville, Ont., built a log cabin just to the west in 1812. The next year he brought Lamira Dow from Merrickville as his bride, to live in it. Gradually a small settlement grew up. About 1829 Billings constructed a fine house of wood which still stands on the high ground some three hundred yards to the south-east. At the same time a bridge was built over the Rideau providing access with the new community of Bytown (later Ottawa). The village here came to be called Billings Bridge.

National Capital Commission 1964

Premier pionnier à s'établir dans la région, Braddish Billings (1783-1864) de Brockville, Ont., érigea une cabane de bois rond un peu à l'ouest de ce mur en 1812. L'année suivante, il épousait Lamira Dow, de Merrickville. Vers 1829, Billings se construisit une belle maison de bois qui existe encore sur une élévation à 300 verges au sud-est d'ici. Un pont sur la rivière Rideau permit de relier le petit village qui s'était formé là à la nouvelle collectivité de Bytown (devenue Ottawa). Le village prit plus tard le nom de Billings Bridge.

Commission de la capitale nationale 1964

The original chimney from which the commemorative wall was build is shown in the following period photograph from the City of Ottawa Billings Family virtual exhibit :

Original chimney in situ, circa 1960

Another view of likely the same chimney from much earlier circa 1890s (also from the Billings Family virtual exhibit) is shown in the following period photograph:

Methodist Church, Billings Bridge, founded by Sally Billings in 1890.

Last modified on Tuesday, 27 February 2018 07:55

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