Exhibits & Events


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. Objects and images are drawn from the Foundation’s collections and elsewhere.

A colour photo of the window into the second floor "privy" of Horacevlle showing exhibit panels for PPF's Profiles in the Past" silhouettes exhibit (B.E.)
Seen through a window at Horaceville is “Profiles from the Past”, a Pinhey’s Point Foundation display about the art of the 18th–19th Century silhouette portrait. The Foundation has a number of silhouettes, also known as profiles, in its collections associated with the Pinhey and Monk families. (B.E.)


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.



Landholder Maps of March Township 1918–1976 (starting August 18, 2023)

While the county wall maps of the 1860s and county atlases of the 1870s and 1880s are well known in historical and genealogical circles, and have been widely reprinted, their 20th century counterparts that also named landholders remain largely unknown and little used.

This exhibition highlights Ontario land occupancy map series produced by A.E. Guidal in 1916–18 and Oliver F. Cummins in 1924, and published municipal planning maps showing land ownership in March Township in 1959 and 1976. Come learn more about these maps and their creators.

Colour title panel for PPF 2023 Exhibit Landholder Maps of March Township 1918-1976

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!

A 1975 photo shows a box stove in the front hall, made by Findlay Stoves, Carleton Place. (PPF photo collection, Gift of Gerald White 2012)
A 1975 photo shows a box stove in the front hall. It was made by Findlay Stoves, Carleton Place. Hamnett and Horace’s diaries indicate there was a wood-burning stove in the front hall during the cold months from the time the central wing was built in the early 1840s. (PPF photo collection, Gift of Gerald White)

Spotlight on Lace (starting June 24, 2023)

A small display of handsome handmade lace items donated to the Pinhey’s Point Foundation by Patricia Hutchison. They were originally acquired by Ruby Valentine Pinhey (1887-1967), possibly for her trousseau, and purchased in London, England, while she served as a Nursing Sister overseas during the First World War. This display complements Fibre Arts demonstrations on Sunday, June 25.

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.

Title panel for PPF Literary Treasures from the Pinhey Family library exhibitJune 2022

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.

Colour image of page from Jerusalem, a small volume of pressed flowers from Holy Land sites
This little volume includes artistic designs made of dried flowers from identified sites in the Holy Land. Learn more about their history at Horaceville. (PPF collections, Gift of Betty Ann Koene)

Mr Pinhey’s Gardens (this exhibit closes August 16, 2023)

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.

Colour bilingual poster for the Pinhey's Point Foundation 2019 / 2020 exhibit at Horaceville titled "Mr Pinhey's Garden's"

Horace Pinhey

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.

Black-and-white Topley Studio photo portrait (#18604) of elderly bearded Horace Pinhey in 1874, the year before his death, LAC collection
Horace Pinhey, eldest son of Hamnett Pinhey, for whom the “Horaceville” estate was named, 1874 (LAC Topley #18604)

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.

A colour image of interior pages of "Schoenhut's Humpty Dumpty Circus" catalogue illustrating a group of Humpty Dumpty Circus Toys used with Schoenhut's Combination Circus Tent and Ring (PPF Collections, Gift of Betty Ann Koene)
Detail from “Schoenhut’s Humpty Dumpty Circus” catalogue (PPF Collections, Gift of Betty Ann Koene)

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.

A colour photo of a 19th Century miniature sad iron for ironing lace made with cast iron base and wood handle, metal trivet (PPF Collections, Gift of Constance Snelgrove)
Miniature sad iron for ironing fancy lace work on women’s clothing, with its own trivet, 19th Century (PPF Collections, Gift of Constance Snelgrove)

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:
| 2022 | 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 |