Charlie Pinhey and the 38th Ottawa Battalion: From Bermuda to the Somme (opens June 7)

We mark the 100th anniversary of the Great War by following Charlie Pinhey and his fellow soldiers of the 38th Ottawa Battalion to their first posting, not in France but in Bermuda.

A black-and-white photo of Officers and NCOs of the 38th Ottawa Battalion stationed in Bermuda 2015-2016, Charles Hamnett Pinhey at far right middle row (PPF Collections, Gift of Constance Snelgrove)
Officers and NCOs of the 38th Ottawa Battalion stationed in Bermuda 1915-1916, Sgt. Charles Hamnett Pinhey at far right middle row (PPF Collections, Gift of Constance Snelgrove)

Related Program Event

(Admission free. Refreshments will follow lecture.)

From the heaven of Bermuda to the hell of the Somme: Ottawa’s 38th Battalion enters the Great War (Friday August 22, 7 p.m. at Pinhey’s Point Historic Site)

Dr Duncan McDowall, Queen’s University, will give an illustrated presentation.

A colour photo of guest speaker Dr Duncan McDowall, Queen\s University
Dr Duncan McDowall


The Origins of Domestic Gothic Architecture in Ottawa

Some second generation Pinheys moved to professional work in the city. Their stone villas of the 1850s and 1860s, designed by English architects, combined a revolutionary floor plan with fashionable Tudor style. Our keynote exhibit highlights residential gothic and how it improved a rough frontier capital.

Department of History, 4th floor Paterson Hall, Carleton University, October 28–December 31.

Coming to Pinhey’s Point Historic Site, summer 2015

Related Program Venue

The Pinhey’s Point Foundation is co-sponsor of a two-day colloquium on the origins of domestic Gothic architecture to be held at Horaceville, at Carleton University, and at various events around Ottawa, Friday September 26–Saturday September 27.

A circa 1872 black-and-white stereoview image of Earnscliffe, erected in 1857, the first of Ottawa's pinwheel floorplan villas. It was later the home of Prime Minister John A. Macdonald.
Earnscliffe, c. 1872, the first of Ottawa’s pinwheel floorplan villas (Stiff Bros. stereoview, LAC, Topley fonds, PA-012694)


Whose Astrolabe? Origin and Cultural Ownership of a Canadian Icon

This exhibit marked the 400th anniversary of Samuel de Champlain’s first voyage up the Ottawa River in 1613. It features a hitherto unseen manuscript account of the discovery of the ‘Champlain’ astrolabe and an exploration of its contested status as a cultural symbol.

Champlain Trail Museum, 1032 Pembroke St. East, Pembroke, Ontario, June 7–August 31

Archive of the Jesuits in Canada, 25 Jarry St. W., Montreal, Quebec, October 23, 2014–February 2015

A photo of the Champlain monument, Nepean Point, Ottawa (B.E.)
Champlain monument, Nepean Point, Ottawa (B.E.)

There are three parts to our astrolabe exhibition: the discovery of the astrolabe and the contending views over whether or not it really belonged to Champlain, what Ottawa River steamboat captain Daniel Cowley’s 1893 manuscript adds to our understanding of it, and finally, the astrolabe’s afterlife as an iconic object, symbol and logo. Unlike the scholars of his day, Cowley did not immediately associate the astrolabe with Champlain, but drew upon local knowledge to view the find in the context of centuries of use of the Muskrat Lake portage route by French and aboriginal interests. He has much of interest to say about the Algonquin who in the 1850s were still living on Muskrat Lake and about their oral history. We are pleased that the exhibit appears with the Champlain Trail Museum’s collection of archaeological discoveries from the Meath Site, which demonstrate the kinds of ongoing finds that shaped Capt. Cowley’s understanding of local history.

Beyond the debate over its origins, the astrolabe has come to mean different things to different people. It has special meaning for the people of Quebec City, founded by Champlain, as well as for Cobden, near where it was found and where it is pictured on the street signs, and for Renfrew County in general. The exhibit includes a stained glass replica of the astrolabe on loan from Dr George MacDonald. It was presented to Dr MacDonald, the former head of the Canadian Museum of Civilization [now the Canadian Museum of History], by the late Harold Dobson, who spearheaded the local campaign to repatriate the artifact from New York.

More generally the astrolabe has become a symbol of Champlain, but also of the quest for knowledge, and of Canadian heritage, and to some indigenous commentators a symbol of dispossession. The exhibit explores these various and often contradictory meanings by providing examples of how the image of the astrolabe has been used through the years. Be sure to see the works by celebrated aboriginal photographer Jeffrey Thomas who uses sly humour and irony to strike home harsh truths and a First Nations perspective on the meaning of this famous cultural symbol.


St John’s Church South March 175th Anniversary

The Pinhey’s Point Foundation’s historian Bruce Elliott will speak on the early history of St John’s Anglican Church, South March, at a special dinner event at the church sponsored by the congregation on Saturday, October 4. Hamnett Pinhey and General Arthur Lloyd helped the inland settlers build this church at South March, after years of meeting in a school house.

A black-and-white photo of St John's Anglican Church and Cemetery, South March, 1925 (LAC PA26809). The church marked its 175th anniversary in 2014.
A 1925 image of St John’s Anglican Church, South March, which marked its 175th anniversary in 2014. (LAC PA26809)

To view the Foundation’s current exhibits and events: Current

To view our other past exhibits and events: Exhibit/Event Archive