Public school Burritts Rapids–In 1793, Stephen and Daniel Burritt, from Arlington, Vermont, settled in the vicinity of the area now known as Burritt’s Rapids. A plaque was erected by the Ontario Archaeological and Historic Sites Board commemorating the founding of Burritt’s Rapids.
By 1812, Burritts Rapids had become a bustling hamlet. At the peak of its prosperity, it had telegraphic and daily mail, 2 general stores, a bakery, a millinery shop, 2 shoe shops, a tin and stove store, a grist mill, a woolen mill, a tannery, 3 blacksmith shops, 3 wagon shops, a cabinet shop, 2 churches, 2 schools, 2 hotels, a bank and an Orange Lodge.
The hamlet’s natural advantages as a transportation centre were enhanced by the opening of the Rideau Canal in 1831. Burritts Rapids was the site of the first bridge across the Rideau River. A post office was opened in 1839.
By 1866, Burritts Rapids was a village with a population of about 400 on the Rideau canal, in the townships of Oxford and Marlborough, and counties of Carleton and Grenville. It had two schools, and citizens were in the lumber business.
Unfortunately, the hamlet was by-passed by the railway, and its importance gradually diminished with the decline of the canal as a means of transportation.
Burritts Rapids was home to the Rideau Correctional and Treatment Centre from 1947 until its closure in 2004. It was subsequently demolished in 2013.
Public high school students in this area go to South Carleton High School in Richmond.
From Empire post. comDear Benjamin,
I am in receipt of your favour enclosing a statement of Accounts and as it differs so much from my expectations that I think it better to let it stand until I come down. We are new comfortably situated at Burritts Rapids at least as much as we could be expected. Mary Ann as well as myself is delighted with the exchange, the Mill is in good order and is doing well, I have done mere Business since I opened my new goods here than I would have done in 6 months in Kilmarnock, every person appears to be holding out encouragement to me. I think there is no doubt but that there will be a village start up at once. People seem to be quite encouraged to think that I have obtained the Water Privilege from Government — Major Bolton told me in Bytown yesterday that they never would have given a Lease of the waters to Smyth and appeared to be quite pleased with the exchange. Smyth has been very arbitrary with the Government officers and Put them defiant which course will never answer with these big Gentlemen. I have taken quite a different course. I have used all the fine speeches and soft sodder that I could think of and by that means have gotten the thing settled to my satisfaction. I am Putting me up a house near the Mill – 20 by 50 ft, as shop and a dwelling. I expect to get into it this fall. I was Much pleased at receiving a letter from Father, and shall endeavour to answer it shortly, I should be glad to have him see Mr. Alec McLean soon respecting the Balance of that devised sess? Roll. Mr. Pringle has written to me saying that it was placed into his hands for Collection I wrote to father stating the Terms that I should like to conform to, and would like to have him call on Pringle and state the thing to him as I am afraid that he will put me to cost. These young Lawyers are fond of employment. We shall expect some of you up this summer. The roads are much better to where we live now than where we lived before. Turn at Johnstown and inquire for Kemptville and then you are only 9 Miles from my Mill. Mother and Noriah might drive themselves out — or if they come as far as Prescott in the Boat, I would send for them at anytime. l may be down in a short time and Perhaps not until Fall. I have been expecting the Miller up for these some days Past- and should be very glad to have him come as soon as possible . I should not however be willing to pay him the salary he asks. I think it much too big but would be willing to Pay any reasonable Price if you Thought he Would answer – I would not value a few Dollar if I could get a Person that was a competent Hand and he would give satisfaction, I am very anxious that he would come up and would be Willing to Pay Part of his expenses, providing he did not agree,— if Possible write me by return of Mail if Nickleson will be up or net – I must look out for another immediately. Little Albert is getting a little better Poor little fellow he has had a hard time of it. Father states that the crops are looking well and he thinks that there will be something besides cordwood to be seen in Cornwall market next winter. I hope Norah and her little ones are doing well.
I am to all friends and remain your affectionate Brother=John S. French
By 1812, Burritts Rapids had become a bustling hamlet. At the peak of its prosperity, it had telegraphic and daily mail, 2 general stores, a bakery, a millinery shop, 2 shoe shops, a tin and stove store, a grist mill, a woolen mill, a tannery, 3 blacksmith shops, 3 wagon shops, a cabinet shop, 2 churches, 2 schools, 2 hotels, a bank and an Orange Lodge.4385-01 John PATTERSON, 30, cheese maker, Sarnia, Manotick, s/o Benjamin PATTERSON & Sarah Ann KIDD, married Tena McCORKELL, 20, Osgoode, same, d/o James McCORKELL & Bella FINDLEY, witn: William PATTERSON of Burritts Rapids & Nellie DAVIDSON of Manotick, 12 June 1901 at Brays Crossing.
GIFTS FOR TEACHER
BURRITTS RAPIDS, June 26: – Special – Miss Lila G. Ferguson, principal of the senior room of the local Public School for the past three years, was honored by the pupils of both the junior and senior G rooms, and the junior teacher, Miss Laura Christie, yesterday, when she was presented with two handsome silver gifts: Edith plant made the Presentation and Cora Plant read the address, Miss Ferguson expressed her deep appreciation to the pupils, and Miss Christie
HISTORYFrom Rideau info.comBurritts Rapids was one of the first settlements on the Rideau, predating the Canal itself. In 1793, Colonel Stephen Burritt, floated down this section of the Rideau River on a raft looking for a good spot to settle. At Burritts Rapids he saw the water power potential for a mill and settled there with his wife Martha (Stevens) and their two-year old son Henry. Their second son, Edmund, was born here on 8 Dec 1793.
The story goes that, soon after settling there, they were dying from a fever when they were rescued by a band of local Indians, nursed back to health, and even had their crops harvested for them. Ever after, the Burritt home was a welcoming place for Indians travelling the Rideau.
When Colonel By came through in 1826, Burritts Rapids was a thriving village with several businesses. The first townsite was laid out in 1830 and a post office, with the name “Burritt’s Rapids” was established in 1839. In the 20th century, the name was changed to “Burritts Rapids” and today, both the community and lockstation are known by that name. The village, like the Rideau Canal itself, lost its commercial importance at the start of the 20th century.
The fixed bridge at the north end of town (over the original Rideau River) is in the location where one of the earliest bridges across the Rideau was built in 1824 (it has since been rebuilt at least twice, in 1920 and 1983). Just upstream of that bridge a mill dam was erected (as early as 1845). It crossed the entire channel, with a waste weir at the south end and served a saw mill and a grist mill (both located on the south side of the river). The remains of this dam can still be seen today.
In about 1832, a timber high level fixed bridge was constructed across the channel of the canal (south end of town), just upstream of the present day swing bridge. By the early 1850s, it had been replaced by a timber swing bridge in the location of the present steel truss swing bridge (which dates to 1897). The swing bridge is opened by turning a crank in the pivot at one end of the bridge. Counter weights and a set of roller wheels mounted on a circular track underneath allow the bridge to be swung with little effort.
To the north of island, on County Rd 2 (Donnelly Drive) is the historic Christ Church, one of the earliest churches on the Rideau. An Anglican congregation had been formed in about 1822, but had no fixed place of worship. In 1830 Daniel Burritt donated land for a church and a burying ground. Construction was started in 1831 and completed in 1832. In 1834 the church was consecrated as Christ Church by the Right Reverend Charles James Stewart, Bishop of Quebec.