Each year new bilingual exhibitions are prepared by the Pinhey’s Point Foundation to complement and supplement public programming by City of Ottawa heritage staff. Throughout the house, visitors can browse period room settings and featured displays to learn about the Pinhey family and property, their gentry neighbours and the history of March Township. Artifacts and images are drawn from the Foundation’s collections and elsewhere.
Most summers, the Foundation holds a free public lecture series at Horaceville. These early evening talks are followed by refreshments and an opportunity to meet the guest speaker. We also occasionally host special members-only events and receptions.
CURRENT EXHIBITS (starting May 14, 2023)
Horaceville Heats Up
With cold weather coming, the Pinheys, like all settler families in March Township, had to ensure that their house was warm and safe and secure from the elements. The first few winters must have been a challenging time. Coming from London England they were not used to exceptionally cold and snowy winters, but as a gentry family they had the means to cope better than the Irish pioneers who farmed further inland.
The daily farm diaries of Hamnett and his son Horace, covering 1821 to 1875, help us understand the annual chores that took place between October and December to prepare the house for winter. Come and compare how you get your house ready!
Literary Treasures from the Pinhey Family Library
This exhibit was prepared by the Pinhey’s Point Foundation in collaboration with the City of Ottawa Archives to mark the 200th anniversary of Hamnett Pinhey’s arrival in Canada in 1820, but was postponed due to the Covid-19 Pandemic.
When Pinhey went back to England for his family in 1821, he returned to Canada with a number of books from his family library, and a number of literary manuscripts inherited from his mother‘s family, the Townleys, who had ancestral connections with the royal household.
This exhibit discusses the two oldest books in the collections: Pinhey’s ancestor Hamnett Kirkes’s Great Bible of 1681/2 (now in the collections of the City of Ottawa Archives) and Pomet’s Compleat History of Druggs of 1712, along with several literary manuscripts, held by the Foundation. The books include the signatures of some of Pinhey’s ancestors, and the exhibit provides portraits and brief biographies of several through whose hands the volumes passed.
The literary manuscripts include a meditation by Queen Anne on her late husband, George of Denmark, certified by the housekeeper at Windsor Castle to have been copied from the Queen’s own hand. Another, on paper watermarked during the reign of Anne (1702-1714), is a manuscript of a poem attributed to Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, who introduced smallpox inoculation to England 300 years ago, in 1721.
Collection Spotlight: Herbals, herbaria, and pressed-flower books
The PPF collection includes a printed herbal or pharmacopeia of 1712 illustrating the medicinal uses of plants and animals (on view in our Literary Treasures exhibit). Some educated Victorian women were amateur botanists who inventoried and mounted specimens of regional plants in herbarium scrapbooks. For many other women albums of pressed flowers were an artistic or nostalgic rather than a scientific pastime. Small books of pressed flowers also became popular as commercial souvenirs. In this small display we showcase three small volumes of pressed plants, perhaps presented to Dorothy Pinhey (1895-1991) by travelling family or friends.
Mr Pinhey’s Gardens
Hamnett Pinhey’s farm accounts from 1821 to 1857 provide a unique insight into his gardening practices, and record the presence of several different gardens in which he grew a large variety of fruits and vegetables, intermixing them with flowers. The gardens were large and elaborate. Pinhey tested the limits of the local climate by attempting to grow exotic plants. The gardens are once again in bloom at Horaceville. Come and learn about their beginnings.
Hamnett Pinhey named his estate and imposing residence Horaceville after his eldest son, who would inherit it following the British gentry tradition. Explore with us something of the life of this shy man often overshadowed by his father.
Treasures of a Pinhey Childhood
This sampling of toys, games, books and other treasures of children from the Pinhey family should appeal to the young and young at heart.
Wash on Monday, Iron on Tuesday, …
Laundry and ironing not your favourite household chore? This display will take you back to a time when there was no electrical power at Horaceville and doing laundry was hard and often dangerous work.
For general information about visiting the site, please check the City’s Pinhey’s Point Historic Site Facebook page or the City of Ottawa Museums webpage for the site or call (613) 580-9638.
To view our archive of past exhibits and events, click on the following links:
2021 |2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 |