Vintage Westport

June 19, 2017

For some reason, the obituaries were full of drowning deaths in the early days.  Whether it was caused by the clothing that was worn (nobody dared leave their home without that three-piece suit or bulky day dress with bustle and hat), a lack of lighting along the water (last week we discussed Herbert Foster that drowned in the canal at night), or simply the inability to swim (many never learned, as there was too much work to d...

June 19, 2017

I have been reading through a book of old obituaries and articles which have been kindly loaned to the museum, and to say that some of them are fascinating would be an understatement.  Although a little different than what we usually showcase on Vintage Westport, I am going to share a few that I find particularly interesting as I come across them.

We will start with an entry from Newboro:

The Drowning Death of Herbert S. Foster


June 19, 2017

We are open for the season and ready for another busy summer at The Rideau District Museum!  Our latest fund-raising publication is ready and hot off the presses for your reading enjoyment.  For only $5.00 you can support The Rideau District Museum by purchasing “The Rideau & District Times”.  Learn more about your village with stories, articles, and many, many photographs of Westport during the War Years of 1917-1918....

June 19, 2017

Spring is in full swing in the village and that means that seasonal businesses, shuttered for the long winter, are now opening their doors.  Golf courses, chip wagons, and The Rideau District Museum are ready for another busy summer where we welcome tourists and locals alike!  The Museum will open next Thursday (June 1st) on our spring schedule (Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays from 10:00 to 4:30, and Sundays from 1:00 to 4:30) u...

June 19, 2017

It was an exciting event in the village back at the turn of the century when the government sent in the dredge to remove weeds from the channel. Photo Source: From the postcard collection of Cliff McEwen with special thanks to Stuart McEwen and Jim Forrester

An excerpt from The Book of Westport: “The people of Westport were expecting a visit in August from the government dredge for the purpose of improving the steamboat channel...

June 19, 2017

Way, way back in 1914, the following entries were recorded in Nell McCann’s diary:

“Moved our Bed upstairs & Started house cleaning May 12th 1914 Noah Whitmarsh died of Plura Pneumonia.  Nursed by Miss Lynn May 14th 1914 Ernie Botting & Nettie De Wolfe Married in house By Dr McKenzie May 12/14 Mr. Wm Bird stricken with Paralysis died on May 20/1914 Burried on 22 Put our Garden in on Monday May 18 – Planted our Fruit Trees on Ma...

June 19, 2017

We at Vintage Westport would like to take this opportunity to thank The Review-Mirror for allowing us to use images found within the pages of vintage Westport Mirrors over the years.  We are very fortunate that a small village like Westport has had a local newspaper within our midst for over a hundred years, and our history is kept alive with the photos that can be found in them.  Nothing brings the past to life like being abl...

June 19, 2017

Need I say more.  We’ve had such great comments and so many views, that we are going to keep going with our vintage class photos of local students.  How great is it that the museum has so many great pictures of our children over the years!

"Westport School Fair (circa 1927) Junior Room Teacher Dara McFarlane later Mrs. Wilfred Rice (Pickles) ~ Some of the faces were identified in The Westport Mirror a few years ago: Back r...

June 19, 2017

Who doesn’t love looking at class photos from the last century?  Hopefully not you, because here we go again!

Because The Rideau District Museum has a plethora of photos of citizens of the village from the 1900s, it seems a shame not to share them all on Vintage Westport.  Even if you see yourself here, it isn’t because you are ‘vintage’, but because you were fortunate enough (or unfortunate enough, depending on your take), to...

June 19, 2017

Last week we took a look at the pupils of Bell’s School, Salem, and Ardmore, and, not surprisingly, that was our most popular Vintage Westport post ever.  For those who don’t follow The Rideau District Museum on Facebook, we had over 1,800 views of that particular post!

We love being popular, so, to continue with the trend, we are going to post three more school photos today where you might be able to spot a grandparent or dist...

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Westport Beginnings

The International Buckle Factory was just one of the many factories and industries that were  prominent  in  the village of  Westport  during  the 1800's and early 1900's.  From Fredenburgh's Furniture  Factory  (The Red  Mill) to sash and door factories, foundries and milling companies to other businesses  such as  jewelry  stores,  bakeries,  general  stores  and numerous hotels  whose   existence   proved  the prosperity  that   was Westport   at   the  turn   of   the   20th   century.  With   the decline in manufacturing through fires and financial hardships,  topped  off by the last  run  of the Brockville  &  Westport  Railway in the 1950's ,  Westport now  exists  mainly as a  top-notch tourist destination in a  picturesque location, easily  accessible by  boat via  the Rideau Canal,  car,  and  air.


If you are visiting the village of Westport during the summer months, be sure  to  make  the  Rideau  District  Museum  one  of  the  stops  on your vacation.   Housed  in  a  former  blacksmith  shop, coffin and furniture manufacturer, boat and carriage works and residence, the building itself is brimming with history. 

Vintage Westport is presented by the Rideau District Museum. Check out their website or visit the museum in Westport.

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Contact Us

Tel: 1-613-273-2191



30 Bedford Street, P.O. Box 68

Westport, Ontario, Canada

K0G 1X0