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.
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.
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!
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.
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 (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.
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.