London Oxford in Pointe-Gatineau: Meet rue Jacques Cartier's first log driver settler
St Francis de Sales Church in Point Gatineau beside the Lady Aberdeen Bridge.
Rue Jacques Cartier has a storied past stretching back to the misty times of prehistory, from Indigenous occupation, Samuel de Champlain's visitation in 1613, through to the logging era, and popping out into today's quickly evolving waterfront neighbourhoods. This place is now known for strolling along a path with exceptional river views, all kinds of recreation (cycling, skateboarding, running, boating), and its variety of restaurants. It is perhaps the National Capital Region's oldest place of human habitation, stretching back at least 7300 years. This was the site of a protest in 2014 to protect and preserve the artifacts found here, led by a grand standing, do-gooder resident of the street.
Since then, we have discovered another interesting story and that is of London Oxford, who was the original settler who owned property on what became rue Jacques Cartier. London Oxford was a free black man from the United States, who came to this area with Philemon Wright, the celebrated founder of what became Hull, Quebec. The two collaborated to establish the region's lumber trade, shipping squared timber by raft to Quebec City from the shores of this locale. This gave rise to the largest lumber trade in the world at that time, which influenced the neighbourhood development for the next two centuries, a blink in time compared to the Indigenous peoples who occupied this region before them, but impactful on the way the street looks today.
Join us for a pleasant walk along the shores of the Gatineau River that bend to the Ottawa River. Across the street from our walking path are several restaurants; you may want to visit one of these after satiating your appetite for local history and neighbourhood stories.
London Oxford (English): London Oxford - the First Black Settler in the Ottawa Valley (capitalchronicles.ca)
London Oxford (francais): London Oxford - le premier colon noir de la vallée de l'Outaouais (capitalchronicles.ca)