The following article first appeared in The Echo of Cantley Volume 29 no 8, March 2018. This article is made available for the enjoyment of others with the express permission of the Echo of Cantley.
In the June 2017 edition of the Echo of Cantley, Helen Mac Kinnon wrote about the Fairbairn House exhibit celebrating remarkable women of the Gatineau Valley. The exhibit moved to the Chelsea Library in October for fourteen weeks where it was very well received by an estimated 1300 people. Now it is in Cantley!
The Notable Women of the Gatineau Valley exhibit profiles incidents in the lives of ten area women telling us of their incredible accomplishments and at the same time giving us a picture of what life was like here in bygone times.
Cantley should feel proud that, of the ten women selected by Fairbairn for this exhibit, four are from the Cantley area. If you visit the exhibit you will learn why.
With the death of her husband and two children in Ireland during the Great Hunger of 1847, Catherine Holmes (1825-1911) experienced even worse horrors escaping to Canada. Find out what happened and how she ended up living in Cantley. Her farm has remained in the family ever since and some of her descendants still live here today.
Ada Almira (Brown) Reid (1874-1948), third generation on her Cantley farm, broke all female stereotypes by becoming a valley correspondent for The Ottawa Citizen at age 14! Learn about her twelve-year career which ended when she spent her time raising five children and helping with the family farm in Kirk’s Ferry.
Alice (Powers) McGlashan (1902-1987) came to Cantley as a teacher in 1924. After her marriage in 1925, she devoted herself to raising her family and running the McGlashan General Store in Wilson’s Corners. Discover her great heroism when fire tragically destroyed both store and their upstairs family residence during a snow storm, at 5 am in January 1938.
Farm wife, mother, church organist, writer, authority on local history and advocate for changes in Cantley’s education system, Eirene McClelland (1909-1989) made a tremendous contribution to the community of Cantley. Learn of her many accomplishments and how she managed to create a better school system for Cantley. Her work infl uenced other communities and spurred the eventual formation of the Western Quebec School Board.
The Notable Women exhibit is in Cantley until May 1st, 2018. Banners describing the lives of ten women are on display in the lower hallway of the Municipal Building. Just inside the Library is a touchscreen featuring video capsules dramatizing moments in the lives of these women, so the exhibit is best seen during Library hours.
The exhibition content was developed with the collaboration of Cantley 1889 and the Gatineau Valley Historical Society and with financial support from the Department of Canadian Heritage, CLD des Collines-de-l’Outaouais, and the Municipality of La Pêche.